Mini Review of Camber Sands

Well, our holiday at Camber has finished, and we both survived. We had a nice routine, with me working (inefficiently) for the morning, then meeting for lunch. We then ‘did our own thing’ until 4pm, when we went to the beach, followed by tea, then Netflix until bedtime. All very civilised and relaxing. It was also nice to spend time with just Mum, to properly listen to her stories about the past, without having to rush off to do things. Camber Sands, out of season, is ideal for this.

We stayed in a holiday cottage on the White Sands estate, and this was ideal. Mum called it ‘Toy Town’ and with all the little houses, I know what she meant. We walked around, guessing which ones were rental homes and which ones were lived in. I’m assuming that most people don’t, by choice, have ornaments of sea-gulls and anchors in their normal homes. Many of the gardens were full of lavender, and it’s all very pretty.

There are a few places to eat in Camber, even out of season, though some were closed until July or working limited hours. So the fish and chip shop was only open in the evenings (though you can get very good fish and chips from the friendly man with a ponytail, in the cafe on the grass carpark, near beach C). We ate a couple of times in Dunes Bar (5* hygiene rating and friendly staff) and sometimes drove to The King’s Head in Playden (which has the above plus the best food, I think).

I prefer Camber in the winter, when you can walk the dog along the whole beach, but it’s cold. Even in the summer, it always seems to be windy.

We had very good weather. It was always windy, but it was dry, and warm in the sand dunes. On Friday, the main road was quite busy, which gave a taste of how it must be in high season, when I imagine it would be fairly difficult to cross the road if you’re a slow walker (which one of us was).

The beach is flat and sandy – so great for kids wanting to build sandcastles or old ladies who like to paddle, or dogs who want to dig and bounce through waves. The east end of the beach is where all the water sports enthusiasts are allowed, and when the wind is right, you can see lots of coloured kites with mad people attached. (I did offer to pay for Mum to rent one, but she made lots of excuses.) The carparks all seem to have toilets, and there are plenty of bins to put your bags of dog mess (so no excuses for cleaning up after them people!)

However, the tide comes in unevenly, so you have to watch out so you don’t get cut-off. This can be dangerous for non-swimmers. And there are rip tides, which are dangerous for swimmers. They now have life-guards on duty (which I’ve never seen before) and signs telling you the tide times and where is safe to swim. One day there were jellyfish in the water, but I have come to Camber many times, and never seen them before, so perhaps we were just unlucky. Another hazard is towards the Rye end of the beach, where at low tide some of the sand is oily. It is the wet sand, and your feet sink into the sand and then come out black, which is very unpleasant, and bit of a worry with the dog, who was most unhelpful about being taken into the sea to be washed. I still maintain that wellies are the best footwear for a beach (see last week’s post).

The marshes around Camber are beautiful, and there are paths and cycle routes through them. You can hire bikes in Rye and Camber ( 07960 587482). While we were there, the fields were full of poppies and chubby lambs and water birds.

So that’s it, a quick review of Camber Sands. If you would like to also borrow my mother to take for company, I’m sure that can be arranged.

Have a good week.
Take care,

Love, Anne x

Thank you for reading. You can follow my blog at:
Anne E. Thompson has written several novels and one non-fiction book. You can find her work in book shops and Amazon. Why not buy one today?
(I think the best one is CLARA – A Good Psychopath? which shows how someone very bad, can achieve something amazing…

Camber continues…

Well, you’ll be pleased to know I have managed to not murder my mother, so far… In fact, we’re having a rather nice time, here at Camber Sands. The little cottage we’ve rented is turning out very well, everything works, and there are a few novelties. I am enjoying the Nespresso machine, Mum was unexpectedly taken by the spy-hole in the front door. I haven’t liked to ask how often she stands there spying on the neighbours. Even the dog is happy, as she simply adores the beach.

The beach is great, though we did have a near-disaster yesterday, as we hadn’t realised the tide was coming in, and we were walking along a sandbank, completely oblivious to the water rushing in between us and the beach. It wasn’t dangerous, just annoying, as I had to get my jeans wet wading across to the beach. Not helped by a particularly bouncy dog who thought it was great that I was finally joining her in the sea.

