Sunrises and sunsets (Posadas)

Hi folks! I hope that you are keeping well in health and spirits…

I just wanted to share a few sunrise and sunset photos that I took over the last couple of days, from here in Posadas (province of Cordova in Andalusia).

Well, that’s it for now. Thanks for visiting! Take care xxx

ON MY WAY…

Hi folks! I hope this finds you all in good health and spirits.

Just a brief post to say that I probably won’t be writing ‘til the beginning of November as tomorrow I will be leaving for England and will be staying there until the end of October.

I am excited and nervous as it has been almost two years since I last saw my mother and brother. Emotions run high.

Anyway, what better than include a sunset photo and a prayer for travellers? So here goes…

Irish blessings for those who travel

«May the road rise to meet you,
May the wind be always at your back,
May the sun shine warm upon your face,
The rains fall soft upon your fields and,
Until we meet again,
May God hold you in the palm of His hand.”

May God grant you always…
A sunbeam to warm you,
A moonbeam to charm you,
A sheltering angel, so nothing can harm you.”

May the Saints protect you
And bless you today
And may troubles ignore you
Each step of the way.”

God be on your road every way you go.”

Wishing you all a good October.

Take care!

Gilly xxx

Yet another gorgeous sunset in the skies above Posadas (Cordova) and Jelaluddin Rumi

Hello all!

Yes, I know I should be busy translating and not get distracted by my blog, but I just couldn’t resist putting in this quick one of yesterday’s gorgeous sunset. (Thanks to my daughter’s phone the photos have come out quite well this time — haha!)

The photos remind me of one of the esoteric quotes of Jalāl ad-Dīn Mohammad Rūmī, the greatest Sufi mystic and poet in the Persian language:

«Only from the heart you can touch the sky.»

Jalāl ad-Dīn Mohammad Rūmī, born c. September 30, 1207 Balkh (now in Afghanistan) — died December 17, 1273, Konya (now in Turkey)

Thanks for visiting!

Take care — bye for now xxx

The sun makes its exit!

‘Your light is more magnificent than sunrise or sunset…Its the Light that outshines all’

Jalāl al-Dīn Rūmī (Balkh 1207-1273) the greatest Sufi mystic and poet in the Persian language

And here is yesterday’s sunset…

Going…
…going…
gone!

Take care! xxx

A beautiful evening sky and Ode to the Sunset!

Greetings!

The sunset over Posadas (Cordova) last night was inspiring…

The Sunset, Woven of Soft Lights — Katharine Lee Bates (1895-1929, Massachusetts)

The sunset, woven of soft lights
And tender colors, lingers late,
As looking back on all day’s dreary plights,
Compassionate;

— The foolish day of hopes so high,
Who counts her hours by blunders now,
Yet wears at last this jewel-crown of sky
Upon her brow.

Out to eternity she goes,
Not for her failure scorned, but see!
Our poor day flushed with beauty, one more rose
On God’s rose-tree

xxx

Sunrise, sunset (Posadas, Cordova)

Hello all! I just couldn’t resist putting up these photos of the morning sunrise and yesterday’s sunset. Rain’s forecast for today so it’s got a bit gloomy since then!

You can just spy the shadowy outline of the haunted castle of Almodóvar del Río in the distant left…
…but the sunrise wasn’t as bright as yesterday’s…
…though there was a lovely show of pinks and greys between the eucalyptus trees last evening at dusk

(You can see more of our local sunsets here and here)

Thank you for taking a look — take care! xxx

What I’ve been up to these days (in and around my country abode of Posadas in Cordova)

Hi folks! Firstly, I hope this finds you all in good health and spirits — these are difficult and testing times that we are living. We all have to get on as best we can and keep our spirits up, not just for ourselves, but those around us. After all, we are all brothers and sisters, aren’t we?

Anyway, I haven’t written for a while because I have fallen in love…

… fallen in love with these acrylic paint pens that I bought a little time ago and I just can’t be parted from them…

They are waterproof and non-toxic

So I wanted to share with you some of the things that I’ve painted since last I wrote…

Some of the smaller ‘golden’ stones with the flower motifs would be good as mosaic pieces, while the larger ones could serve as paperweights. I have written a description of where I got the stone from on the back, as a memento:–

Though the paint is water-resistant, I will be varnishing them before I then put them up for sale on my online shop and also a tourist shop in the Judería (Old Jewish Quarters) in Cordova town — that is, when the shop reopens again. Fingers crossed! (If you’re interested in any, then do let me know!)

We had a couple of promising cooler days last week where the temperatures only reached 33° C (= 91.4° F) so I painted outside in my D-garden. As you can see, I had some help (?) from my faithful friends, Sebastian and Little Grey.

