An Acrobatic Show Exploration in Beijing

I think it has something in common with my exploration of cold places, that is similar with just exploring unknown. Or actually, not just unknown travel locations, but also just the kind of places that normally people don’t go to. While Beijing might sound like a common travel destination to many, in fact I know a whole lot of westerners who have been there or just plan to go there. Here in Japan however it is a little different, where people tend to go to more cleaner and “safer” locations in China. For example Taiwan and Hong Kong are extremely popular amongst the Japanese. But not me, I wanted to see something real and wouldn’t mind it being hard core either. And that pretty much lead me to the fascinating world of the so called “Acrobatic Show Beijing“, which I will never, ever forget.

Chaoyang Theatre Beijing

Pretty much no one had ever told me, that I could or couldn’t do what I wanted. That has always been a good motivator to find my own courage to do things the way I like. Often enough these things have been rewarding, such as the Beijing Acrobatic Troupe that makes western or Japanese acrobatics look like nothing. My original plan was to just see the sights, like The Great Wall of China for example. But because I have so much experience in traveling, I am always ready to change plans in mid flight. Something people think I am a little crazy because of that. This couldn’t be further from the truth, at least in some cases. For example, I love shows, circus and acrobatics which sounds pretty ordinary to me!

But the show in Beijing was far from ordinary as it was so detailed, so skillful and magical at the same time. I could not hardly blink my eyes because I didn’t want to miss one part of it. All the movements of the performers was made with extreme care. Because one slip of a movement could cause an acrobat to fall from a dozen floors of chairs, or to hurt one self jumping as high as the ceiling. I must say that the very classics were my favorites, something that just thrills you and is easy to understand the brilliance of it all. You know, like a “circus atmosphere” although I have understood that this Chinese variety art is not to be confused with the western sense of what circus is. Of course I understand that, but I believe that there needs to be that show ‘bizz’ thing if you know what I mean.

I have to say, that watching the whole thing through I felt very warm inside. Kind of like back at home in Hokkaido, with a warm fire place to feel comfortable with. It’s funny to say but there really was a similarity between the two. Either way, the acrobatics in Beijing was simply fantastic. And for those who want to learn more, I seriously recommend watching this Chaoyang Theatre trailer which will blow you away.

See you next time, with more interesting travel stories. From the cold, warm world of ours.

Bill Murtha

Introduction to the Island of Hokkaido, Japan

Island of Hokkaido is settled at the far north of Japan, it is one of its four main islands and the second largest. This amazing island has some of the most picturesque landscapes that you can find in Japan and a big part of the island is announced to be a national park. There are numerous hot springs, mountain resorts and volcanic lakes.

Introduction to the Island of Hokkaido, Japan

Hokkaido is an interesting destination for tourists in both winter and summer season. In the winter, the ski resorts attract crowds of visitors, and winter sports lovers come here to enjoy the excellent snow conditions. The winter lasts pretty long and the temperatures are often below zero. In the summer, the temperatures are somewhere in the middle and it is the most popular period for active tourists who like hiking, trekking and cycling. Summers in Hokkaido are different from those in the mainland and most parts of the country; the humidity is lower and the temperatures are not so high. The island of Hokkaido is also one of the rare places in Japan where you can clearly feel the change of four seasons.

The nature of Hokkaido is almost untouched and people here live in harmony with nature. Also, the island was not much populated before 19th century and that is maybe one of the reasons why the nature is still so well-preserved. Wherever you look, you will see incredible scenery; fields, forests, lakes and mountains of Hokkaido look like they came straight from an impressionist’s painting. The wildlife is also amazing, you can see here some of the most exotic and strange animals.

Besides the natural surroundings that Hokkaido treasures, there are also big cities that are highly populated, like the main economic and political center of Hokkaido, Sapporo. All of the towns on the island of Hokkaido are organized so that they blend with nature as much as possible. Sapporo is a big town, but it is a combination of urban and rural surroundings; there are many green surfaces and parks in the city, which give you a feeling of relaxation with a touch of nature, even in the most urban areas. On the other side, there are also places like bars, restaurants, shopping centers and other interesting things that make Sapporo a real city. Another attraction of Sapporo and other cities, even the whole island, are the festivals. They are held during the whole year in different parts of the island and in different seasons, and that is one reason more for visiting Hokkaido.

Traditional food and specialties in Japan is something everyone has to taste. The local cuisine of Hokkaido is unique and delicious. Different specialties are popular in different areas of the island. These local dishes are known as “gotouchi gourmet“ and they are specific only for this island.

Another thing that is specific for Japan and their tradition are the hot springs that everyone should enjoy. You can choose between different types of hot springs, indoors or outdoors, relaxing with a beautiful view at the magnificent scenery of this incredible island.

I love my home of Hokkaido! <3 Bill Murtha

More Than Layout! Important Factors in Web Design

The basis in designing my company’s website was to make the site usable and clear.‭ ‬I wanted the layout of the keepingwarm.eu blog to be energetic,‭ ‬beautiful,‭ ‬outgoing,‭ ‬feminine and foremost to emphasize health and well-being.‭ ‬The result was excellent and fully corresponded with my every wish and expectation. ToriTori is a reliable and creative partner‭ – ‬our cooperation will continue in the future.‭ ‬I warmly recommend ToriTori’s services. Here is what they have to say about the different importat factors in web design. Is layout really that important and more answered below!

