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What was your original face?

Keeping warm in cold places

Culture Posted on Tue, November 27, 2007 19:32:21

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The photo is taken from p. 50 of Genro Koudela Oshos 1994 memorial album, and shows Erich Skrleta working in den kalten Räumen des Buddhistischen Zentrums. It must be the winter 79/80, in Viennas Buddhist Centre new locale in Fleischmarkt. Look close at the jacket!

The doctors jacket

Culture Posted on Tue, November 13, 2007 18:55:54

Can’t remember why any more, but we bought the complete first series of the english sf-series Doctor Who in 2005, starring Christopher Eccleston as the 9th doctor.

The whole family spent much of the Christmas holiday that year watching mesmerized as the action unfolded.

I have always been aware that there were a Doctor Who from mentions in the music press that I avidly read in the 70-ies and 80-ies. (Even have an album (LP) with sounds – probably haven’t been played at all.)

This #9 doctor had a jacket! Oh, yes, a beautiful worn leather jacket. A german submarine-officers jacket in fact.

It quietly simmered in the back of the brain for some time, before I put doctor who leather jacket into Google. On the top was a link to a company that sold a replica:

It looked great (a bit shiny though), and expensive…

It was only possible to buy one if you lived in the UK, Canada, Australia or the US. So it started with a couple of weeks getting them (or rather him, it’s a one-man show I believe) to put Norway on the list as well. And then there were measurements to be taken. And waiting, from 26th of July to 20th of October all in all.

I haven’t waited so long for anything like that, since ordering books and comics from the USA 30 years ago. It took some time to get it through the customs (and another 20% to the total price), about a week from the first call from UPS’ swedish call-centre (confused me a bit that) till we met our postman in the local shop one evening, and she told me it had arrived, and offered to fetch it. (The postoffice is only open an half hour each day).

Was it worth it? I would say so, it’s a good fit (and smells beautifully).

So here’s the # 42 Bad Wolf jacket. First against the wall of our shed:

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At the standing stone Hasle (Tjølling, Larvik).

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At Istrehågan (Tjølling, Larvik).

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Books on Joshu Sasaki Roshi

Buddhism Posted on Tue, November 13, 2007 18:19:44

Occasioned by Joshu Sasakis 100th birthday, a book was published: The 100th year of Joshu Sasaki Roshi (2007, 88 p.). (This, and the two titles mentioned below, are published by the Rinzai-ji Zen Center in Los Angeles.)

This is the 3rd commerative book on Roshi. The first was The Zen of Myoshin-ji comes to the west : 25 years of Joshu Roshi in America 1962-1987 (1987, 89 p.). In 1992 a second volume was issued to celebrate his 30 year in America: Zen Master Joshu Sasaki: The Great Celebration. (I don’t have a copy, rumour has it that most of the copies of the 1992 book was sent to Japan.)

books are all in album-format, contains examples of Roshis teachings,
presentations of the various groups associated with the Rinzai-ji
order, and photographs! The 100-year book have a long and deep-probing
interview with Roshi. This is a man that doesn’t go in for small-talk
very much! I must admit that I find his teachings about Tatagatha-zen
difficult and that is as it should be.

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The 3rd book in
the picture btw, is Wegkreuzungen : Genro Seiun Osho, 70. Geburtstag,
15 Jahre Lehrtätigkeit in Österreich
(71 p. Bodhidharma Zendo, Wien
1994), an album published to mark Genro Koudela Oshos 70th birthday in

Genro was the 4th to be ordinated Osho (teacher) by Roshi.
A list of most of them is in the 100-year book. Missing though, is the
first woman to be ordinated, Gisele Gesshin Midwer (1931-1999). In a
article on Roshi (Eminent Masters, in Zen. International Zen Institute
of America 7/87) she mentions that he plans to live to the ripe old age
of 108!

The only other book published with Roshis teachings
is Buddha is the center of gravity : Teisho of Joshu Sasaki Roshi at
the Lama Foundation
(San Cristobal 1974). Inserted in the book is a
sheet with the Hearth Sutra in both chinese and latin characters.