However, temperatures have since risen to the 38° C mark (104° F), so I paint upstairs in my craft room, surrounded by heaps of inspiration, even if it is a little noisy due to the whirring and whining of the two inverters that have just been screwed to the wall and coupled up with the solar panels we have. (The price of electricity is EXORBITANT in Spain, notably so if you have 3-phase agricultural supply like we have. Our socialist president, Pedro Sanchez, really should do something about it, especially if he wants to win the next elections, which might be sooner than he thinks due to his handling of the Covid situation.)

Anyway, since painting stones has also involved quite a bit of sitting down, I decided that it was high time I went for a brisk walk, heat or no heat. So being a Sunday, I got up quite late, at around 8. (Also I slept late not only because of the evening heat that lingers, but because these days I usually end up doing some time of night-time vigil, watching over my vegetable patch as the wild boars still loom large. I usually hear the familiar grunts, but luckily the vegetables have remained unscathed. Fingers crossed again!)

And the aubergine’s steadily and safely growing, away from the boars’ tusks (even if a little out of focus!)

So I just thought I’d share with you a couple of photos from my dry, dusty walk in the neighbouring hills of the Sierrezuela. (If you’d like to know more about this area or see more photos, then you can check out some of my earlier blogs with Sierrezuela in the title. Sorry, still haven’t worked out how to put ‘Here’ to direct you straight to the link, unlike the many other of you who have managed to work it out…)

Last but not least, here are a couple of photos of last evening’s sunset.

Well, I think that’s all for now. Thank you for reading and as usual I welcome any of your comments or questions.

Bye for now — take care! xxx

Yesterday’s deluge here in the province of Cordova (Posadas)

Hi Folks! Writing this while sipping my mug of Tetley’s (tea, not beer) and still dressed in my PJs and dressing gown.

Dressing gown because, can you believe it, there has been a marked drop in temperatures after the heavy storms that we, here in Cordova province (and the rest of Spain) experienced yesterday. So now 21 °C (69.8 °F) at 8 a.m. feels cool! (Don’t worry, next week we’ll be up around the 45 °C mark again = 113 °F !)

It really chucked it down! Just a few kilometres to the north of where I live (the countryside of Posadas), in the Sierra Morena Range the hailstones were as big as walnuts, while in the south, in the plains of the Guadalquivir River, the towns and villages suffered a real deluge. One village in particular, Ecija (which is about forty minute’s drive south from my house) was a real washout. Here is a short video, you need to click on the link (good practise for your Spanish too!):- https://cadenaser.com/emisora/2020/08/11/radio_sevilla/1597164448_152224.html

Imágenes que circulan en las redes sociales de las calles de Estepa/SUR
A car being washed away by the torrential rain in Ecija yesterday

And Ecija, lying at about forty minutes’ drive from my house and actually in the province of Seville, is one of the hottest places in the Guadalquivir Valley, so much so that it is known as the ‘frying pan of Andalusia’! It is also known for its numerous church towers and steeples.

You can see the following link for some photos and also a brief overview of this historical and pretty town. There are loads of places to visit, ranging from the many churches, convents, manors, museums and archaeological sites. This link also includes an audio / video guide of some of the main places: http://www.turismoecija.com/en/

Church of la Limpia Concepción de Nuestra Señora
Hermitage of Virgen de la Valle

Stately home of the Granados family
Stately home of the Palmas family

Anyway, the storm once it passed, also left behind an impressive sky:

(In the above photos, you can see the hilliness of the land around my home and also the castle of Almodóvar del Río in the far distance. See my earlier blog for the history and legends of this castle — https://anenglishladyincordova.home.blog/2020/07/14/the-legend-of-the-enchanted-castle-of-almodovar-del-rio-province-of-cordova-andalusia/ — sorry, as yet I haven’t learnt how to put ‘HERE’ which will direct you straight to the link…)

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The medieval castle of Almodóvar del Río

And apart from the castle, I can also see from my bedroom bay window (where I am now sitting) the manure heap next to my vegetable patch. (What a lovely sight!) This is a very useful view because I can tell first thing in the morning whether there has been any wild boar activity at night (they are nocturnal creatures!). Just two nights ago I spotted him at about three in the morning, snorting and hoofing this manure pile and he was just inches away from the chicken wire that encircles my vegetable garden. I had to shout out loudly in order to scare him away — this also woke up Zeus and Dingo who started barking madly at him (from a distance, so luckily he wasn’t able to gatecrash my aubergine, peppers, tomatoes, cucumbers, chard and wilting spinach — the temperatures have been hot!).

