Tufted Duck


Tufted Duck

Good news all around here. We dodged the bullet of last night’s storms. We lost power briefly and I had to clean-up many small branches in the yard, but there was no damage. Unlike all the reports of storm damage on Facebook and the news. Round two is tonight, so keep your fingers crossed.

Today was Anne’s last day of school. She didn’t have to teach today. Today was sort of a play day at school. It was the annual field day and it didn’t rain! She delivered not one, but two new baby quilts to new and prospective mothers. I’ll post pictures of them soon.

Also, Dan got word today that Glow Forge has begun shipping the laser cutter that he had ordered from them. It has only been about a year and a half. You could tell that he was excited about it.

Finally, I got notice that today is this blog’s anniversary. I have been posting to it daily for nine years now. Who would have thought that I would persist?

Addendum: Dave has set his thesis defense date for June 15th!

When the Lions Drink


Lion’s Head Mooring Rings

When the lions drink, London will sink
When it’s up to their manes, we’ll go down the drains
When the water is sucked, you can be sure we’re all… [in trouble]

Lining the quay along the River Thames, at regular intervals, in central London are these bronzed lion mooring rings. Originally installed as part of a Victorian sewer project, the legend has since grown that they also act as a flood warning system. Superstitious Londoners have come to believe that the lions keep watch on the Thames. The preceding rhyme describes how to interpret their flooding forecast. Thankfully, the lion’s accuracy has not had to be tested, yet. 

Ripples in Time


Greenwich Paving Stones

I like the way that these stones were laid. Their concentric-intersecting pattern reminds me of ripples on a pond after successive pebbles were thrown into the water, where newer ripples erase older ones as they all continue to arc outwards from their different origins. I can imagine some child, standing on the bank and hurling rocks that send water striders skittering from one tsunami to the next. An imaginary scene that is frozen in time, but captured by these stone’s layout.

Some might call these cobble stones, but Harry, my Father-in-Law would be quick to correct their error. These are cut stones. Their rectangular shape shows that they have been worked. A cobblestone is a rounded unworked stone, such as one plucked out of a stream bed. ‘Paving stone’ ambiguously covers both.

These stones cover a courtyard at the Greenwich observatory, where a metal bar is inlaid that signifies the Prime meridian. I was standing on that bar when I took this picture, so you can think of these ripples of stone as emanating out from it. Looking at this pattern, within that context, the phrase, a ripple in time, comes to mind.  I wonder it that was the artisan’s intent?

Look Right


Look Right

Wandering about London on foot we were frequently greeted with stenciled directions on the pavement telling us to either Look Right or Look Left or sometimes Look Both Ways. These warning signs were placed there in the hope of saving the lives of visiting non-Britons. In London and all of Great Britain people drive on the left, which is the opposite of what the rest of Europe does and what we do in the United States. Truth be told though, there are so many one-way streets and roads are so non-rectilinear that anyone could use these missives, because there frequently was no telling where the traffic was going to be coming from. We observed these warnings and generally didn’t jaywalk, did a lot of walking, had a good time in London and lived to tell the tale.

Ancient Antiquity


Eagle-headed Protective Spirit

The relief to the right portrays an Eagle-headed protective spirit that is Assyrian in origin, from Nimrod, Temple of Ninurta and dates to 860-865 BC. It is carved from gypsum. The temple is located in what is now northern Iraq, but Nimrod was also a place named after a person. Nimrod is mentioned in the Bible as the great-grandson of Noah and he is attributed to be the builder of the Tower of Babel. In other news of ancient antiquity, we both enjoyed a quiet day today. Anne got today off and we puttered around the house, each dedicated to their chosen chores, resulting in domestic domesticity.