ToriTori Important Factors in Web Design


Designing websites

Having experience in over a hundred website projects,‭ ‬we know what makes a good website.‭ ‬Even though we are a graphic design office,‭ ‬we don’t claim that the most important part of a website is the layout.‭ ‬A good website consist of multiple important factors that support each other and send the company’s message to the visitor.

Layout

The site’s layout is the first thing the visitor pays attention to.‭ ‬It should make the visitor interested in the site’s content and should be memorable.‭ ‬A well designed website is consisted with the company’s work and supports the company’s image.‭ ‬We design and realise a website with a clear and smart layout to support the company’s goals.

User interface

Designing the user interface is a significant part of a website’s design.‭ ‬When the site’s functionality is designed with care,‭ ‬the site is clear and the visitor will quickly find what he or she is looking for.‭ ‬A website is also there for entertainment.‭ ‬Easiness and effortlessness are the results of a well designed user interface:‭ ‬navigating through the website is smooth and straightforward

Texts

Intriguing,‭ ‬articulate and informative text is the most important part of a website.‭ ‬Impeccaple text is essential for quality and reliability,‭ ‬where as typos and errors in the text can ruin an otherwise excellent website.‭ ‬If needed,‭ ‬we will write the whole text for the client or we can work and refine a half-finished text into a findable and search engine friendly text to be used on the website.‭ ‬When producing text for the website we take into account the company’s goals and foremost the visitors point of view.

Search engine findability

A fundamental part of digital marketing is the findability of the website.‭ ‬The effort to make well-designed,‭ ‬good-looking websites is in vain,‭ ‬if the visitors can’t find the website.‭ ‬Search engine optimization is a long-term process,‭ ‬the base of which is created when designing the website.‭ ‬We realize search engine friendly websites by taking the findability into account during every phase of the designing process.‭ ‬We take part on the optimization process even after the release of the website.

Web analytics

The purpose of web analytics is to produce information on the effectiveness of the marketing.‭ ‬We install the web analytics tool,‭ ‬Google Analytics,‭ ‬on the website to help follow the incoming traffic.‭ ‬With web analytics information can be received on the quality of the keywords and the behavior of the visitors.‭ ‬Web analytics is important for the site’s continuous improvement‭ ‬.

Releasing tool

To maintain the website,‭ ‬we install an easy-to-use releasing tool that can be used to easily update the site.‭ ‬The releasing tool comes with technical support and application instructions.

Online shop program

Our effortless online shop program grows with the needs of the company:‭ ‬you can start with a small and basic online shop and then expand the features later.

ToriTori Founder,
Specialize in internet marketing, web development & foreign trade.

The Unexpected & Fascinating China

something-chinese

Often enough I have found out that some of the most fascinating travel destinations are in places that are totally unexpected. One of the most surprising things that I encountered on my travels, was the like of cold places. It all started with going to places during off-season I guess. Having noticed that some of the best times to travel is when it’s not crowded with tourists and locals are just themselves. Not just looking after the tourist dollar. That took the extreme form of visiting cold places, which were in fact very warm of course. Then I discovered a third big influence in life, which was how the places that I never thought of visiting were in fact really fascinating places. One such destination of the many I have been to, is without a doubt China. It was probably last on my list of paces to go to or things to do in this world. It all started as usual, by surprise and accident. My mother always said though, that a hardworking person is a lucky person. I guess I was having fun so hard that some really lucky like ending up in China had happened to me.

Living in Japan for the most of the time did Have a huge influence. Because the Chinese are not seen in very good light in the Japanese island. I never really thought anything bad about China. Just having met a few not so well mannered Chinese tourists in Japan got me just uninterested. What triggered the whole thing was a work trip to Hong Kong. Luckily, my work is pretty relaxed and schedules are not so tight. So naturally, I took the opportunity and took a train to the Chinese mainland on my d
ay off.

Soon enough I realized, that hopping on the mainland side of the border was just something totally different. People in Hong Kong often told me, “this is not China!”. Which turned out very true indeed! It triggered a whole and huge adventure throughout the country. And lucky for you, I will be sharing some of those fantastic stories in future posts on my warm blog! 🙂

Bill Murtha

Cold Meditation

Cold Beautiful Landscape

I use to live in my comfort zone, in England without a care in the world. With accomodation that made me live a life that could be called, modern. But as soon as I started traveling, I was no longer happy coming back home. I loved meeting friends and family, but just sitting in that flat did not give me anything that I really wanted. It was just a way to go on with life, and to accept the fact that I would work for a job that I hated for the rest of my life.

Travel changed something in me for ever, and there was no looking back. Before I would have been absolutely terrified of something like that. Yet, after I had jumped over the wall it was so easy and something that finally made me feel good about myself! For this reason, I started to explore my limits, emotions and environments. Just to see what is it really that my sould, mind and body needs. One experiment was to go to the cold, well prepared and to confront my fear of it once and for all.

