about azahar (that’s me!)

That’s me, the creator of this blog

When I started casa az on May 1st 2006, it was my first ever blog and it was created as a general interest “blogazine” type of place, though it’s mostly become an online scrapbook of daily stuff going on in my life. Comments are very welcome, so even if you don’t know me (yet) please don’t hesitate to say hello – it would be great to hear from you.

Born in Canada by mistake, I’ve been happily living in Seville, Spain since September 1993. Previously I lived in Winnipeg, Toronto, Bristol and Salamanca (in that order).

My present cat family… Luna, Morcilla and Loki as kittens on top,
below are the beautiful Lua, Azar and Sunny who are still very much missed…

los gatos

In May 2008 I was diagnosed with stage IV colon cancer (metastasis to liver and peritoneum). It’s been quite the roller coaster ride since then but I am still hoping to beat the odds. These are my cancer-related posts.

And in case you are wondering about the ‘orange theme’ scattered about the place, that’s because azahar is Spanish for orange blossom and is my favourite flower (pronounced ah-thaar – diphthong and stress on the last syllable).

If you’d like to see what else I get up to then have a look at the other blogs and websites listed under “azahar online” in the sidebar.

email icon generator

[creator pic courtesy of Mudhooks]

orange orange orange

38 thoughts on “about azahar (that’s me!)”

  1. Hello az! Thanks for linking to my blog. I’d like to think it’s a mistake, the name of that drink, but I don’t know. A little too calculated, perhaps?

    I see you lived in Salamanca. I spent a wonderful four weeks there in the summer of 1983 learning Spanish and popping over to Pamplona to dodge a few bulls. Love Spain.
    – ian in hamburg


  2. Hi Ian, nice to see you here. 🙂

    I think I got to your place via nursemyra, but now I can’t remember exactly. Yes, buncha idiots, and I hope they are required to change the name soon.

    I lived in Salamanca 1992-1993 for approx. 15 months. I loved it there and lived in a great apartment in front of the university (with the ‘frog’ façade). But after awhile it started feeling too small and so I ended up moving to Sevilla.

    Have you been back to Spain since? You don’t live that far away.


  3. Hi,

    I stumble across your website trying to find the meaning of my name Azahar. I’m confuse by some of the explanation though, some say it’s white flower from an orange tree. According to you is Spanish for Orange blossom.

    I didn’t even know it was Spanish either. All this time I thought it was Arabic. But the Arabic one is spelt Azhar, meaning the ‘one with the flower’. Anyway is it a common girls name in Spain.


  4. Hi Azahar and welcome!🙂

    Feels a bit odd calling someone else by ‘my’ name, which also happens when I meet someone who shares my RL name, as it isn’t very common for women.

    I haven’t met anyone called Azahar here in Spain, though I’ve heard that Azahara is sometimes used as a girl’s name.

    Yes, it is from an Arabic word – al-azahar – that literally means ‘white flower’ and in Spanish it means ‘orange blossom’ (which is the white flower that grows on orange trees and smells heavenly).

    So, is Azahar your real name or your online name? How do you pronounce it? In Spanish it’s pronounced ‘athaar’ with a slight dipthong on the last syllable. It also sounds very similar to ‘azar’ which means chance or happenstance, and which is the name of my lucky black cat (whose image is also my avatar).

    You can see what an orange blossom looks like here.


  5. Hi…azahar (lower ‘a’ to differentiate)

    It is wired. I started university (mature student) abroad, and was always ask what my name meant. Sadly I don’t know, until today. Thanks to you.

    It is my real name. I have an uncle named Azahari, though I always thought i was named after him. Funnily no. It’s pronounce like it’s spelt actually, “AZA” “HAR”. Maybe I should start pronouncing it the way you do🙂

    Anyhoo, I always wanted to go to Spain. Maybe one day and visit the Santiago Bernabeu (Yes, I’m a Real Madrid Fan).

    Azahar Y


  6. Ah, that’s interesting that you pronounce it aza-har. I think most non-Spanish people do when they see it. Whereabouts do you live?