Today we had another disaster – not our fault – as we decided to go to Rye for the day. I hate driving, and find it particularly stressful driving through towns I don’t know, trying to find a carpark. And I know Rye has lots of one-way streets. There is a map in the cottage, but it doesn’t show the one-way streets AND it has South at the top. So it’s all backwards. (I find this completely irritating – who would draw a map with South at the top???)

Anyway, when Mum suggested that we could catch a bus into town, it seemed like an excellent plan. I took the dog for an early walk (ignoring her when she pulled desperately towards the beach path, as I didn’t want her to get wet, so she had to settle for the fields) and checked the timetable at the bus-stop. There are buses every hour, so we planned to catch the 11:13 bus, wander around Rye, have lunch, and catch a bus home early afternoon. Perfect – or so we thought.

We allowed plenty of time to walk to the bus-stop, so were there about 11:05. We stood at the shelter, and I worried they might not take notes or cards and I didn’t have enough change. At 11:13, there was no bus, but Mum, who catches a lot of buses, assured me they are often a few minutes late.

At 11:30, we made friends with the other lady waiting at the stop, who said the buses are often very late, and sometimes don’t arrive until about 50 minutes after their due time. She had been there before us, and had a very cute little dog, called Benjie. She said it was a new timetable, it began at the beginning of June, and previously there had been buses every 30 minutes rather than every hour. Mum then chatted to her (about the weather/her dog/what it’s like living in Camber/her political views/religion/her sex life, etc, you know what elderly ladies are like) and I moved slightly away and hid behind my sunglasses.

At 11:50 the bus arrived. Happy days. Chatty lady got on first, and was told: “You can’t bring the dog on, there are already 3 other dogs on, I’m not taking any more.”

Chatty lady said she’d been waiting nearly an hour, but the bus driver was adamant, he wasn’t taking any more dogs. Chatty lady got off the bus.

Mum and I stepped onto the bus. The driver said, “I can only take one of you.”

We stared at him. (I nearly asked which one – but decided it wouldn’t be polite.) Mum asked why. Driver said the bus was too full already (it was) and passengers weren’t allowed to stand beyond the blue line (a line – blue- painted on the floor). There were people standing almost up to it, though they could have all squashed back a bit. But Mum said she needed a seat, and I could see that there weren’t any, and I really couldn’t face the conversation with random strangers about which one was going to give up their seat for her, so we too got off. Bus then sped away, and we walked back to cottage. The dog was pleased to see us.

We ate in a pub in Camber instead, and had a nice time, and will take the dog on the beach later. But it was a bit of a shame, especially as until recently there had been more buses, so we’d have got a seat. It must be infuriating for chatty lady, who was local, to have the bus to Rye full of holiday-makers so she doesn’t fit on it. Perhaps the bus company will reconsider the cuts for the summer months. I hope so.

Thank you for reading.

If you enjoyed this, why not sign up to follow my blog?


Travel with Clara from an English town to the slums of India, and see how someone bad can achieve something amazing.
An exciting, fast paced novel.
CLARA – A Good Psychopath?
by Anne E. Thompson.
Buy a copy today, and prepare to become engrossed in a whole new world.

Thank you for reading. You can follow my blog at:
Anne E. Thompson has written several novels and one non-fiction book. You can find her work in book shops and Amazon. Why not buy one today?
(I think the best one is CLARA – A Good Psychopath? which shows how someone very bad, can achieve something amazing…

Camber Sands with Mother

Mum said she wanted a week by the sea, and I can write anywhere, so I told her that if she didn’t mind being ignored until midday each day, I would take her to Camber Sands. Am hoping we don’t murder each other.

Other people’s reactions to the news were telling. My children all declined to join us, citing work/parties/washing their hair as plausible excuses. My siblings all advised I take lots of alcohol. My friends all said, “A whole week? Gosh!” I expect they were jealous.

