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08 October 2005

AUTUMN COLOURS - SRI LANKA


As the days darken and the nights draw in, Sandi Toksvig goes in search of autumn colour.

Also, Sandi discovers the history of a teardrop-shaped island, perched off the tip of Southern India, that was once known as the 'Clapham Junction' of the Indian Ocean - Sri Lanka . 


Presented by Sandi Toksvig

autumn leaves


This week's guests: 

Simon Toomer, Curator, The National Aboretum, Westonbirt, Gloucestershire
Simon has devoted his life to studying all aspects of forestry, woodland management, and arboriculture.

Last year Simon travelled around Massachusetts, Connecticut, Ohio and New York State, primarily to visit a number of arboreta.  Whilst there he witnessed the spectacular spread of Autumn colour in the mountains and forests across the north eastern states.  Leaf tourism or 'peeping' was traditionally a noble Japanese pastime but is popular in New England and, increasingly, in Britain .

Priyath Liyanage, journalist and screenwriter
Priyath is Head of the BBC's Sinhala Service at the World Service.  He left Sri Lanka in 1984 but returns several times a year. 
Priyath wrote the screenplay for acclaimed Sri Lankan film Ira Madiyama (2003), also know as August Sun, set in Sri Lanka during the mid-1990s.   It is on Channel 4 on November 11th.

Sir Christopher Ondaatje, writer and explorer
Sir Christopher was born in Ceylon, now Sri Lanka, in 1933 and lived what he calls "a pampered colonial existence" until he was sent to boarding school in England, aged 12.
His new book Woolf In Ceylon - An Imperial Journey in the Shadow of Leonard Woolf 1904-1911 has just been published.  Leonard Woolf is admired in Sri Lanka for his novel Village in the Jungle based on the time he spent as a civil servant at the height of British Imperialism.

Additional information: 

Autumn colours in Britain 

Maine Fall Foliage 

Massachusetts Fall Foliage

Woolf in Ceylon : An Imperial Journey in the Shadow of Leonard Woolf 1904-1911
Christopher Ondaatje
Publisher: HarperCollins ( Canada ) Ltd
ISBN: 0002007185

Village in the Jungle
Leonard Woolf
Publisher: Oxford Paperbacks
ISBN: 0192813129

Foreign and Commonwealth Office: advice for travel to Sri Lanka

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PRESENTER BIOGRAPHIES
Sandi ToksvigSandi Toksvig:
The daughter of a foreign correspondent, Sandi has been travelling all her life more info

John McCarthy John McCarthy is a widely travelled journalist and presenter with a particular interest in the Middle East.
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