Counting is hard

I’ve collected all the newsletters now but they’re still unpublished drafts. When I sent them by email twelve years ago, I numbered them in the subject line. Japan newsletter #1 and so on.

There are fifteen newsletters in all, but they end with #13. I wrote a very short one that I decided to cleverly label #4½ –  thank you, past me. It also turns out that two newsletters are labeled #5. It’s fun trying to reconstruct the sequence today and figuring out what goes where!

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Looking for mails, finding pearls

Here’s a happy wave to my best of friends.

I’m sifting through my mailbox (thank you Gmail for being a breeze to search in!) to find all my old Japan newsletter emails. It’s listed by date so of course in between there are also responses from friends who received my newsletters. Reading these is deeply heartwarming. Friends who responded to my newsletters with news of their own, and with whom I still keep in touch. We meet in person when we can but it’s never as frequent as we’d like. Every moment is precious, and finding these old mails is wonderful.

So far, I’ve prepared the newsletters of 2001, but somehow I can’t find the ones from 2002 and 2003 in my mailbox so I will have to dig into my file system and old backups instead. I’m perfectly certain I have the texts but I am surprised that they’re not in my Gmail.


I realized later that I don’t have all newsletters in Gmail because Gmail itself didn’t exist until April 2004. Mails that I have in my inbox before that date only exist because I imported them from my previous mail service – and apparently I didn’t import everything. It would be “fun” to dig out those mail archives from my backups (yes I have them!) and import them, just to have a complete email history for situations like the above.

However, thanks to backups, I do have all newsletters in other formats as well as a single paper copy. So I am not worried at all. It’s just work to put them online.

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I lived in Japan for two years, and it was a fantastic experience. Blogging as a platform was only just beginning and I hadn’t understood it – and my friends and family still haven’t – so I wrote email newsletters on a not very monthly basis.

Some people said I should write a book about it but I don’t think that would work. However, I’ve always wanted to publish what I wrote and now I’m starting this site to do that.

I’ll be posting the newsletters I wrote (edited as little as possible and as much as necessary) according to their original date.

There’s a lot of text so this will be a project for quite some time. Follow me by RSS if you know how, otherwise I’ll be looking forward to seeing you here every now and again.

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