We set off on Saturday. The dog filled the whole boot, so I told Mum we could only take what would fit behind her seat. I packed the dog, my stuff (one tiny bag) and the food (quite a lot of bags) and went to collect Mum. Her stuff was already packed, and in a long line down the front path and round the corner and half way to the next town. But we managed to fit it all in. And I quite like eating bruised apples and crushed crisps, so it’s fine.

Arrived at the cottage in one piece, despite my dodgy driving and fairly useless brain and completely useless SatNav. We have rented a two-bedroomed house from ‘Beside the Sea’ cottages. It’s on a little estate of pastel coloured houses, and is 3 minutes walk from the beach. The house is pretty small (Mum suggested we could empty a cupboard for big smelly dog to live in) but it’s very pretty. It also – most importantly – has a shower with decent water pressure, an outside hose (for rinsing big smelly dog) and two washrooms. There are also a few luxuries, like a Nespresso machine (am on my 4th coffee this morning and the world is buzzing) and Netflix. The owners have included helpful things like capsules for the dishwasher and hand soap for all the sinks, and we arrived to cake and biscuits and a bottle of wine. All very nice.

After a quick cup of tea, we walked to the beach. I don’t know if you know Camber Sands, but in the summer months, the only part of the beach where dogs are allowed is accessed via sand dunes. Dragged Mum over one the height of Snowdon but we made it to the beach. Tried to take selfies – realised neither of us were very good at this, and we now have several photos of our feet, and the sky, and the dunes. Both dog and mother went completely nuts and insisted on paddling. Mother told me she thought I was completely ridiculous to be wearing wellies on the beach in June. But I have lived with Husband for too long. And I hate sandy feet.

Sunday: I took the dog for an early run. The tide in Camber goes out for miles and miles, so we had a good walk. The only other people out there were fishermen digging for lugworms. I worried a little that the tide might come in and we’d get cut-off, but there were no warning signs (only about riptides for swimmers) so we walked 27 miles out to the sea and back. Kia chased seagulls and brought me dead crabs and stones to throw. (I didn’t throw the dead crabs, in case you’re wondering.)

Met Mum and we walked to the little wood and brick church on the main road, next to Pontins. People seemed friendly, and there was coffee and cake afterwards, which Mum stayed for as she likes chatting to strangers, and I didn’t, as I don’t.

We had lunch at The King’s Head in Playden. I’ve been there before, and it never disappoints. It’s pretty and cosy and the food is lovely. Spent the rest of the day walking and reading and watching Netflix.

This morning I walked along a footpath towards Rye (I couldn’t face even more sand and wet dog, I figured one trip to the beach a day would be fine.) The path went past fields of chubby lambs and great pools of deep water with fishermen next to them, and was lined with poppies. Camber seems to have lots of poppies in June. Came back to write this, and will now do some work. So far the week is going well, and we are both still alive. I’ll give you an update next week.

Thank you for reading. Have a good week.

Take care.
Love, Anne x

Anne E. Thompson is an author of several novels and one non-fiction book. You can find her work in bookshops and on Amazon.
Thank you for reading.

The latest, and best book (in my opinion). An exciting novel written in the first person, which shows how a psychopath views the world. The story encompasses the world of women trafficked in India, and shows how someone very bad, can be used to achieve something amazing.

A gritty thriller, which shows what it means to be a psychopath, and how it would feel if someone in your family did something awful. (Because every psychopath has a mother.)

This tells all the things I wish I had known when first diagnosed. A helpful book for anyone with a potentially terminal illness. It shows how to find a surgeon, how to cope with other people’s fears, how to not be defined by an illness. It also has a few funny anecdotes – because even when you’re ill, it’s good to laugh.
Available from Amazon (you can get it free if you have a Kindle).

A hilarious romance for when you want to relax.

Hidden Faces by Anne E. Thompson.
An easy read, feel good novel, set in an infant school. An ideal gift, this is a book to make you smile.

An exciting novel, set in the near future. One family shows how they cope with driverless cars, new laws, and schools run by computers.

