things I learned from my masseur

Paul is a remedial masseur who works in Peppers Mineral Spa in Hepburn Springs, the heart of spa country here in Victoria. He is a refreshing change to those twenty-something beauty therapists who cannot work in a silent room, thus resorting to whale music, Enya or stilted conversation to make themselves more comfortable. Paul, happily, is content with no mood music, and when he does speak he is more likely than not to come out with an interesting fact or story, not “Been on holidays recently?” like a bored hairdresser.

And so, you might be wondering why this post is being added to a food blog. Well, I learned a few fascinating fun facts from Paul last week about the Greek philosopher Epicurus, who (as we all know) founded the Epicureanism system of philosophy.

Now I, like many others I suspect, would define an Epicurean as a gourmet, a person concerned with fine food and drink, or refined sensuous enjoyment. And from this I would deduce that Epicureanism was related in some way to Hedonism. Which is true.

However, Epicureanism is based more on the philosophy that the “greatest good” is to seek modest pleasures in order to attain a state of tranquility and freedom from fear. Over-indulgence, in fact, was frowned upon, as it could lead to dissatisfaction later, such as the grim realisation that one could not afford such delicacies in the future.

So, Epicurus actually promoted a simple life and not an indulgent one. He believed that the person with whom you eat is of greater importance than what is eaten.

Therefore, as those who know him can testify, Orlando fits the description of an Epicurean better than I do myself. Who knew?

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