Being offline last week for almost a week felt like a bit of a risk. But in fact my email inbox is not too bad, and I have processed most of these. A couple require a more considered response — or a longer response! Nothing was shrieking for my attention.
I notice that it is Lent next week. There is a case for giving up TV “news” for Lent. I didn’t see any News while I was in Israel, and, in truth, I didn’t miss it. Why do I need a daily digest of miseries, about which I can do little? I did mention this to someone on the tour, and the response was that we need to pray for the world. This is scriptural, of course, but there is probably a balance somewhere.
One of the emails that I received was from my local library, telling me that Roger Cowley’s Ethiopian Biblical Interpretation is in. So I went into town and picked it up. The material in this volume will be unfamiliar to most of us, so I will probably post a digest of the interesting bits here at some point. Few of us can have any idea what kind of literary sources and approaches were used for biblical study in medieval Ethiopia. But since the country was evangelised from the Byzantine empire, it is likely that the catena model was in use. What other pattern could there be?
Another thing that I did today was to copy all the digital photos that I shot in Israel — more as a keepsake than anything else — onto a memory stick and take them to Boots to be printed off on the 1 hr service. This produces really good results, as a rule; equal to those that we got in the film days. The photos are better than I recalled, in truth.
On a different note, I’m toying with the idea of adding a photograph to the blog header. This needs to be professionally shot, of course — some may feel that *I* need to be professionally shot, in a rather different sense! — and so I’ve contacted a photographer and we’ll see what happens. In fact I contacted him before I went to Israel, but I emailed him today to say that I was back. Curiously he omitted to discuss the little matter of copyright release, which I did mention, so I have asked for specifics.
While I was in Israel, I found myself starting to write another song. It was on Thursday evening, while in the Ron Beach hotel in Tiberias. I found myself outside by the pool, in the dark, with rain pouring down on me, as I walked up and down trying to work it out. There was no useful indoor area, and I needed the beat of the feet on the concrete! Sadly, in the absence of a tape recorder, I am left only with the idea and the hook. Today I have dug out a voice recorder from the drawer, and … discovered the need for AAA batteries! Rather droll, I thought — determination is all very well, but you still run into these intractable sorts of barriers.
There are various projects that need my attention, but that will not happen today. The Origen book needs finishing off, and I ought to start typesetting it (and learning how to typeset it). A proposal for a further book needs attention, or else rejection. There are also various Christian things that I need to do, and events that I need to attend.
Pedal to the metal, in other words, comme d’habitude.