Hello and welcome to my blog.
First of all, if you need to contact me, please so via @nick_ramsay on X (formerly Twitter).
This website, The Long Countdown, documents my life as a father, former ESL teacher, and long-term resident of Japan, married to a Japanese national.
I first came to Japan after finishing university in 1997. My first three months were a homestay-type arrangement with the family of a Japanese friend I had back in the U.K. The following year, after getting my teaching certification, I came back to Japan and have been here ever since.
I lived in Nagoya for the first five years before moving to Gifu prefecture in central Japan, where I eventually met my wife, Mami. A qualified nurse-turned-housewife, I communicate with her in Japanese but she’s starting to pick up some English, her favorite expression being “I’m not your maid!”. I have my mum to thank for teaching her that one!
Leading up to July 22nd 2007, I wrote about Mami’s pregnancy and posted pictures of the ultrasound scans. You could have called it a “long countdown” to Rikuto’s birth, but now I’m counting down to every major event in his life and keeping my readers updated along the way.
Living in another country, immersed in the language, TV, music, advertising, and being among a population that is over 99% Japanese is quite an experience, and one which I can share with you via this blog. I hope you find my stories of fatherhood particularly amusing, as I struggle with raising a child who may not even understand what I’m saying!