Janet's thread

A weblog, mostly about knitting but other topics appear

Remembering Bhutan April 10, 2018

Filed under: Bhutan,Tiger's Nest — Janet @ 4:17 pm

bhutan-paro-taktsang-monastery-tigers-nest.rend_.tccom_.966.544  Tiger’s Nest Monastery

This image of Tiger’s Nest Monastery is from Google Images – but somewhere I have my own photos that I took of this sacred place in 1986.  My husband and I hiked up from the starting point in Paro – if I remember correctly it was a 2 1/2 to 3 hour gentle ascent.  It was pretty tiring and I thought at the time I was only going to do it once in my life.  But oh it was so spectacular and rewarding.

I must search in my box of photos labelled of course Bhutan.


People and Places April 3, 2018

Filed under: Bhutan,Family memories,Family photographs,Thimphu Bhutan — Janet @ 7:05 pm

2018_04_03_11_15_25.pdf001  Our house in Thimphu Bhutan, our son David sitting in the doorway, and our wonderful Puppy on the grass in front

I’ve been scanning some old photos.  What memories!!  Did we really live in this Royal Kingdom for 2 years back in the 1980’s?  It was magical!


Norwegian Folk Art – Rosemaling May 14, 2017

Filed under: Art,Art works,Artists,Bhutan,Calligraphy,Design,Folk Art,Norway — Janet @ 12:25 am

I have just participated in a 2 day workshop on Rosemaling Painting – a Norwegian folk art tradition.  I kept thinking of our years in Bhutan where we were absolutely surrounded by a rich tradition of traditional painting.  And I kept thinking of the art of calligraphy and the art traditions of China and Japan.  I’m prompted to explore the connections between these various traditions and influences and interconnections.

national-arts-school-or-painting-schooldedicated-students-on-4-6-year-djby5x  NNNn

National Art School Thimphu Bhutan


A Royal Archer January 10, 2017

Filed under: Ancestors,Ancestry,Archery,Bhutan,Family Tree,Genealogy — Janet @ 6:19 pm

My 12th Great Grandfather Miles Crosby 1483-1538 was a Royal Archer during the reign of King Henry VIII.  I love these discoveries in my genealogy.

Royal Archer

Incidentally – I reminisce and think of our 2 years 1985-87 in Bhutan where archery is the national sport.  We would regularly see competitions and celebrations presumably when good scores were made.


Bhutan In The Headlines October 21, 2016

Filed under: Bhutan,Family history,Family memories,Nepal,Refugees — Janet @ 4:58 pm

It’s not often that you see a headline story about the tiny country of Bhutan, but such was the case when I picked up the Seattle Times a few days ago.  In a way it was a heartwarming story – but also a sad one.  The Nepalese are/were a minority community in this Himalayan Kingdom.  But during the years we were there in the late 1980’s there were rumblings of expelling the Nepalese, even though they had been there for generations.

The headline story in the Seattle Times made this very personal.  Here was a Nepalese/Bhutanese family – the family members had been separated for many years.  They were among the more than 100,000 ethic Nepalis who were expelled from Bhutan in the early 1990’s (this was just after we left).  In 1992, 15 members of the Biswas family fled their home in southern Bhutan in the back of a truck.  They had sold their livestock and the land they had farmed for generations. They crossed India and found safety in a refugee camp in eastern Nepal.

Starting in 2009 waves of the family were resettled in Tukwila in South King County Seattle.  The headline and feature article featured the last of the family to arrive here in Seattle from the refugee camp.  A happy ending to a sad story.

For more details and pictures see the Seattle Times, October 17, 2016

I hope there is a happy ending for our many Nepalese friends we knew in Bhutan.




Royal Hike To Tigers Nest Monastery In Bhutan April 15, 2016

Filed under: Bhutan,Pilgrimage — Janet @ 5:51 pm

GTY_royals_in_bhutan_01_as_160415_4x3_992  admiring the view

I have my own photograph taken from this point in 1986 – a monk was sitting in the foreground.  It was a very tough hike.  I couldn’t do it now!


UNV Programme February 25, 2016

Filed under: Adventure,Bhutan,Family memories — Janet @ 3:32 pm

Roaming the internet, i.e. reading Facebook messages, I saw a post from the United Nations Volunteer Programme in Bangladesh.  Memories were triggered.  I was a UNV once upon a time in Bhutan!  A speech writer for His Majesty the King.

lopi-cardigan-close-up-resized  I can’t find a Bhutan photo but this is me back in time wearing a very warm Icelandic type hand knit sweater – essential in winter in Bhutan


Olathang Hotel – Paro Bhutan October 11, 2015

Filed under: Bhutan,Festivals,Thankas,Travel — Janet @ 5:02 pm

It’s not often that one meets someone who has stayed at this hotel in Bhutan and who has witnessed the rolling up of the magnificent thanka at the Paro Tsong.

