This weekend was the end of another job, and gives me a chance for a break for a couple of weeks. I wonder what the Lord has in store for me next, for I feel His hand in the choice of my next location. It is quite weird to see it everywhere, after so many years in which I could not feel His leading at all, and just carried on in trusting. God does that in our lives.
This Saturday I went down to London. A meeting with a friend was delayed, so I detoured to Holborn, and went to the Forbidden Planet ‘Megastore’, a sci-fi and comic-book shop specialising in American imports.
When I first started work, back in the early 80’s, I spent a month training in Holborn. I stayed in one of the depressing little hotels in Bloomsbury, which lie east of the British Museum. Thankfully I have not stayed there in 20 years, for I remember nothing pleasant of them. To a young lad fresh from university, now cut off from company and the merry friendship of others, they were a sad, lonely and alien place.
At that time Forbidden Planet was in Denmark Street, next to the guitar shops. Now it’s in Shaftesbury Avenue, not far away. In the window, then as now, were models in various sizes of American superheroes like Captain America — things strange and alien, belonging to a USA that really does not travel across the Atlantic.
I stood and looked in the window, and something triggered a memory of that young man, ill at ease as he was with the big city. It is odd how slivers of our past can be brought back by some image, some scent or sound.
Of course I went in, and browsed the shelves in the basement. It was a special opportunity. Trashy science fiction and fantasy — escapist literature for the tired businessman — is not so accessible as it was, in some ways. In these days of Amazon, it is very easy to only buy books by authors you already know. But most authors only write a few books; which means that after a while, you find that Amazon is barren of material that you want to read. So here I went and looked for authors that I did not know. As I did back then, I came out with half a dozen books.
I’m now having a little downtime, before my next job. It is misty and cold and grey here, and my inner child — or inner hamster — desires nothing so much as to burrow into a pile of leaves and sleep until spring!
I still want to do some more with Mithras. Theodoret’s Commentary on Romans remains on my hard disk, and I correct a few more pages sporadically. It will get done, if only to get rid of it. I can’t recall whether I converted the translations that I commissioned into HTML and placed them all on the website. I ought to upload the translation of Antiochus of Athens that I did. And so on.