‘A teardrop on the cheek of time’

The famous Indian Nobel-winning writer Rabindranath Tagore described the Taj Mahal as ‘a teardrop on the cheek of time.’

In 1631 Mumtaz Mahal, the third wife of Emperor Shah Jahan died during the birth of their 14th child. The emperor was so sad that he ordered a tomb to be built for her. The Taj Mahal was finished in 1648 and is now the tomb of both Mumtaz Mahal and Shah Jahan.

This is a picture of Mumtaz.



Taj Mahal

The Taj Mahal is more than 350 years old. It is near the city of Agra in India, not so far from the capital city New Delhi. Maybe you can see that the four towers are not straight, they lean away from the main building. This is because if there is an earthquake then the towers will  fall outwards and will not destroy the building!

It is one of the most famous buildings in the world.



In ancient Egypt there were seven known planets: the Sun, the Moon, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn. Each planet had a special day, and so the 7-day week started. Later the Romans also used this system, which we still have today.

However we now understand that the Sun is not like a planet, it is a star. And we have also decided that the Moon is not a planet because it does not orbit the Sun, it orbits the Earth, and is therefore a satellite.

Nevertheless the Sun has a day named after it: Sunday. The original Roman word was ‘solis’ which became ‘soleil’ in French and ‘sonn’ in German, and the Germanic goddess of the sun was ‘Sunne’, which is how the English word became ‘sun’.

The picture below is an old German ‘sun’ made from metal.


Mobile phone problem solved

Last April I wrote about my mobile phone problem.

Basically I was very happy with my phone, but  even though I didn’t use it so much, the battery needed recharging every evening. I tried to buy a new battery but my phone was three years old, a dinosaur, so this battery was no longer available. But I realised I was paying 300 yen a month for an internet/e-mail service, which I never used. So I canceled this service and saved the money.

Now I finally have a new phone. With all my points and the money I had saved it was free. I got a nice model with large keys and a bright screen, which are the most important things for me.