Alone in Tokyo – Diary of a Nervous Traveller

Alone in Tokyo

The holiday part of our trip has finished, and Husband has gone off to work, which was the main aim of coming to Tokyo, so I cannot really complain. It does change the mood though, as although I will comfortably follow him round the world, I am quite a nervous traveller when alone. I have never been alone in Tokyo before.

I spent the morning writing blogs, telling myself that this was a perfectly reasonable thing to do, I had spent several days seeing sights, and it is always best to write about places while you’re actually in them, as it’s easier to capture the mood of a place. Plus, it was a nice easy thing to do, which didn’t require speaking to anyone other than the maid, who came to clean the room.

But then it was midday, and I was hungry. I told myself, unconvincingly, that the packet of stale shortbread from England would make an excellent lunch, and I needed to lose weight, and eating wasn’t a priority. Tummy rumbled and logic kicked in. I needed to leave the room and venture to some shops. All very scary for me.

Having made the decision to go, I left quickly, so I didn’t change my mind or become so nervous I needed multiple trips to the washroom. This was partly good – I made it down to the lobby without changing my mind; and partly bad – because I left without a bag, which meant I left without an umbrella. It was raining. I can tell you that everyone in this part of Japan owns an umbrella, and uses it even when there’s just a spot of rain.

I walked through the tiny shopping mall opposite the hotel, and used the skywalk to reach Ebisu Station. I knew there were a few little shops there. I first checked the bakers. There were pictures and prices outside which was helpful, though I was unsure if the ‘egg sandwiches’ were a single portion or a whole loaf. They cost ¥900, and I knew (because I had been given a lesson by Husband to avoid me spending an unexpected amount) that ¥1000 was a little under £10. So they seemed expensive, but maybe not for a city. Then a smiley young shop assistant came to speak to me. Added pressure. Decided I wasn’t in the mood for egg sandwiches.

Found a supermarket – this was easier, as I could check things whilst remaining anonymous. Most food seemed to be wrapped in shiny plastic. It made the food itself look plastic, especially the sandwiches. There was a fridge full of little containers of dumplings and rice balls and fish. I couldn’t work out which ones required cooking, and which were ready to eat. Found some onigiri (triangles of rice, sometimes with a fishy filling). That seemed safe, though I couldn’t tell if they were plain or filled. There was also a salad, though I wasn’t sure if I was buying slices of cheese or tofu.

Stood in the queue to pay. The checkout girl spoke, so I nodded and said “Arigato,” which means “thank you” and is the only Japanese word I know, and hoped I hadn’t agreed to anything expensive. I was given my food, in a carrier bag, with a plastic wrapped fork, and a wet-wipe, and a little blue packet which turned out to be an ice-pack. Wasn’t that nice? I paid with my ¥1000 note, and received a bunch a change which could, frankly, have been any amount at all for all I knew. Then we both nodded, and thanked each other again, and I left.

Walked out of the shop, and I swear, everything was different. I didn’t recognise a thing, nor did I know which direction to walk in. This happens to me a lot, especially when trying to find where I’ve parked a car. Husband had given me very clear instructions about finding my way back to the hotel. “Look for the sign to the skywalk.” This was not where I thought it was, but I followed it anyway, and round the next corner, everything became familiar again. I’m rather fond of that skywalk. I took a photo for you, though I’m not sure if you’re supposed to. Ate lunch in my hotel room. Now, shall I write something more this afternoon, or shall I try to find a park…?



Thank you for reading. Why not sign up to follow my blog?

Anne E. Thompson has written several novels and one non-fiction book. You can find her work in bookshops and Amazon.

Ashinoko Lake

Hakone Tozan

I fancied being away from a city, plus I saw a picture in a guide book of a pirate ship, so we went to Hakone Tozan. The guide book listed all sorts of activities, like hot springs and cable cars and temples (Japan has lots and lots of temples) but all I wanted was a little countryside with a view of Mount Fuji…and maybe a pirate ship. (If I’m honest, I might not have mentioned the pirate bit to Husband.)

