The Quick Brown Fox Jumped Over The Lazy Dog

Tuesday 21/6/2005

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Diary and Notes

Today is both a full moon and the summer solstace. I should really have gone home early to meditate and then dance around naked burning things in the garden, but instead I went out for an excellent Japanese meal with my boss (to discuss work of course). We had a few, very tasty things and I got the sukiyaki I've bene promising myself for months (although I was going to make it myself). My boss lived in Tokyo for two years and suggested a few things I wouldn't have considered, especially the steamed soya beans (edamame) which I would happily nosh again with some beer any time. He also suggested getting a raw egg to dip the sukiyaki pieces in and then explained the sukiyaki wasn't really hot enough as it's supposed to cook the egg when dipped in and coat the noodles/meat etc. Still, very nice indeed.

Food aside, and seeing as it's a full moon (very auspicious in the Buddhist calendar) and the solstace too (a mystical time when all mystical things are very mystical) I am going to include in today's blog a very old (10th century) Japanese poem, the Iroha-Uta, which in many ways is their version of the 'The quick brown fox...' thing that uses every letter of the English alphabet. Doing this in Japanese isn't so easy as they have more than one writing system in use at the same time, but for one of their writing systems (kanji) there is an equivalent, though it seems a little more sophisticated than our version.

Sadly, emacs (the editor I'm using) doesn't support Japanese characters but if you want to see the poem in Japanese try Iroha-Uta (you may need to change the text encoding to support Japanese on your web browser):

There are several different translations I've seen on the web but this is my favourite*:

The Flower Song

(Translated by Shinzen Young)

Bright indeed the flowers may be,
but surely not for long

In this life, who indeed, will not
someday be gone?

Passing beyond the furthest peak in
the Province of Shifting Streams

No longer will I drunken speak;
nor gaze at shallow dreams

I think it's slightly better than the quick brown fox bollocks don't you?


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Cake Blog

A 'Fabulous Bakin Boys chocolate cup cake.' It should be called a 'Slighly sickly Chemical Brothers chocolate flavoured heart attack.'


  • Edamame (Steamed Salted Beans in the Pod)
  • Miso Soup with Wakame and Tofu
  • Sukiyaki (with Raw Egg for Dipping)
  • Black Tiger Prawn Tempura
  • Pickled Ginger
  • Sticky Rice


    Taken From Iroha-Uta