May 30, 2008

Great Falls Historical Distric Cultural Center in Paterson New Jersey

Those of us who grew up in NJ don't normally associate natural beauty with Paterson - but here is the proof!

May 26, 2008

Thames Barrier and Thames Path

We have set ourselves a goal of walking the Thames from source past the Thames Barrier (184 miles) and on to the River Darent (9 more miles). Most walkers stop at the Thames Barrier because the "Working River" is quite industrial as we now know! We even caught the bus from the Belvedere Industrial Centre back to the train.

The Thames Barrier is the 2nd largest movable flood control barrier (523 metres) in the world. It is closed in the event of a storm tidal surge combined with a high tide to protect the Thames upstream. This is why we can live happily on the Thames in Kew and not be concerned with flooding ("touch wood" as the Brits say).

As of 24th May 2008, we have walked from Staines to River Darent. The walk gets prettier and prettier as we walk upstream. Part of the adventure is finding our way to each starting point, a place to lunch, and our way home. And we get some exercise as a bonus!

May 17, 2008

British Library Ramayana

Kris especially loved this comprehensive Ramayana exhibit which included over 100 17th-century Indian manuscript paintings. We were both impressed with how many countries depicted this great epic in some form or another. Since we could not take pictures, I included the British Library website picture and explanation on how to interpret this painting.

"The Ramayana manuscripts commissioned by Rana Jagat Singh of Mewar (1628-1652) were illustrated on the grandest scale so that no episode or detail of importance was omitted. This necessitated the revival of the ancient narrative method of simultaneous narration used in both sculpture and painting. In European or Islamic illustration, each picture usually concentrates on depicting a single episode of the story - but in the Indian method, each picture might capture several episodes in the story so that the characters appear more than once in the same picture. In the example shown above, reading anti-clockwise, we can follow Rama, Bharata and Satrughna from the top of the hill, down to the river (in the lower right corner) and back up again to where they sit outside the hut."