Yet what I discovered from traveling to cold places was warmth. Not just because of coincidence or accident, but because I had created that environment for myself. Being in a new kind of an environment made me think new, and fresh. This resulted in so many realisations that all I could do is thank travel, and especially myself. All it took was that one jump, and ever since I have been in a much more meditative state. Before not even knowing or realising that such things exist, it kind of came to me as if a natural path in life. Doing this with attention and care. Living in the moment. It’s all part of that great feeling of living in today’s world that is beautiful, warm and fun wherever you go.. just if you make it that way, and see it that way because of your own accord.

It’s really a great day to travel, and meditate every day! Don’t be afraid to experience the cold as it can be extremely pleasant too.

Just remember to keep warm,
Bill Murtha

Living with the Wind

Windmill

Nature is a powerful thing, and something that has a profound effect on every moment of our loves. But with modern cities and structures that shield us from outside influence, one sort of forgets that. In the old times, everything was done according to the wind, the sun and other weather patterns. Whole sciences have been created around it and a school of wisdom still exists to this day. Of course a lot of it has been modernized, in terms of technology for example. But nothing truly has replaced any of it. Because nature is as about a natural thing as anything can be.

Going back to the roots, and living with the wind has been a rich experience in my life. Surprisingly enough, it has made me a happier person. That is mainly because I feel more connected with the eart, without concrete between me and the abundance on earthly beauty I have discovered a whole other world. One where every brush of the wind brings happiness, where everything seems to be in harmony.

I spend a large amount of time, thinking about weather and it’s effects on me. Especially in a cold place like Hokkaido, it is extremely important to be prepared. But just doing that, has made me create a very comfortable environment around me. One that is much better than anything I have had in any city that I lived in before. Others think it’s something difficult or hard.

If one thing is hard i my opinion, it is the inability to survive in the wild. Being subject to anything the sky throws you at. I want to take control of my destiny and become a better person through it. And I can assure you that it has been and will be a lot of fun!

Mata kondo! –Bill Murtha

Tip For Heating up Houses With Wooden Stove

Wooden Stove

A wooden stove is one of the most important tools for many people who live in the remote parts of Hokkaido. Of course, if you like you can also use electricity which I do not prefer at all. But a stove is one of the most effective methods of heating up the hose. It makes the house extremely warm, even in extremely low temperatures.. because electric heating is not as powerful, insulation becomes very important to keep the house warm with a lower cost. But this doesn’t mean that the wooden stove wouldn’t require good insulation either. This is again one of the misconceptions, that even exists in Hokkaido and other colder climates. Even in China I have seen this happening.

Even if you have a powerful stove, you need to insulate your house properly. If you do this, it’s much easier to keep the house in a constant temperature.. at night and even in the morning. Waking up inside a freezer because the stove turned off during the night, is only fun up to a limit. When you actually live here you need to think about these things of how to do your insulation work in a proper way.

This was the important tip number 1 from me!

Bill

Feels so Warm in our new Home!

Winter Scene in Hokkaido

Not so sound too erotic, even though we were absolutely loving the experience at the pen.io. It felt like we want to move our asses to a location that would be more clear for our readers. Which is it’s own domain of course. Sorry for the disturbance, and the long kick off for this project.. but it’s all gonna be good and warm for us. Hopefully that is. I am writing to you from one of the coldest places in Japan, yes.. Hokkaido! It’s really a beautiful land with beautiful people.

Often in the mainland of Japan, people are complaining about cold. Even at this time, when the deepest winter season is finishing. Well, not in Hokkaido where people have adapted and found ways to stay warm all the time. That is one huge misunderstanding, which had lead to the incredible situation of those who hate the cold.. suffering for it in warmer climates.

That’s where the theme of my blog kind of comes from, because I want to educate you people about how to stay warm. Not just physically, but also in your mind. It’s one of the most essential things to have inorder for us humans to stay healthy.. but the misconception that it depends on the climate is absolute bullocks!

So hop in, and enjoy the ride. I love to travel, to explore, to go to faraway places.. be it cold and warm.. my warmth will always stay the same.

See you soon humanlies!

Yours.

Bill

Opening post

Warm Winter Home

The brilliant, pen.io is just an amazing way to blog and express my thoughts. I have wanted something like this for a long time. No need to think, just write without too many distractions and get your message out there to the world. That’s all I want from life, besides keeping it warm of course. But that’s really a concept that I like to talk about, which is what keeping it warm really is.

Some people think that it’s living next to a heater, or in a warm country. But it couldn’t be further from the truth. To keep warm, is something much more and the previous assumptions are only skin deep. We need to go deeper, and look at the reasons why are bodies are cold often enough deep inside.

In fact, I believe in it so much that if we can make our bodies warm from inside.. we can fix a lot of illness, including the mental. It’s a concept that I have been getting in to, and realised that I can become warm anywhere in the planet. It’s not about the climate, it’s about the inner workings of man. More about that later. Great to be onboard the pen! =)

Cheers everyone.

Bill Murtha