Hotel Olathang – Paro
Hotel Olathang ParoEstablished in 1974 for guests invited to the coronation of His Majesty the King Jigme Singye Wangchuk, Hotel Olathang is Bhutan’s largest hotel sprawling over 28 acres of wooded land situated atop a hill overlooking the visually stunning and historically fascinating Paro valley.

Hotel Olathang was formerly under Bhutan Tourism Corporation (BTC) till 1991, after which it was incorporated into a Public Limited Company under the banner Bhutan Tourism Corporation Ltd (BTCL). Since then, it has been extensively upgraded and renovated over the years.

The hotel is beautifully located amidst blue pine forests and lush greenery exuding an ambience of peace and tranquility, enthralling visitors with its close intimacy with nature. The architectural design and structure of its facilities presents a purely Bhutanese touch and feel to it, at the same time maintaining modern amenities, ensuring guests a warm and comfortable stay.With its well-trained and highly professional team, guests are rendered services with the unmistakable and unique charm of Bhutanese hospitality.


A Few Photos From Bygone Days December 14, 2010

Filed under: Bhutan,Family,Family history,Life Oversea,Nepal — Janet @ 10:20 pm

I continue to find photos in the various archives that I am sorting through.  Here are a few snippets.

  1985 or 1986, at my loom Glimokra loom which I had included in our shipment to Bhutan – this was a lovely spot  for the loom in our house.  Look at that sunshine, and note the sweater I am wearing – nice and warm, handknit from Nepal.  ( The sweater was purchased for me by a friend in Bangladesh who travelled to Nepal and brought it back for me.  It was only a couple of years later that I got to wear it in Bhutan)     Our living room there in Bhutan was very big – and very cold in the winter unless the sun was shining or we were nestled near the Bukari, the woodburning stove

a postcard of a painting in the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam.  Vincent Van Gogh (1853-1890), Wever en weefstoel, 1884, The loom    

In London one time we were visiting one of the sons and we were wandering around in the Antiques Market in Chelsea.  I saw a painting which reminded me of this one.  I dithered about buying it – 100 pounds seemed like a lot and besides how could we get the painting back to Dublin.  Alas, I didn’t buy it and I’m sure you can tell that I have regretted that ever since.

Rugweaving at a workshop in Kathmandu, Nepal, 1983

  rugweaving, Kathmandu, 1983, note the cartoon of the dragon pinned up at the top of the loom – we bought several rugs in Bhutan that had that pattern so this workshop might have been where they were coming from.

I’m not sure – this workshop might have been a workshop for Tibetan refugees.  Maybe someone can fill me in here.


Fortuitous Meetings October 6, 2010

Filed under: Bhutan,Memories,Middlebury College — Janet @ 7:43 pm

Just a few notes and photos to follow-up to what I forgot to write yesterday.

On Sunday Ian and I went with our visitors to Fremont Market.  A very popular Sunday Street Market here in Seattle.  We had an enjoyable lunch in the Greek Restaurant – Costas- on the corner there near the Market and then went wandering.   We found lots of enticing items as we wandered along and also enjoyed just people and dog watching.  We wandered down the street, then back up.  Kaysea’s husband Gordon had found someone he wanted Kaysea to meet.  The seller at the Maple Syrup stand.  Kaysea and I had earlier passed him by, agreeing that much as we liked to consider ourselves as New Englanders, we found maple syrup a bit too sweet.  Gordon, though, had chatted with the seller and found that he was from Vermont and that his grandfather had been a professor at Middlebury College there in Middlebury Vermont.  Well, Kaysea was Class of 63 and I was Class of 58.  The grandfather in question was Tom Reynolds, a very popular professor of American History.  I had read in the College Magazine that Professor Reynolds had recently passed away, in his 90s.  He could well  be the the last of the professors who were there in my years, 1954-58.  I have a strong image of him as he was as a  young man.  His courses were very popular.  It seemed so strange to meet his grandson and hear my former college professor referred to affectionately as grandpa.  His grandson is sort of following in his footsteps – he is studying for a PhD in public administration here at the University of Washington.  The maple syrup that he is selling there in Fremont Market is from the family farm located in the far northeastern corner of northern Vermont.  The grandson, Trask, explained that Professor Reynolds bought that farm after he was discharged from the army after the 2nd World War.  It was wonderful talking with Trask – what a nice connection to the past to  make there in Fremont Market.

The other item I forgot to write about yesterday was the person to my left at the dinner table on Saturday night.  It turned out that he, Jeff, had been in Bhutan recently.  Not only that, but in addition to his work with the Snow Leopard Trust, he runs a travel business which includes tours to Bhutan.  I asked him if he took the over 70’s – his reply was of course.  Hmm.  I wonder if we would want to return.

Now for a few photos, some  which I happen to have found this morning:

  1987, Christmas time outside our house in Thimphu, a gathering of family and friends

  Thimphu Market, cloth for sale

  and cloth for sale in a shop in Thimphu

  spindle spinning, Thimphu, Bhutan

  preparing a warp, Thimphu, Bhutan

Street muscians and passersby in Fremont Market, Seattle, October 2010