I grew up in Whitley Bay, Northumberland, in the north east of England. I left in 1992. I travelled in Asia and Australasia, arriving back in England in 1995. I came to Japan later that year.
I’d intended to use ELT as a portable skill to allow me to travel more in Asia. Somehow, I’ve ended up staying here in Japan.
I worked for a small English school until 1998, when I started on my own. My first school was in the spare room in my apartment, and I did everything myself, from answering the phone, writing the copy for the ads, handing them out and of course, all the teaching.
We opened our first franchise in 2003, and at the time of writing we have 12 schools in Japan, a share in one in the UK and publish in Japan, Taiwan, China and the EU.
In between I’ve had many jobs, too numerous and uninteresting to mention.
I used to play in bands with my friends. I still play and sing a bit at home when there’s no one around. I used to work as a freelance writer and editor and my byline has appeared in The Guardian, The Japan Times, Mojo, Four Four Two, Salon.com, The Evening Chronicle, Kansai Time Out and Scootering.
I wrote a book, We are Nippon: The World Cup in Japan, which was published by S.U. Press in 2002. (Buy from here).
Professionally I’m interested in fun, adaptive learning and being happy. My aim is to destroy institutional education as we know it.
Personally I’m interested in the coexistence of seemingly contradictory things, evolution, delusion, creativity: specifically problem-solving and the combination of words, sounds, pictures, colours, design and fonts; modernism, identity, Newcastle United and being happy. The penultimate very rarely leads to the last, hence, possibly, the first.