Cats on Campus?

The mysterious FCH cat..

I noticed yesterday that when I post important matters on the RPE Facebook group, I get a few likes – some intelligent comment – but when I post a picture of a cat on FCH campus: the likes go wild…

Now – everyone knows that I like cats, have cats, and have been known to include cat memes in presentations – but this fever for the campus cat seems beyond reason?

If you spot the cat on site – email me a picture and I’ll pop it on our course Flickr page at


Meditation visit..

Many thanks to Justin Whitaker, who came to do a meditation practice with year 2 yesterday. The meditation was a metta-bhavana practice, and we had a discussion of the practice before and after.  Justin is also the author of the influential American Buddhist Perspective blog, and students can read more there…

I also interview Justin about meditation in Buddhism on our video-bloh here too:

The Prezi from last week’s class on Meditation is also available.

Cordoba 2014…

So – we set off at 3am on 11th March for Spain – and after some exciting coach, plane, coach and walking: we arrived at our Hotel in Cordoba by early afternoon. We went on our usual orientation tour, featuring supermarkets, chemists, museums, fast and slow food outlets and a general bit of wandering around – culminating in Plaza Corredera for an early evening drink..

Looking back from Calahorra Tower towards the Mezquita

That allowed for an early start on the Wednesday at the Torre de la Calahorra museum – this is a museum (with audio headphone guides!) that covers the ‘Golden Age’ and talks of Muslim, Christian and Jewish life in the region – it culminates on the roof of the tower – where we have 5 years of pictures (only one in actual rain!) 

Also on the Wednesday – we went to the Alcázar de los Reyes Cristianos to look at the site used for the Alcazar – and get a sense of its history. Then to the Archaeological Museum – for a glance at Cordoba’s more ancient (mostly Roman) past.
Imma with students in the Mezquita / Cathedral of Cordoba

We met Imma – our expert tour guide – for the tour of the Mezquita / Cathedral – which is a highlight of the trip for many.
The tour took us from the Mezquita courtyard to the Jewish quarter, to see a ruined synagogue, as we hear about the history of the town and region: we then entered the Mezquita and had a wealth of detail from Imma about the amazing building.

Thursday afternoon saw us head to the Bath-house of the Caliphs, a small underground museum – with some bloody tales…
Then we walked to the Museum of Jewish life –  for our guided visit: The tour guide, Alex, not only gave us a lot of detail – but also finished the visit by singing to us!

We then – on Friday – had a day in Seville to see the Royal Alcazar there – and the huge, huge Seville Cathedral.. – most students even did the massive walk to the top of the tower for the views..  Everyone made the late train back – as we returned to Cordoba.

Saturday was the day of our trip to the ruined Islamic city of Medina Azahara – about 8km from the city – with a really detailled and informative museum at the site. After coaches, shuttle buses, gift shops and sunshine (with lots of learning thrown in) – we returned for an afternoon of gift shopping (Mosque snow-domes anyone?) – before walking back over the roman bridge at 6.30 am on Sunday to begin our journey home…