Now, although I mainly married my husband because he makes me laugh, an added bonus is that he is exceptionally good at planning trips. So by the time I woke up the following day, he had sorted a rather complicated series of steps, ending at Lake Ashi in Hakone.

We got a train into Tokyo, then the shinkansen (a bullet train) to Odawar. There we were able to buy a two-day pass to the Hakone area. We took the local tourist train (Hakone Tozan Railway) to Hakone Yumoto. Here, we caught a bus, which went up the mountain, to Lake Ashi, also known as Ashinoko Lake. It’s a crater lake, formed on the side of Mount Hakone.

Lake Ashi was exactly what I’d hoped. As we arrived, the sun was shining, and there, in the distance, was Mount Fuji. It kept clouding over, and an iphone is not necessarily the best camera for taking views, but if you look very carefully, you can see it. In real life, it was very clear, and very exciting. The lake has ferries, which take you to various tourist spots, and one is designed to look like a pirate ship. I could tell Husband was impressed. (Actually, if I’m honest, his only comment was to wonder how they managed to get full-sized ferries onto a mountain lake. Did they build them on site, or were they helicoptered in?)

The whole area is a well known tourist spot, so there were lots of facilities (and luckily for us, not too many tourists). We bought lunch in a 7-Eleven (which is, interestingly, a Japanese owned chain) and ate next to the lake. Then we walked to a view point, across a bridge where you could see koi, up two hundred steps through a woodland hill. There were birds calling, the weather was warm and humid, the air felt green and peaceful. It was all pretty perfect.

We considered hiring a rowing boat or peddle boat, taking the ferry across to a temple, or going to see the hot springs. But really, to simply sit in the sun and listen to the water lapping and the birds singing, was all we wanted. That and a bin for the rubbish – Husband was strangely fixated on finding a dustbin.

We then caught the bus back to Hakone Yumoto. We bought tickets for the Romance Train, which was a slower and cheaper way to get to Shinjuku, where we could go on the JR line to the hotel. A ‘Romance Train’ is not, by the way, romantic. Kissing in public is considered indecent in Japan, and we saw very few people even holding hands.

Fabulous day out.


Thank you for reading.

Anne E. Thompson has written several novels and non-fiction books. You can find her work in bookshops and Amazon.



Travel in Japan

Travelling Around Japan

For the foreign traveller, Japan has a very user-friendly transport system. I have explained the Tokyo underground system in a previous blog, so I’ll tell you about the bullet trains and buses, and general other tourist stuff. Japan seems to be one of the safest countries I have ever explored, so if you are a nervous traveller, come to Japan.

Everyone knows that Japan has bullet trains. They are quick and easy. They are not the cheapest way to travel though. In 2018, a trip from Tokyo to Kyoto takes about 2 hours and costs about £200 return. It’s a few pounds more if you want to reserve a seat. Announcements on the trains are in Japanese followed by English, and an onboard sign shows which station you are approaching. Each carriage has a map of the train, marking toilets, bins and crew positions. The seats are comfy, forward facing, and recline. When passengers disembark, they replace their seat to the upright position (Japanese people are very polite, they don’t leave things in a way to inconvenience other people).

Buying tickets was relatively easy. We went to the ticket office, and staff spoke enough English to be helpful. They also told us which platform we needed. Platforms can be confusing, as different ends of the same platform have trains going to different places, but we found that other passengers were willing to help. Carriage positions are marked on the platform, so you can queue in the correct place. Stations have a shortage of seats, so don’t go to the platform before you need to unless you enjoy standing.

Local trains stop at more stations, and have less comfy seats, but are still clean. The onboard facilities depend on the train.

Taxis can be hailed anywhere (unlike in Singapore, where there are special places, like bus stops for hailing cabs). When they are available, they have the Chinese symbol for ‘free’ lit in red lights in the windscreen.

