The author

My name is Paul Battley. I was born in Northern Ireland in 1977, making me one of those lucky dual nationals. I went to school in England. I’ve lived in a lot of places, including France, Belgium, Germany, and Japan. Since 2006, I’ve been in Rotherhithe in south-east London, which makes it the longest I’ve ever lived in one place in my life.

I studied Electronic and Electrical Engineering with Japanese at the University of Birmingham in England, and Kansai University in Osaka, Japan.

I can speak Japanese and French well, German passably, and Spanish, Turkish, and Irish to a lesser degree.

I play bass, guitar, sanshin (with the London Okinawa Sanshinkai), shamisen (which I learn from Hibiki Ichikawa), and various other instruments.

The website

If you’re wondering what “po-ru” means, it’s just Paul in Japanese (ポール) as you’d type it on a computer. It’s pronounced like Paul in English, except ending in a “ru” sound. To be accurate, that’s [pɔ:ɾɯ] in IPA. It’s short, was available when I was looking for a domain, and seemed like a good idea at the time.

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.