Monday, April 27, 2009


Diaries of Court Ladies of Old Japan Lady Murasaki Shikibu
She is now at peace. Incomparable joy! Moreover, it is a prince, so the joy cannot be oblique. The court ladies who had passed the previous day in anxiety, not knowing what to do, as if they were lost in the mist of the early morning, went one by one to rest in their own rooms, so that before the Queen there remained only some elderly persons proper for such occasions. The Lord Prime Minister and his Lady went away to give offerings to the priest who had read sutras and performed religious austerities during the past months, and to those doctors who were recently summoned. The doctors and soothsayers, who had invented special forms of efficacy, were given pensions. Within the house they were perhaps preparing for the ceremony of bathing the child.

Large packages [of ceremonial clothes] were carried to the apartments of the ladies-in-waiting. Karaginu and embroidered trains were worn. Some wore dazzlingly brilliant trains embroidered and ornamented with mother-of-pearl. Some lamented that the fans which had been ordered had not come. They all painted and powdered. When I looked from the bridge I saw Her Majesty's first officials, and the highest officers of His Highness the Crown Prince [the newborn child] and other court nobles. The Prime Minister went out to have the brook, which had been choked with mud, cleaned3 out.

Notes from Walnut Tree Farm Roger Deakin
"The Whole Earth Catalogue, our bible as self-builders of our residences in the hippie-ish days of the 1970s, was subtitled ‘access to tools’. ‘With tools,’ ran the editorial preface, ‘you can do more or less anything.’

Buckminster Fuller weighed in at the front with an encouraging piece about geodesic domes, and a movement was launched all over the world. They showed the earth as a tiny planet on the front cover, as photographed from space.

Tools were what we needed, and tools were what went out and sought. I went to farm auctions and bought impossibly long wooden stack ladders nobody needed or wanted any more for a few pounds. I bought a giant old 1948 Fordson Major tractor with a six-cylinder Perkins diesel engine in perfect working order, and a full armoury of ploughs, harrows, cultivators and hay-cutters to go with it, for well under £600."

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