Anyway, this morning it was my intention to write a humorous article about some of my first teaching experiences in Cordova (awful), but I think I’d better leave that for another day. For now, I will go for a cold shower (cold because it’s cloudy and there hasn’t been enough electricity generated by the solar panels to heat the water nor work the hairdryer, though we do have forty-five panels, eight huge batteries and two very noisy converters!). So after my cold shower I will go for a walk to the Sierrezuela Hills (you can read about this if you like in my earlier blogs entitled the Sierrezuela…. https://anenglishladyincordova.home.blog/2020/02/05/the-sierrezuela-posadas-cordoba-spain/), and there I will collect some flat, round stones to paint. (English classes in serious dwindle due to Covid.)

A walk under the pines in the Sierrezuela Periurban Park (which forms part of Hornachuelos National Park)

So I shall leave off for now, hoping this finds you all in good health and spirits.

Thank you for visiting me, and as usual, I am always welcome to any comments and questions.

Bye for now!

The legend of the enchanted castle of Almodóvar del Río (province of Cordova, Andalusia)

Sunrise over the castle of Almódovar del Río, looking east towards Cordova

Not only is this enchanted, medieval castle one of the best restored in Andalusia, but it is also known for having staged the seventh season of HBO’s Game of Thrones, and now more recently, chapter 3 of Netflix’s Warrior Nun(https://cordopolis.es/2020/07/08/el-castillo-de-almodovar-vuelve-a-las-pantallas-netflix-ya-ha-estrenado-warrior-nun/).

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In 1967, Camelot, starring Vanessa Redgrave and Franco Nero was filmed there, as well as the famous Martini advert (1972). Fourteen years later, in 1986, the castle was again the stage set for another film, Harem / Dardanelos with Ava Gadner, Nancy Traver, Omar Sharif and Silvia Marsó, as well as the children’s Dutch series Pippo in 2002, the Russian singer’s Tiger Cave video clip in 2015, and later, in 2019, for a Budweiser advert, among various documentaries that took place in between.

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However, the castle is wrapped in history and legend.

An indigo sunset over the castle
Looking east towards Córdoba as the sun rises

The legend of the castle dates back to the 11th century when Andalusia was part of the Moorish caliphate, under the rule of Berber Almohad tribe (from The Atlas Mountains). The caliph of Cordova (‘Qurṭuba’, in Arabic) at that time was Prince Abu Nasir al-Fatah al-Mamum; his beloved wife was Princess Zaida, now referred to as ‘La Encantá’ (‘The Enchanted’).

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However in 1091 (or round about then), the Almoravids launched a brutal attack on Cordova, wanting to claim this prosperous city for themselves. Princess Zaida was whisked off to Almodóvar castle where it was thought that she would be secure, and where she would await the safe return of her prince. Soon after, however, the fortress at Cordova fell, and with it, the prince. His assassination marked the end of the Almohad rule.

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The enchanted castle at night, illuminated by a golden aura and seranaded by ghostly medieval music

It is said that the princess woke up at the exact time of his death and wandered out to the Homage Tower dressed only in a white tunic. She searched long and hard into the horizon looking for her husband. Her eyes though, were met only with the sight of his white stallion galloping riderless towards the castle. She was filled by despair and fell into a state of depression. 

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Princess Zaida continued living within the confines of the castle as if a prisoner, accepting the attention only of her handmaids. Every night she would wander to the Homage Tower where she would look out across the Guadalquivir Valley in the direction of Cordova, anxiously awaiting the return of her beloved.

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The legend holds that on the 28th of March, one can spot the princess attired in her white gown, forlornly roaming the tower in search of her loved one.

The story is remembered every year when, during the 28th and 31st of March a play is acted out on a stage that forms part of the Medieval market named in Princess Zaida’s honour. The market is called ‘Zoco de la Encantá’ (The Enchanted’s Souk) and takes place upon the slopes of the castle’s Cerro de la Floresta hill.

If you would like to read other similar stories or know more about me and this neck of the woods where I live (the province of Córdoba, the Sierra Morena and the Guadalquivir Valley), you can find out more from my fully-illustrated, humorous book, An English Lady in Cordova — the ‘Alternative’ Guide available at https://www.etsy.com/es/shop/GillysWork?ref=search_shop_redirect

I hope you’ve enjoyed this blog – thank you for reading!

My beautiful bougainvillea and jacaranda

Hi folks! I’m back again, but this time I’m going to be short and sweet (as my mother forewarned me! ‘Keep it short and simple!’ was her advice). Was that a sigh of relief I heard?…

So, I just wanted to share this beautiful combination of colours with you: the intermingling of the blue jacaranda flowers with the pinky-mauve of the climbing bougainvillea in my country garden, here in Posadas (Cordova, Spain).

I hope you enjoy it!

And this was the majestic sky over the jacaranda tree and bougainvillea, just before sunset…

Thank you for visiting — see you soon — stay happy and well.

(PS: Next time I vow to use my camera and not my Samsung Galaxy — that is, if I manage to get through the PhD booklet of fancy instructions!)