  7. Well at the moment I’m Perth, Australia. But I’m originally from Brunei Darussalam (Meaning the abode of peace).

    In Brunei, Azhar is common name for a guy. But I rarely see one with my spelling (Azahar). So I was surprise to find out that it’s actually Spanish in origin. But a pleasant surprise.


  8. In fact it’s Arabic in origin, as are most (all?) Spanish words that begin with ‘az’. I don’t know if the Arabic word also refers to orange blossoms or just white flowers in general.

    Does Azhar mean anything or is it just a name?


  9. The Arabic language spread as far as Brunei with the spread of Islam, so the origin of the name there is probably Arabic too. But the precise meaning may well have changed over the centuries. In Spain it’s become more specific – the white flowers of orange blossom rather than white flowers in general.


  10. I’ve always thought it was just a name. It has no historic meaning that I’m aware of.

    Well I don’t speak arabic, but I meet a few arab speaking people while studying here and they say ‘Azhar’ means the one with flower or one that has flowered or the flowered one. God I’m beginning to think my name is meant for a girl. LOL

    But I’ve never found a definitive answer to ‘Azahar'(with that extra ‘a’). Until now.

    hey is that smiley face at the bottom of the page deliberate? just wondering. Cute though.


  11. Hi Azahar,

    Thanks so much for your nice comment – it’s a pleasure to make your (virtual!) acquaintance!

    You’ve got a collection of great sites – I will be visiting often. AND, when we do get to Sevilla, I’ll take you up on your offer of a tapas or two…



  12. Hi Katie,

    One of my favourite things is taking people out for tapas and showing them “my” Sevilla. So, you know where to find me when you, Ivan and the kidlet come for a visit. 🙂


  13. Hi, I’ve come across your blog as I am doing a project for one of my classes on Semana Santa in preparation to become a Spanish teacher….it is absolutely awesome that you live in Sevilla!! After visiting Spain last March, it is absolutely one of my favorite cities!!!!


  14. Ian of Devon said:

    I love your name, website and everything. I have faith that you will live a full life. I want it to happen.


  15. Hi Bridget,

    I somehow missed your comment here. How long will you be in Sevilla (or have you gone back by now)?

    Hello Ian,

    The name is rather pretty, isn’t it? Sometimes I forget it’s not my own. I seem to be living a pretty full life at the moment (with the help of my friends) … hoping it will last a long, long time.


  16. Lovely Kitties, I must say. I love blogs from far away places than me–Fresno CA. I have a wanderlust that goes untreated, so I therefore enjoy blogs from out of the US


  17. Lori Gordon said:

    Hi Azahar,

    I love your blog! I just wrote a book on Sevilla and I’m so curious to see what you’d think of it! I sent you an email about it separately. At the top of my “most miss list” about Sevilla are the tapas bars and the scent of the orange blossoms. Living in the States, I head to Jaleo in DC as much as possible to get a “fix”.🙂 Thanks so much for a great blog!


  18. Please guide me. I want to follow but not in my email. I can’t seem to find where to ‘follow.’


    • Hi Yvonne,

      Wow, you have resurrected a three-year-old post – the one on ads vs reality – though I think it’s as true now as then.

      There’s an RSS feed option in the sidebar under Meta, for both blog posts and comments.

      Thanks for stopping by.


  19. Surfing the waves of the web I am pleasantly stranded in this beautiful blog.

    I write under the pseudonym of Josè Pascal (a descendant of the great Colonel Aureliano Buendía).

    I invite you to visit my italinglish blog http://parolesemplici.wordpress.com/mytinbox/. I define this blog “In parole Semplici” as a “virtuacultural tin” box where they are guarded thoughts, memories, images, sounds, and simple stories. ”

    If you want to participate and for have more informations send me a letter to inparolesempli@gmail.com

    Good life and I hope to soon


  20. Esmeralda said:

    Howdy Azahar!!
    Your blog is awesome!! I will visit Sevilla here in a few weeks. I am really excited, my daughter is doing a study abroad program at Pablo de Olavide University. She feels a little nervous, so we decided to help her get settled in and familiar with some of the basics, i.e. bus routes, host family, and her immediate surroundings. We so look forward to experiencing the local flavors, the people, the markets, and architectures.



