Happy new year

I’ve just returned home after a period of wandering over the last few weeks that has taken me to Rotterdam, Amsterdam, Houston, Las Vegas, San Francisco — and to the elephant seals on the beach outside Hearst Castle.

Oxford seems unchanged, and I’m pleased to learn from the telly that Life of Brian was marketed in Sweden with the slogan, “The film that is so funny, it was banned in Norway”.

0 thoughts on “Happy new year”

  1. It is Virtual Stoa policy that elephant seals are to be considered a variety of elephant for the purposes of the Virtual Stoa.

    And I was away for much of the Winterval, and don’t have any festive cat pictures.

    Although I did take a picture of a very fine cat named Cecil in Palo Alto, and then emailed it (the picture, not the cat) to a complete stranger who happened to have the same name as Cecil’s owner, so that’ll be a nice surprise for her.

  2. I love the architecture of Amsterdam, so did a lot of walking around the city, though without aiming for or concentrating on any particular building.

    I did have a good look round what used to be Jewish Amsterdam, visiting the Hollandse Schouwburg and the Jewish Historical Museum (where they had a very funny exhibit about Rembrandt and the Jews, as well as a first edition of the Tractatus Theologico-Politicus, yum yum). And I finished up with a short trip to the Rijksmuseum, though since that’s mostly closed for renovations (or something) I only saw the really famous stuff they still have on display, which I pretty much knew about or had seen before anyway.

    I quite liked the Henry Moore exhibit that’s going on in Rotterdam, with animatronic dinosaurs on the floor below in the art museum there.

  3. That’s interesting. I don’t think I’ve seen the Spinoza in the Jewish History museum. I rather like the building’s stained-glass windows.

    A friend told me he found it very convenient to see all the famous stuff in the Rijksmuseum together. I’ve found myself that one sees paintings better if one comes back again and again to look at them. In fact only when I had made several visits in a short time to the Mauritshuis (where they have the largest collection of Vermeers in The Netherlands I think) did I begin reading on Vermeer. I suppose I should visit the museum again now and put my new convictions, if that’s what they are, to the test. Incidentally, I came across a German book on Vermeer and Spinoza recently, which unfortunately says very little on Vermeer but which still seems interesting..

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