In some places (like Hakone) you can buy a ticket that covers trains, underground, and buses. The buses run to timetable, so be at the stop on time. The timetable will show the bus number or letter, which you then match with the sign on the bus stop. If you don’t have a prepaid ticket, you take a ticket when you get on the bus, and pay the driver when you leave (though I think this varies, as some have machines for paying). The next stop is shown on a sign at the front, and you press a button to request a stop. I think eating on a bus is impolite, as is blowing your nose. So you might want to sit separately from your husband. (Just saying.)

When you arrive, stations have good facilities. There are often shops and cafes. Tokyo station even has tunnels full of market stalls!

Public toilets are clean, and tend to have both traditional toilets and European style ones. All the ones I found were free to use. They also provide loo paper (some countries don’t). ALSO, Japan is the first country I have ever been in, where there is one cubicle designated for mothers of young babies. Inside, in the corner, there is a seat where you can strap a young child. This is SUCH a good idea – why do all countries not have them? Using the washroom with a young child tends to involve either abandoning them in a public place strapped into their buggy where you can’t see them, or leaving the door open so the whole world can watch you pee, or attempting to hold them while you use the toilet (which they always see as a time to wriggle unhelpfully). On behalf of mothers everywhere I would like to say, well done Japan!

Walking around cities is safe, as pavements are clean and well maintained. Any building work or obstacles have men who wave red flags at you so you notice. Signs are in Japanese, so you need a good map. Roads have crossing points, with lights. Everyone obeys the lights. Sometimes you have to wait for a long time, but they tweet at you when the light is green, which is a helpful indication that you should stop writing emails if your wife has decided to ignore you. (Just saying.)

Trains in Japan are a good way to see the countryside. We saw houses, which tended to fill the whole plot, so gardens were tiny. In rural areas there were flooded fields (I assume for growing rice) and temples and mountains and plains. Here are a few fuzzy photos taken from the train:

Anne E. Thompson has written several novels and non-fiction books. You can find her work in bookshops and Amazon.


Thank you for reading.


Geisha in Kyoto

A Day Trip to Kyoto

Although I know very little about Japan, even I have heard of geisha. Which means I have heard of the ancient capital city, Kyoto. When I saw that it was possible to do a day trip from Tokyo, I was keen to visit.

Ate breakfast after another ‘not much sleep’ night and walked to Ebisu Station. We got the underground to a mainline JR station, and then bought tickets for the bullet train to Kyoto. We had reserved seats on the way there, but left the return journey open, as we weren’t sure how much time we’d need in the city. There was a lot of flexibility, as trains left every ten minutes.

The bullet train was brilliant. At the end of the line, they turn all the seats, so you are always facing forwards. Your seat is comfortable, and reclines, with a pull-down table on the seat in front (like an aeroplane seat). There was a food/drink trolley. Eating on the train is acceptable (in Japan, eating in the street is considered very bad manners). The journey took about 2 hours.

 When we arrived, Kyoto seemed just the same as any other city – too much traffic, lots of tall buildings, people in suits looking busy, department stores. We popped in to the Tourist Information office in the station, and a helpful lady gave us a map and advice as to where we should walk. Her directions were good, but her distances were a little off, as we walked a very long way to reach the old part of the city.

Old Kyoto is a bit like a Japanese Clovelly – there were way too many tourists, and it was almost impossible to imagine what it used to be like. As we walked up the main street, avoiding the coaches, the over-priced gift shops, the coffee shops; I began to wonder why we’d come. It was school-trip world, I think every school in Japan was on an outing to Kyoto.

But as we found some back streets that were less busy, and got used to the general bustle, we started to notice things. There were lots of shops where you could hire a kimono for the day, and many of the Japanese tourists were wearing them. I’m not sure why, it’s clearly a thing to do. We glimpsed tiny gardens outside tea shops, many many temples, and streets of two-storey wooden houses in narrow lanes. I saw a geisha hurrying past, but whether she was a real geisha or someone dressed up, I couldn’t say.