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4 german books

Music Posted on Wed, September 26, 2007 15:07:10

About once a year I read a book in german. This years lucky one was Jürgen Teipel’s Verschwende Deine Jugend : Ein Doku-Roman über den deutschen Punk und New Wave. Teipel has conducted interviews with several key figures in the arise of punk and new wave in Germany. He’s cut and pasted the voices of these figures into a very good book.

It’s obviously two different approaches that collides here, the art-scene and the violence-seeking outsiders. To begin with everything was possible. The double-CD with the same title shows this in abundance, with its mix of the playful (Der Plan a.o.), the vaguely political (Mittagspauses masterful “Innenstadtfront“), the a-bit-over-the-top serious (Einstürzende Neubauten) and the boisterous and drunken (Die Toten Hosen). Sadly it’s the Toten Hosen of this world that has kept the punk-designation going.

Both the book and CD is highly recommended!

3 other books on/from the same scene:

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Wolfgang Müller (from the band Die Tödliche Doris) edited an anthology of texts, drawings and photos from a loose grouping called Die Geniale Dilletanten in 1982. Several years later he published the oddity Blue tit : das deutsch-isländische Blaumeisebuch (1997) with parallell german and icelandic text! It’s not only about the bird, but features a mix of curious facts and impressions from Iceland.

Moritz R’s Der Plan : Glanz und Elend der Neuen Deutchen Welle : Die Geschichte einer deutschen Band (1993), is just what the title says, a story of the band Der Plan from start to finish (1979-1992).

Collosal Youth

Music Posted on Tue, August 28, 2007 19:39:15

One of the perfect things of this world is the Young Marble Giants album Collosal Youth.

Domino records have issued a 3-CD set, Collosal Youth and Collected Works, with the album on the first cd, the two singles and a collection of demoes (previously issued as Salad Days) on the second disc, and 5 tracks from a 1980 Peel-session on the third.

Stonecircles at Hunn 1

Prehistoric Norway Posted on Tue, July 24, 2007 19:42:58

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We came from the north (afternoon 20th july 2007), and may have chosen a more than necessary complicated approach to the site(s) at Hunn. Anyway, drive over Glomma at Sarpsborg, take road no 111 towards Fredrikstad, after a few hundred meters take the road (to the left) to Borge church, this road meets road no 110 (Oldtidsveien) after a few kilometers (at Borge school), take to the left again and you’ll soon be there. There are two parking lots, the rings are closest to the second.

There are 3 areas of interest at Hunn. The stonerings are the easternmost of them. I’ll cite the english text from the information-board:

On the slope in front of you, you see one of the biggest and most magnificient clusters of stone rings in Norway. There are in all nine big rings of upright stones. Moreover, there are a number of burial cairns and circular cromlechs. Each ring consists of 12, 13 or 15 stones. In earlier times it was assumed that trials had been held in such sites, the defendant standing in the middle, and the judges seated around, one on each stone. Archeological research, however, has proved the ring sites to be burialgrounds, probably from the Pre-Roman Iron Age (500 BC – AD). Apart from some charcoal and burned bones, nothing has been found in the rings, which clearly identifies them as fire graves, where the deceased had got elaborately shaped monuments – instead of equipment and gifts in their graves…

The norwegian text elaborates a bit. Some of the rings and cairns were excavated in 1950-53, and several fallen stones were raised. The stones in the rings were connected with packed stones. In the centre of some the rings were found a large flat stone or a “package” of stones. (C-14-datings of charcoal from a similar stonering in the middle site at Hunn dates it prior to, or between 520-280 BC.) The cairns seems to be younger, six stone-pearls and two bronze-buckles dated viking-age (800-1050) were found in two of them. In the 1970-ies a few rockcarvings were found in the wood to the east close to this site.

This is from the information-board (its a bit dirty and the afternoon sunlight wasn’t exactly making it any easier) and shows a photo and drawing from the excavations:
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All the stonecircles seen from the bottom of the slope:

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Several more pictures in this Picasa-album.

Archeology at Hunn (in norwegian).

Aerial view (click the Kart-button to view map).

