The author

I was born in Northern Ireland in 1977, grew up in England, and have lived in four other countries in addition. I’m a bona fide freak, having had seven wisdom teeth. (I don’t any more.) Despite having rather too many grey hairs for my age, I am frequently assumed to be much younger. I have two passports, and speak three languages fluently—and many more badly.

I have a Master’s degree in Electronic and Electrical Engineering with Language (Japanese) from the University of Birmingham (Birmingham in England, that is, not the city in Alabama or the crater on the Moon), and also studied at Kansai University in Osaka, Japan.

I presently live and work in London.

I love music, although I prefer playing to listening, and I have quite a few musical instruments. My menagerie includes two electric guitars, two bass guitars, a sitar (that Indian instrument with a lot of strings), a shakuhachi (Japanese end-blown flute; mine is home-made from plastic), a danso (Korean end-blown flute; similar to but smaller than a shakuhachi), several harmonicas and a sanshin (Okinawan three-stringed banjo-like instrument). The last of those I made from a cheap and cheerful kit.

This website

The name

If you are not familiar with Japanese—and even if you are—you might be wondering what “po-ru” actually means. Quite simply, it is just my name, transliterated into Japanese (ポール) and back again. It’s pronounced /pɔ:ɾɯ/. For those to whom IPA symbols are all Greek, /pɔ:/ is exactly the same as the English pronunciation of “Paul” without the final L; /ɾ/ is a bit like the common American middle consonant in water and butter; /ɯ/ is the vowel sound in book as pronounced most places outside of Scotland and the north of England. “po-ru.com” is short, was available when I was looking for a domain, and seemed like a good idea at the time.

The logo

The square/cross/circles logo is derived from Japanese, too; it’s a heavily stylised version of the first character, “po” (ポ) based on a stone seal I used for signing pieces when I was a member of the (Japanese) calligraphy society (書道部) at Kansai University.


I’m using Textpattern as a content management system. It’s not bad at all, and has a nice plugin architecture. I have, however, modified it quite extensively.

All the graphics were created using Inkscape running under Ubuntu Linux 5.04. The font used in the title is actually the venerable old Bookman (specifically URW Bookman), which I edited to remove the serifs.

I have gone to the extra trouble of making the layout look acceptable in Internet Explorer. Believe me, it’s hard work. If you are still using Microsoft’s neolithic browser, I’d be infinitely grateful if you’d consider switching to something better.


This website is hosted on a User-Mode Linux virtual server running Debian Linux, administered by me and hosted in England by Bytemark.

Legalese bit

Unless otherwise indicated, the copyright of everything on this website belongs to Paul Battley.

Copyright on comments belongs to whoever wrote them.

Contact me

My email address is given on the contact details page.