Tag Archives: Equinox

Equinox at Zero Degrees Longitude

We took a boat ride along the Thames River to Greenwich (say “Grin-Itch”) last Wednesday.  Before we left the Westminster Wharf, I did a quick brush-pen version from the boat of what I saw across the river:  the “London Eye”, which is a big ferris wheel that is one of the new London icons, the Millenium Bridge, the aquarium, a Very Big Lion Statue… and given all the impossible details, it felt like it should follow the technique I developed for the Koln Cathedral piece:

Abstract sketch of London Eye

"London Eye" by Kerry McFall, ink and colored pencil

 The jaunt upriver lasted about an hour, and the weather for Autumnal Equinox was, just as the BBC predicted, “Dark gray, then light gray, then white, then blue.”  What a great way to phrase the weather forecast – the color of the sky!  None of this Pacific Northwest double-talk like, “partly cloudy with a chance of drizzly misty light intermittent probably pretty wet rain”;  just what color the sky will be, and if you have an ounce of sense you can figure out what to wear from there!  We explored the village of Greenwich, which like the entire rest of London is currently covered in scaffolding because it’s being re-built or re-painted or fluffed up or whatever for the Olympics.  After a nice pub lunch, we ducked in to the Royal Maritime museum briefly, but the highlight was of course the Royal Observatory, where Longitude 0 degrees 0 minutes and 0 seconds is located, along with a remarkable number of very old clocks that actually tick (remember that scene in the movie Hook with all the old clocks ticking ominously?).  If you’re not obsessed with maps like Griff is, you may not realize that standing there on that imaginary global line is one of those really cool geography things that you simply MUST do if you’re in the neighborhood.  The view from up there – which is seriously the closest thing to a hill we’ve seen since we landed on this flat little island – is fabulous, and by the time we got to the top, we were at the white to blue sky transition, so it was really memorable.  Equinox at Zero, once in a lifetime.