Saturday, 4 April 2009

In spring it is the dawn...

Tama-Chan: After the excitement of the past few days, we hope you won't be too disappointed to get back to good old Tommy and me today. Actually, we have little new to report, and #1 has a bit of a treat in store for you later, so let's start with a picture of me in one of my favourite all-season spots: it's on top of a radiator so it's warm in winter and perfect for naps, but it's also by a window so it's much fun in the summer!

Tommy had a fun time yesterday afternoon because his three (girl!) friends Pie, Pam and Plume came to visit. Here he is with Pie after a vigorous game of tennis ball chasing:

As for the back room, #1 thinks that little Sei-Chan is getting more eager to meet us by the day. Every time she opens the door, the little one dives out at a gallop. Fortunately, there are TWO doors between them and us! Here she is with her newest toy:

And now for the treat... You were all enchanted by little Sei-Chan's name and the explanation of its origins, so #1 thought she would copy for you the very first "post" in Sei Shonagon's famous "Pillow Book." Imagine that this was written more than a thousand years ago at the other end of the world, and then look out at the nature around you...

"In spring it is the dawn that is most beautiful. As the light creeps over the hills, their outlines are dyed a faint red and wisps of purplish cloud trail over them.

In summer the nights. Not only when the moon shines, but on dark nights too, as the fireflies flit to and fro, and even when it rains, how beautiful it is!

In autumn the evenings, when the glittering sun sinks close to the edge of the hills and the crows fly back to their nests in threes and fours and twos; more charming still is a file of wild geese, like specks in the distant sky. When the sun has set, one's heart is moved by the sound of the wind and the hum of the insects.

In winter the early mornings. It is beautiful indeed when snow has fallen during the night, but splendid too when the ground is white with frost; or even when there is no snow or frost, but it is simply very cold and the attendants hurry from room to room stirring up the fires and bringing charcoal, how well this fits the season's mood! But as noon approaches and the cold wears off, no one bothers to keep the braziers alight, and soon nothing remains but piles of white ashes."

From The Pillow Book of Sei Shonagon, translated by Ivan Morris (1967)


  1. How could we ever be disappointed with you two?? Sei-Chan already knows how wonderful you both are -- that's why she is so eager to meet you!

  2. Disappointed?!?!? what?!?! Even though Sei-Chan is a little beauty, you were my friends long before little sweet Miss came along :)))
    Though Tom, I thinks you could be getting yourself into a little bit of trouble.. 3 girls? dood! ;)
    Thank your momma for us fro writing the first out. It is very pretty and very descriptive, what we find just lovely about it is that we see and think those thoughts and things now, just like the lady did alllll those years ago.. just awe inducing! :))

  3. Good morning friends! We always like seeing you, whether it is sleeping, sunbathing, romping, being goofy, or just being beautiful as you all are!

    The excerpt is very atmospheric.

    Abby & Stygia

  4. It's as if it was written by little Miss Sei-Chan kitten herself, looking out one of your windows. Beautiful:)

  5. WOW!

    Furry nice!

    We tank woo fur the special treat!


  6. That was very beautiful, Tama-chan! Your mom has a wonderful way of naming her friends. I think Sei-chan is past ready to meet you and Tommy!s

  7. Oh, that is such a lovely piece! Truth never ages, it just is. And I can relate to each verse, as I see the beauties of each season, too.

    Gandalf and Grayson are at my blog today for a Photo Hunt!

  8. Have you seen the movie The Pillow Book? I don't think there were any cats in it, but Mummy says it was very good.

  9. Purrfect as a little "Good night read" for our mom who has returned safely and sleepy! Purrs!

  10. That was pretty cool! We love the pictures too!

    Feather, Darla, & Pappy, the TN Bull Terrors

  11. /hangs up her ninja gear
    i love this blog


  12. Tama-Chan, that is such a sweet picture of you curled up on the radiator. It's wonderful that Tommy had such fun with his (girl) friends. We are so excited for when you get Tom meet Sei-Chan. The excerpt from the Pillow Book is lovely.

  13. Thank you very much for visiting my our blog & for your info. about the hummingbirds. I asked my Mom if she was aware that there were no hummingbirds in Europe & she was, so I guess I was the only one in the dark! My mom knows tons about wildlife & birds (& everything else, so she tells me!!). I love your blog, it is very charming! Tom, Tama-Chan & little Sei-Chan are lovely & I can't wait to read more about their adventures! Thank you for sharing the "Pillow Book" excerpt as well. It is amazing how old texts can sound so modern -- I run into that myself. Cheers!

  14. dear sei_chan

    We hope you would grow up and become a fine writer like your namesake :) You look as though you have many many things to say :)

    your new admirers

  15. Thanks for the reading - just the perfect thing to read and dwell on as we drift off to sleep for the night.

    Tail wags, the OP Pack

  16. Thanks for the long quotation from The Pillow Book...that's such a lovely passage, and as fitting now as it was then, hundreds of years ago and thousands of miles away. Sei-chan gets cuter by the day! It's nice Tommy was able to visit with his three (!) girlfriends...and Tama-Chan looks lovely as always in her sunny spot.

  17. Tama-Chan, I am so touched that you voted for me! Mom had the cursor on your pic already and I had to put the bitey on her. I am WAY behind! I hope I lose with a bit of style...
    Purrs, Chilli

  18. Sei-Chan how lovely..and now I must go and read The Pillow Book..thank you:)

  19. Spring... it's so true, dawns are the most amazing. We enjoy them here in the summer house because there's no artificial light near it. Tama-Chan, you look beautiful as always and Tommy, that looks like lots of fun (three girls and all) and Sei-Chan, cute as always.


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