Monday, February 27, 2017

Just Read

"Si no leemos no sabemos escribir y si no sabemos escribir no sabemos pensar."
If we don't read we don't know how to write and if we don't know how to write we don't know how to think.

“The best way to learn about books," he said, "is to spend time with them, talk about them, defend them.”
Charlie Lovett, The Bookman’s Tale

Today I finished The Bookman's Tale. It came as quite a surprise to me that the author, Charlie Lovett, had found a way to court me and all bibliophiles with his literary style, replete with antique bookshops, ancient manuscripts, marginalia (a thing I knew about, but for which I didn't know there was a term), literary artefacts and forgeries. His writing is so enmeshed in the world of books that I was also compelled to read several biographies on Lovett, something I rarely do, and discovered that much like his characters, his own world as the son of  has been one immersed in the love of books since his birth. 

The main character of The Bookman's Tale is a young antiquarian bookseller who relocates from the Coast of North Carolina to the English Countryside, where he can become absorbed in collecting and restoring rare books to overcome a deep personal grief.

"Peter did not want to know people. What he wanted was to find that world-within-the-world where he could be himself by himself...
Peter discovered exactly what would protect him: books."

"He closed his eyes for a moment, imagining the cocoon of books, shielding him from all danger, inhaling deeply that familiar scent of cloth and leather and dust and words. His rushing pulse began to slow, and when he opened his eyes he scanned the shelves for something familiar - a title, an author, a well-remembered dust jacket design - anything that might ground him in the world of the known."

A couple of teasers: 
After the death of his wife, Peter Byerly, a young antiquarian bookseller, relocates from the States to the English countryside, where he hopes to rediscover the joys of life through his passion for collecting and restoring rare books. But when he opens an eighteenth-century study on Shakespeare forgeries, he is shocked to find a Victorian portrait strikingly similar to his wife tumble out of its pages, and becomes obsessed with tracking down its origins. As he follows the trail back to the nineteenth century and then to Shakespeare's time, Peter learns the truth about his own past and unearths a book that might prove that Shakespeare was indeed the author of all his plays.
A mysterious portrait ignites an antiquarian bookseller’s search through time and the works of Shakespeare for his lost love.
Hay-on-Wye, 1995. Peter Byerly isn’t sure what drew him into this particular bookshop. Nine months earlier, the death of his beloved wife, Amanda, had left him shattered. The young antiquarian bookseller relocated from North Carolina to the English countryside, hoping to rediscover the joy he once took in collecting and restoring rare books. But upon opening an eighteenth-century study of Shakespeare forgeries, Peter is shocked when a portrait of Amanda tumbles out of its pages. Of course, it isn’t really her. The watercolor is clearly Victorian. Yet the resemblance is uncanny, and Peter becomes obsessed with learning the picture’s origins.
As he follows the trail back first to the Victorian era and then to Shakespeare’s time, Peter communes with Amanda’s spirit, learns the truth about his own past, and discovers a book that might definitively prove Shakespeare was, indeed, the author of all his plays.

Lovett dedicates The Bookman's Tale to his father, who, as he says, "infected me with an incurable bibliomania." The Bookman's Tale is one of knowledgeable study of collectable manuscripts, original texts, inking, printing methods and more. It has intrigue, love, passions, deceit, arrogance, murder and more. It has everything of which a successful novel can boast, but yet is confined to the interests of a bookish elite, making this novel one set apart for a particular genre, book lovers, the same readers as those who adore Zafan's, The Shadow of the Wind, A.S. Byatt’s Possession and all the other texts whose tales are spun around the written word.

Friday, February 24, 2017

A Bit of Sunshine and Sevillian Tile

Welcome sunlight along Astorga's ancient Roman Wall casts a warm glow on the recently tiled neo-Mudejar fountain. Three local artists had their work transformed into glazed tiles by Sevillian artist and then sent back to be displayed here.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Nueva Semana

Guess what? You have a brand new week ahead of you to slay dragons, achieve goals, sweat more, gripe less and ditch the fear! Go!

