I just finished my few induction days at Trent Park campus of Middlesex University. My classes are starting properly tomorrow and I’m hoping that they will be the start of something both enjoyable and valuable. I’m studying English Language and Communication with a minor in Publishing and Media and possibly Creative Writing also – I’ve always been interested in language and our understanding of it and I’m hoping to learn how to communicate more effectively myself.
The campus itself is really beautiful – it’s an old country mansion that once belonged to Richard Jebb, the personal doctor to King George III (the one that went mad!). Apparently King George gave him the property as a present after against the opinion of everyone, he diagnosed him ‘not mad’ !
In the spring, the front of the campus is covered in a carpet of yellow daffodils – something I can’t wait to see myself. It reminds me of a scene in the movie Big Fish…
I passed my driving test a couple of weeks ago and it’s just beginning to dawn on me what new freedom it has brought. For some reason, I always had in the back of my mind that when I could finally drive, I wanted to go on a mini road trip (ten minutes away!) with my brother and sister to a nearby river that we have visited our whole lives. The river site is the property of the National Trust so it’s very well looked after and is reached by a small country lane that is overgrown with oak trees on both sides. Today we finally did it! We set out at just the right time – the sun was just beginning to set – that beautiful golden time when everything glows. We drove with the windows down through the tunnel of green as the setting sun flashed on and off through the trees. Finally we got to the little lake that sits in the middle of the river. Kicking off our shoes, we ran into the water and splashed about, feeling the squelchy algae between our toes! The water was bordered by reeds and pink and white flowers and we picked some as we explored up the river. The willows above swished and the sky slowly turned from pink to lilac to dark blue, a last burst of sunshine illuminating the few clouds. We walked down a horse path and through some fields with bare feet, singing, swatting clouds of descending insects and jumping on the biggest clods of earth. Back at the car I realised, the simplest moments in life can be the most perfect…..
Finished a painting today that I have tinkering with for the past few weeks – it’s still not exactly how I wanted it but I guess it can be a good thing to be unsatisfied…
After the complete rainy season, the forest of Vrndavana was full of fruits like dates and blackberries, ripening on trees and bushes. Lord Sri Krsna, along with his elder brother Sri Baladeva, and other cowherd boys of the vicinity, entered the beautiful forest, accompanied by the cows, to display transcendental pastimes with his eternal friends.
When the Lord entered the forest of Vrndavana, all the inhabitants of the forest, both animate and inanimate were eager to receive him. He saw that the flowers of the forest, all fully blossoming, were weeping in ecstasy, honey flowing down their petals. The waterfalls on the hilly rocks were gladly flowing, and one could hear sweet sounds from the caves nearby.
The fully beautiful scenery after the rainy season was attractive to the eyes of everyone, including Sri Krsna, the cause of all causes.
– from Light of the Bhagavata by Srila A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
for more photos see http://www.flickr.com/photos/jahnavi
I had a really nice time yesterday, celebrating Rathayatra (Festival of Chariots) down in Brighton. It was a beautifully clear and hot day, and predictably, there were thousands of people down at the beach. Brighton is a particularly appropriate place to hold a Rathayatra, visually anyway, as the practice of pulling decorated carts, bearing forms of the Lord, , originated in the coastal town called Jagannatha Puri in Orissa, India. Therefore, as opposed to London Rathayatra, (which I missed this year – I was on the Hare Krishna Youth Bus Tour in the US – more about that later) where the carts are pulled down often fairly quiet hotel lined streets before reaching Trafalgar Square, being near the sea makes the whole festival seem more evocative of the original celebration – still held every year in Puri!
Jagannatha Swami, Nayana Patha Gami, Bhava Tu Me
O Lord of the Universe! Kindly be visible unto me!
<>I love their distinctive smell – the way they remind me of Krishna, of fields and festivals and of cool mornings before a hot day, reaching down under the dew speckled canopy of sunny petals to hear the satisfying, full, green POP!
Wow my very first blog – I must confess it’s a little nerve wracking posting for the first time, knowing that unlike a diary – other people may read this! Well I’ve just come home from my first dance class of term. I’m studying South Indian classical dance (bharatanatyam) and I’ve just moved up to the senior class at Srishti Dance School – meaning I’m now dancing from 9-4 on a Saturday, not to mention the other 4 and a half hours in the week. Though it sounds a lot (to me right now anyway), there really is something to be said for the feeling that you get when you really immerse yourself in something and push yourself to improve . It’s a cliched saying that nothing beats hard work, but it never rings more true than when you’re in dance class, sweating, struggling to get something right, calves and shoulders burning, trying to both concentrate and make it look effortless, trying to push further and turn faster and jump higher and finally – it just clicks! If only the real world were as simple…