8 Kaminoyama: Promoted to weed-cutter

Hooked horseshit today.  I missed the rake.  Each stall took an eternity.

Far less chaff though. And earnt praise from farmer.

No bond with horses yet.  Each visit a showdown.

Said good morning to them today, trying to make friends.  One stall is covered with penants. Crept inside it. Struggled for 20 minutes to hook up all his golden nuggets.  Then he turned, kneed me in the ribs and shat all over his freshly-cleaned bed.

Grass-cutting: Driven down to farmer`s plum and prune orchard by the river in town. Handed a kusakariki, electric weed cutter, indispensable tool in this fertile land.

Orchard inundated with rain last night.  Rivers overflowing all over Yamagata.  Town tannoy announced the waterpipes are blocked. Even all the baths are shut. Rain is a curse and a blessing.

Breakfast tasted wonderful again.  In spite of fly swarms. Homegrown blueberry jam on toast.  Natto.  And homemade pickles.  (Not all at once)

Day of grape-wrapping.  Moyamoya muggy under vinyl roof.

Breaktime: Sweetbean wafers and hot wheat tea in handle less cups again. Farmer talked about a four-legged intruder, a hakubishin (masked palm civet).  Eventually caught it in a trap. Farmer hasn`t forgotten the break-in. Or forgiven it I don`t think.  Plastic bags of dog hair now hang from trees to scare off others.

Local radio broadcasts prefecture`s high school baseball matches: a static-spiked jumble of names and numbers. And the local news.  A 24 hour surveillance camera has been installed to monitor the Zao volcano.  Hope it behaves.

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