Otium cum dignitate.
Brilliant brilliant.But Rick Astley is mine. Y'all know that. Don't you?Mine.Never gonna give hime up.
Lilith: Off topic, but something for Calfy before she sets off for the sand dunes (snitched from The Diplomat magazine which I came across whilst looking for something else....) "One of my first impressions on arrival in Damascus was the closeness within which everyone lives – stepping out on to a courtyard balcony without consideration to one’s state of dress or undress could provoke embarrassment or even offence, as neighbours can see into everyone’s house, everyone’s life. It reminded me of old, outdoor cinemas in Greek cities nestled within a horseshoe of housing blocks, where residents would peer from their balconies in unison with the audience at the screen. But it is as if the proximity encased by the architecture instils a greater sense of respect for personal boundaries and courteous interaction. This may explain why, in a land erroneously perceived as an Islamic state, the old cities of Damascus and Aleppo still retain Christian (and in the case of Damascus) Jewish quarters, living relics from their histories. Both cities vie for the title of the oldest continuously inhabited city in the world. Numerous civilisations, tribes and beliefs have clashed on their land, but its crucial positioning in terms of trade routes – from the Mediterranean and Africa to Asia and the Far East – has necessitated and even ensured the co-habitation of differences. Trade, and the fulfilment it generates, ultimately overrides sectarianism.If Syria were woven from a cloth, it would be multicoloured: although 90 per cent of the population are Muslim and 10 per cent Christian, there are a multitude of sects that brush alongside rather than against each other, and with them a variety of cathedrals and churches as well as mosques. Other than Islam’s two main branches of Sunni and Shia, there are the Alawites and the Druzes (both stemming off the Shiite branch). Then there are the Syrian Catholics, the Maronites, the Jacobites, the Armenian Orthodox Church, the Greek Orthodox Church and the Greek Catholics. Although there were gates within the Old City of Damascus dividing up the Muslim, Christian and Jewish quarters, these have now disappeared, and sometimes the only clue that one is in the Christian quarter are the death notices – public obituaries headed by a Christian cross – that are posted onto walls. This sense of overlap and shared ground is embodied by the awe-inspiring Umayyad Mosque of Damascus, Islam’s first great mosque, which was built on and incorporates fragments of a Roman temple to Jupiter as well as a Byzantine basilica.This religious patchwork isn’t just historical. I saw Qur’an booksellers sheltering under Roman arches who were also selling what looked like Christmas decorations: shiny tinsel and geometric pendants, shimmering temptingly like belly dancers in the breeze, waiting to be bought for Eid al-Fitr. This is the three-day festivity to celebrate the end of Ramadan, brought by the sighting of the new moon, as the Islamic calendar (unlike our Gregorian solar one) is lunar. As I queued up for my prayer beads and tinsel, I never felt more at one with the world and at home within it."She will enjoy Syria; it hasn't changed in centuries.
PS: Brill video too!
Very clever that Lils!Pips is getting a bit possessive isn't she...?I must be the only one who can't understand how to get on her blog, she keeps telling me how, and I still don't get it.
Wow Lils: Barack certainly is a neat mover.Pip: You can't have Rick, he's already mine, whats more, he only lives down the road from me...Ha!Di.x
Scrobs - I don't get it either; 7 years today. Around 3:30pm actually (and best forgotton). Seriously though EMAIL ME!!!Trubes you can'tpossibly have Rick because in the 80's it was 'our tune'. Nuff said!
nomad, thanks for that comment :)
Calfy: As you will learn, the appropriate response to your note is : "Ahlen" (pronounced ahlaane), roughly the equivalent of "you are most welcome".N
rick rolled, the best one yet..
Pip, you can keep him. But I love "Strong Man" :-)Blue Eyes :-)Nomad, Ahlen, thank you for your comment. It makes me want to go. Poor Calfy is miserable about not being there right now. I am slightly relieved.Scrobs, you had any luck? Shall I email you Pip's email?Trubes, see my reply to Pip. You have illustrious neighbours ;-)Bill, it's the best I've seen.
Lils - I didn't keep him, I ditched him. Another one who tried to put chains on me. I just kept the Rick Astley tape. my personal fave is 'Cry for Help'. I know - bizarre!I like 'strong man' too, and 'Hold me in your arms'.
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