The guide book said that the main Geisha District was Gion, so we walked there. I knew that it is rare to see geisha, but I hoped to be lucky. We left the main street, and began to wander down the narrow lanes. This area felt more seedy, with clubs and shuttered buildings. I wouldn’t have walked there on my own. Then we saw lots of men with cameras, standing outside a small, wooden fronted house, which looked to me like an okiya – the house where girls live while they are training to be a geisha. In Kyoto, trainee geisha are called maiko. We asked a woman why all the photographers were there, and she told us that it was the debut day for one of the maiko. She was twenty, and had completed her geisha training, and would be taking her first walk as a geisha, which is a big event.

We were very lucky, as while we were talking, she emerged. All the photographers leapt forwards, cameras clicking, pushing for the best view. Then they followed her as she made her way down the street.

I’m not sure what my view of geisha is, as their role is slightly fuzzy. Historically, they were beautiful girls, trained to sing and dance and play a shamisen (a stringed instrument like a guitar). They were very elegant, witty, and trained as hostesses of the tea ceremony. They earned money by entertaining rich men, a sort of ritualised escort. Their aim seems to have been to be taken on as a mistress, so supported as a companion by a wealthy protector. They weren’t prostitutes, as they didn’t trade sex for money, and were more like concubines, faithful to one man. However, sometimes this was not by choice, and beautiful young girls were trafficked, sold to okiya. Clearly wrong.

Over time, the role of the geisha has changed. After the war, lots of allied troops came to Japan, and they wanted to sleep with geisha, so prostitutes copied their costume and style, and the word ‘geisha’ became synonymous to westerners with ‘prostitute’. However, the tradition of geisha continued, and today, they prefer to be called geiko, emphasising that they train in the arts, and are entertainers, not sex workers. I’m not sure if it’s the same as being an actress or ballet dancer in western culture (bearing in mind that a hundred years ago, ballet dancers were the scantily dressed girls who appeared at the end of an opera and posed for the men in the audience, hoping to procure a male protector – yet we do not today think that girls who want to be ballet dancers are sex workers).

I decided to not think about it too deeply, and simply enjoyed seeing a piece of Japanese culture. I glimpsed the white face, meant to resemble a mask, hiding the geisha’s real face. A section of her neck, an erotic area in Japan, was left unpainted (like a revealed shoulder, more seductive than a nearly naked body). Her hair was full of ornaments, and geisha have wooden head rests rather than pillows, so their hair is kept in place at night (which sounds extremely uncomfortable, and I’m surprised they’re not all cranky from lack of sleep). Their collar is dipped at the back, to expose that erotic neck, and a geisha has a white collar, whereas a meiko will have a coloured collar. They wear white socks, and walk on platformed wooden shoes, which also look extremely uncomfortable. The long sash is called an obi, and requires another person to help tie it. Their silk kimono are beautiful, and very costly. In the past, the okiya owned the kimono, which was a way of controlling the geisha, as she needed to remain with the house (and pay them some of her earnings) in order to work.

Human history is always interesting, and so much more complex than we first think. I’m glad I saw a geisha, as they seem like an intrinsic part of Japanese history. But I’m not sure how long they will be here for, there is too much that jars with modern life.


Thank you for reading.

Anne E. Thompson has written several novels and one non-fiction book. You can find her work in bookshops and Amazon.

Thank you for reading. If you enjoyed this, why not buy one of my novels? For the month of June, I am selling them for the special summer price of £7.95* each, or all three for £20, with free UK postage. They make great holiday reading. If you would like a copy, use the contact form below.


The latest, and best book (in my opinion). An exciting novel written in the first person, which shows how a psychopath views the world. The story encompasses the world of women trafficked in India, and shows how someone very bad, can be used to achieve something amazing.

A gritty thriller, which shows what it means to be a psychopath, and how it would feel if someone in your family did something awful. (Because every psychopath has a mother.)

Hidden Faces by Anne E. Thompson.
An easy read, feel good novel, set in an infant school. An ideal gift, this is a book to make you smile.





Payment is on receipt of the books, by either cheque or bank transfer.

*as compared with the £11.95 plus postage if you buy from WH Smith or Waterstones.