Sunday, 30 December 2018


"A gem cannot be polished without friction, nor a man perfected without trials" - Seneca

Apologies for my absence, it certainly wasn't due to anything interesting. In fact we have had one or two technical problems here at the Casa Epictetus. The least of these was that my adblocking software suddenly took a dislike to my own blog. I think we can all see where it was coming from, but even so it's a bit much.

My mind has started to turn to my review of the year - don't tune in tomorrow should that prospect not be to your taste - and it occurred to me that I had never followed up on my intention to write about my trip to Andalusia. The moment has well and truly passed, and you don't really need me to tell you just how astonishing a place the Alhambra is, or that the Mosque-Cathedral in Cordoba runs it close.

So instead I shall just mention that there were resonances with some of the things that this blog has touched on in the past: the great Stoic philosopher Seneca was born in Cordoba; I was interested to learn that a number of the Cairo scenes from 'Lawrence of Arabia' were filmed in Seville; and I visited the Federico Garcia Lorca cultural centre in Granada.

Let's finish with some Lorca.

“The river Guadalquivir
Flows between oranges and olives
The two rivers of Granada
Descend from the snow to the wheat

Oh my love!
Who went and never returned

The river Guadalquivir
Has beards of maroon
The two rivers of Granada
One a cry the other blood

Oh my love!
Who vanished into thin air” 

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