Monday, February 20, 2017


Because Fibonacci, because homemade mayonnaise calls for perfect accompaniment, because broccoli and cauliflower were meant to have the love affair that would produce a whole new vegetable and garden fantasy. 

Por Fibonacci, porque la mayonesa casera pide un acompañamiento perfecto, porque el brócoli y la coliflor estaban destinados a tener un romance que produjese una nueva y fantástica hortaliza en la huerta.
Las inflorescencias del romanesco se configuran siguiendo la sucesión de Fibonacci, que matemáticamente se puede describir así:

#wintergarden #vegetableart #romanesco #romanescobroccoli#itreallylookslikethis

Sunday, February 19, 2017


Why are cameras suddenly drawn? Maybe just a simple February afternoon shutter showdown.
#paparazzi #february #newsboyscap #chartreuse #mustard yellow
#paseos #shutterbugs #nikkon #maragateria #castrillodepolvazares #sombra #migalga #arrieros #galgosofinstagram #sosgalgos #112galgo

Saturday, February 18, 2017


During the 13th century reading and writing was available to only the erudite few. The population instead relied on stained glass picture representations to convey celestial and philosophical matters. No other cathedral in Europe can boast of more stained glass windows per stone ratio, 1,765 square meters of glass divided into 31 church windows. The soul of God shining through Gothic art in all its color and light.
#gothic #artegotico #cathedrals #catedraldeleon #vidrieras#stainedglassart #glaziers #leon #colour #light

Friday, February 17, 2017

How to Discover the World

Befriend people that aren't your age.
Converse with someone whose first language isn't the same as yours.
Meet people from different social classes or groups than yours.
This is how you Discover the World.
This is how you Grow.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Thought You'd Rather Have Chocolates

Six years and he never misses a beat. "Thought you'd rather have chocolates than flowers this time," and he was right. 'And they're not Nestle's." Right about that, too (years of boycott). Some couples grow apart with time. So great when you grow to understand each other better and better, instead. Timeless friendship, endless love.
#valentines #rocherferrero #caramelo #love#chocolates #complicidad #nosentendemos#miamor #friendshipgoals #foreverfriends

Friday, February 10, 2017

Fifty Shades Darker

We get one movie per week in our little town, this one, showing now through Valentine's Day.
"Most women who meet real-life Christian Greys end up battered or in graveyards...women can put up with a lot of crap hoping things will change, but especially when it comes to real relationships with abusive partners, romance and an abuse-sympathizing plot are a really bad combination. Fifty Shades sells it as a good thing." 

When the 'Fifty Shades Darker' Ads Give You Disturbing Flashbacks You Know Something's Wrong.

Women are beaten and die every single day in domestic violence cases. I, for one, with my own suitcase of relational abuse baggage, am not going to spend one dime toward this kind of twisted misogynistic message.

Sunday, February 5, 2017

I Confess

To the degree that we base our hope in something or someone other than the Lord, to that degree the hope of the gospel will not comfort and satisfy us.
In John 6, Jesus confronts the crowds who have been following him with that truth. He says, in summary, "You are pursuing me out of a selfish motive, in the hopes that I will meet your physical needs. You're excited about me, but for the wrong reasons."
Let's be honest with ourselves. We too sometimes follow the King for the wrong reasons. Yes, we're excited about salvation and redemption, but we're equally as excited to experience physical blessings and a comfortable life, straight from the hand of God.

- Paul Tripp

At the University I'm teaching a TEFL Course and the unit this month is on Productive versus Receptive Language.
What does this have to do with your words? Remember, if "out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks," then what we say to ourselves, to others, and to God will reveal what we truly desire from the Lord.
If you were to listen to an audio recording of what you have said this past week or month or year, what desires would you discover? What theology would be revealed about how you understand and interpret God?