Tuesday, 16 July 2013


The year is 1998. The setting: an innocuous living room in the midlands. A young Tom Brotherhood, still with tears in his eyes following England's departure from the football world cup, finally comprehends his mother's roots in the Welsh valleys. He mutters: 'Wales?' in a low voice, and pauses for a moment in contemplation. Then, tentatively, he utters the immortal question: 'Does that make me half a whale?'

Present day. The setting remains the same. The mere mention of the tremendous enemy-of-krill evokes embarrassment and merriment in equal measure, and its continuing prominence in Brotherhood household folklore provides the name for this blog. I remain half a whale, but I fear that it is time to leave the pod and venture to the more tropical waters of Kagoshima, Japan. For the foreseeable future I will be working as an assistant language teacher on the JET Programme, half a world away from the home in which I was raised on brown bread and roast dinners. It is this: being borne across the world, that will, hopefully, provide the content for this fledgling blog.

You flatter me in finding it amidst the innumerable other blogs that could rightfully have attracted your attention in its place. Admittedly, it is sparse at present, but will soon be host to my experiences as a JET: my first post-institution job. Though the written diary of my formative years anticipates a sporadic, short-lived affair, (~5 entries, October 2001 - September 2010), I intend to write here whenever I encounter anything of general interest, but will, nevertheless, endeavour to keep my own uninformed ramblings to a minimum. Hopefully, I can fulfill these good intentions, and if so, I do hope that you look around for a while.


  1. Welcone to the blogosphere!

    Half a whale is better than no whale, but not as good as a whole whale. ;O)

    I'm interested... x

  2. Hi Tom - followed a link from your mum's blog and am so glad to find out what 'Half a Whale' meant!! A friend of mine once went off to Tokyo to teach English... we were students on the TESOL course together but we've lost touch. Keep your eyes open for a tall, wildly camp English teacher called Andrew. If you see him, say, Annie says hello, won't you?
    Any you - well, have a whale of a time!

  3. Hi Tom

    Have a brilliant time - we look forward to reading about your exploits.

    John & Maureen