Cornwall prehistory

England Posted on Mon, July 09, 2007 12:37:22

We visited 2 prehistoric sites.

On Bodmin moor you can find the Hurlers near the small village of Minions. It’s not hard to find as Julian Cope claims in his book the Modern Antiquarian, we didn’t have any problems anyway.

Here’s my son and some of the stones:

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The weather was shifting, apart from the wind that always blew, so the two of us that went a bit further in to the Cheesewring got soaked and mostly dry again on the way back to the carpark. Here’s Ånund testing his wings:

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Are there cupmarks on the top of the Cheesewring?

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This was a good walk and the scenery and weather was magnificent.

A couple of days later a chance to visit Mên-an-tol arose when we drove from Lands End to St. Ives. A 10 minute walk through beautiful cornish moor-landscape and there it is:

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My son during his 3-times through the hole-run:
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Holiday Cornwall 2007

England Posted on Sun, July 08, 2007 20:19:21

This summer we rented a cottage, the Seahorses, in the small village of Port Isaac for a week. We also spent a few days in London.

Port Isaac as a village seems to have been mostly taken over by people using cottages as holiday homes, and the prices must be very high for locals. There’s even a movement, the CNLA, that treatens to burn down houses owned by english. Similar movement have existed in Wales and Sardinia and perhaps other places as well.

We flew from Torp to London Stansted, spent 5 1/2 hours at the airport and flew to Newquay where we picked up our rental-car. I hadn’t exactly looked forward to driving on the wrong side of the road, but that was actually quite interesting, as was the narrow roads that the GPS insisted were right for getting to Port Isaac. You get to se some nice views that way, but we found that it was better to use the map if we wanted to get somewhere quick.

A car made it easy to visit the sights. The first day we went to Tintagel, and here are the children on the cliff looking south towards Port Isaac:

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Recommende reading on Tintagel: Hugo Pratts Les Celtiques.

The car was parked in the outskirts of Tintagel-village, and we walked through the village on the way out and went back via the coast-path. The return-trip was maybe the best of the whole thing, with the sun, wind, sea and sky.

The following days we went to the Eden project, The Lost gardens of Heligan, The Museum of Witchcraft in Boscastle, the country house Lanhydrock near Bodmin, and the cities of Newquay and St. Ives.

The weather was seldom right for bathing, we only managed two dips and that was a shame as the beaches especially in the south was marvellous. Here are the beach at Sennen Cove, which also have a more than ordinary good beach restaurant.

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The theme park at Lands End has a Doctor Who exhibition, that we had to see, here are my children again:
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The exhibition consisted of tablaux from the two latest doctors, among them a quite scary dalek, not sure if it was value for the money. The souvenirs and more, could be found cheaper at Forbidden Planet in London we found later.

Here are the two greatest fans outside the building:

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But it wasn’t only sightseeing and fun, we also got a flat tire and had to change to the spare in the parking lot at The lost gardens of Heligan (that we otherwise highly recommend). Some might also complain aboute the weather…

Egge, Steinkjer

Prehistoric Norway Posted on Mon, May 28, 2007 13:56:42

From the south, drive through the center of Steinkjer (E6) and the sign to Egge will soon show up.

Egge is an area with several burial remains (33 in all) spread along the ridge (Eggevammen). Mainly mounds, but also 6 wide (diameter 18-29 m.) and lowlying stone-circles.
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In the cemetry stands this 2+ meter high stone:

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Helge burial site, Steinkjer

Prehistoric Norway Posted on Mon, May 28, 2007 13:29:36

Take road 762 towards Ogndal from the center of Steinkjer, after about 2,5 km follow the sign to Gravfelt 1,5 km. The site is located in a residental area, but has enough space. There are 2 large standing stones, each about 5 meters tall. One stonecircle with a center stone. Also large burial mounds.
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Behind the standing stone are the stone-circle.

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The public library in Steinkjer has an aerial photo of the area taken in 1960.

When you’re first out driving a visit to Bølareinen is higly recommended. Drive back to road 762 and continue north some hundred meters, ’till you reach road 763, follow this about 25 kilometers.

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