“Truth may be stretched thin and not break, and it always floats on the surface of the lie, like oil on water.” Who wrote this? An impassioned Financial Times commentator in the past few years, standing up for facts and accuracy amid the blizzard of lies and half-truths over Brexit and from the US president? No! It was Cervantes in part two of Don Quixote, more than 400 years ago.

And where more appropriate to read it — and indeed the great novel — than in the glorious Retiro Park on a sunny autumn afternoon in Madrid, to where I had fled for a few days of walking, art, architecture, wine and food.

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