  21. I love your blog! I just wrote a book on Sevilla and I’m so curious to see what you’d think of it! I sent you an email about it separately. At the top of my “most miss list” about Sevilla are the tapas bars and the scent of the orange blossoms. Living in the States, I head to Jaleo in DC as much as possible to get a “fix”. Thanks so much for a great blog!


  22. Bonito blog. He llegado a él buscando otros blogs sobre Sevilla o la Semana Santa (no he encontrado ninguno, raro, ¿no?…..no sé manejar bien WordPress todavía!), y me salió tu entrada sobre el ensayo de costaleros. Estoy estudiando inglés y me interesa leer cosillas en ese idioma y si encima es sobre Sevilla pues mejor, siempre me ha dado curiosidad ver la opinión que tienen los extranjeros acerca de mi ciudad.Espero que todo vaya bien y seas feliz. Suerte y a disfrutar de la primavera, que ya está aquí!


  23. Hi,

    I stumbled on to Pat’s blog after reading her Bucket List article. I am a two and a half year survivor of stage 4 colon cancer. Currently I am in the phase of looking for projects and things that have meaning for me and reaching out to support others that have been diagnosed with colorectal cancer. Thank you for sharing the video.

    Lea Anne


    • Hi Lea Anne, and welcome!

      Glad you enjoyed the video. And congratulations on your two and a half years! Wishing you many many more.


  24. Hi there, I´m a novice Sevilla blogger, just got started, and am taking baby steps. I´ve loved checking out your site which is very inspiring. Anyway, would love your thoughts… http://www.iknowalittleplaceinseville.blogspot.com.es


  25. Hey Azahar,

    Great blog. I can’t believe I’ve been in Seville for 8 years and not come across your blog before. I teach English over here and also write, mainly about teaching English and travelling but branching out to expat stuff. Where are you based? I’m in the centre, with my wife, and baby on the way, struggling through the heat. Good luck in your fight against cancer. Best of Luck. Barry


    • Hey Barry! How embarrassing that you wrote this in June and I’m only replying now. Oops. I taught English here for 15 years and have been doing social media stuff and tapas tours since spring 2010. I live near Plaza Encarnación. Is your baby here?


  26. yay! another blogger from Spain! I found you in my reader section. you know the suggested blogs on the right? and I clicked and here I am. Nice to meet you and I look forward to perusing your many posts about Spain. and I see you were recently in Malaga (or perhaps still there?) That’s where hubby and I plan to retire. a ver lo que pasa😉


  27. Hi Azahar,
    I cam across your blog while searching for information of Andalusia and thought you could help provide us some tips.
    Four of us planned to visit Andalusia in early April after completing our training in London. We wanted to go Cordoba, Granada and Alhambra to visit the historical sites. I was thinking of flying from London to Malaga and plan our trip from there.
    We plan to fly to Malaga on 7th April and perhaps spend about 3 days in Spain before heading to Barcelona, Paris and to London to catch our flight to Malaysia on 12th April.

    Hope to hear from you soon.


  28. Dear Azahar,

    My name is Joyce and I work for ExpatFinder.com.
    ExpatFinder.com is a free one stop website for people preparing to move or working and living overseas. We provide a myriad of services for expatriates and we have over 2,000 articles to help and support the people moving around the world and we are now creating an interview section to help the expats with real life experiences!
    We quite enjoy your blog about living in Seville, it is very interesting and informative. Would it be possible to interview you to further share some of your tips and feature some of your first hand experience as an Expat and your interview will be published on our Expat Interview section as a guide for our expat readers. The questions are mainly about the day to day lifestyle of an expat. If it would be possible, could you also send some photographs that we can use?
    Of course, if you accept, we can add a link to your blog or some of your website.
    The questions are enclosed, feel free to respond freely. You can return the doc with your answers if you accept this invitation.
    Thanks in advance and do let me know if you prefer other means to conduct this interview and we would be happy to accommodate your terms.

    Best regards,


  29. Hola Azahar! I was at Moron Air Base for two weeks in 2002, and got to explore your lovely city of Sevilla, as well as Rota and Rhonda. I especially enjoyed eating the Tapas. Take care,