Wulf's Webden

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Saturday 19 August 2017
by Wulf
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Soul Survivor 2017

I’m packed and ready to head off to Soul Survivor. Jane isn’t coming this time as it is only a small group going from St Clement’s, although we’re going to tag along with a much larger group from St Aldates. This time we’re going by coach so I hope my luggage fits. I should be set for (wait for it…) an intense week!

Friday 18 August 2017
by Wulf
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Sprezzatura

My word of the day is sprezzatura, an Italian term denoting a graceful mastery. For example, a musician might run their hands up and down the neck of a guitar with music dripping out or a painter might splash a few colours onto their canvas and produce a masterpiece. It all looks so easy until you try to emulate the performance and realise that what you saw was a finely honed accomplishment and not the mere work of the moment that it seemed.

I got the term from a fascinating book I’m reading about a woodcarver appreciating the work of Grinling Gibbons (Esterly D. The Lost Carving: a journey to the heart of making. Duckworth Overlook, London (2013)) and can see how it is a fine height to aspire to.

Thursday 17 August 2017
by Wulf
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Spiky

Just under a week ago, Jane and I were in the process of arranging to part exchange out present car for another one, still second hand but much newer. It should be ready for us sometime next week so a little bit of patience is called for still. One of the things we discussed with the dealer was spare wheels, as most newer cars eschew them in favour of temporary repair kits. I observed that it didn’t matter that much as we’d never actually had to change a tyre in any case on this or previous cars.

Ironic then that Jane ran over a blackthorn spike today while she was doing some voluntary work over at the RSPB reserve at Otmoor. She spotted it when she got home, pulled it out and the tyre went down. So, now I have experienced changing a wheel and driving on a temporary one. We’ve arranged to get it sorted tomorrow morning hopefully this means we’ll have another twenty or more years of driving without having to repeat the experience.

Oh, and we’ll be very cautious driving any where near blackthorn for a while to come.

Wednesday 16 August 2017
by Wulf
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Angles on Angels

Tomorrow night I’m leading a discussion group at home on the subject of angels. Unlike some topics, I don’t have a go-to book on the subject on my shelves so I’ve been doing some searching round the web to get ideas. There is certainly no shortage of material although not all of it has the Bible roots I’m looking for; angels are a popular topic but some of the sources are just masquerading as sources of light and truth! (see 2 Cor 11:14-15)

The best single source I found was a long essay on Angelology on Bible.org, written by the late J Hampton Keathley IIII, although the CARM website is also worth a mention. I also found plenty of YouTube videos with alleged recordings of angels in action but I think I’m going to reserve judgement on those (although I’ve marked on as a potential starting point for the evening).

The Bible actually contains a fairly large amount of references to angels, from beginning to end. However, a lot of what we think we know comes from apocryphal writings, both ones that fit in some Christian canons, like Tobit, and ones that fall largely outside, like Enoch. Further to gnostic fringes of Christian faith, there are other sources like Jewish and Islamic lore, apparently angelic beings in other faiths and perhaps even many of the legends of heroes and gods. Oh, and doubtless much that is made up either as wish fulfilment or to make a fast buck!

Tuesday 15 August 2017
by Wulf
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Death From Above!

When I got back from picking up my shopping this evening, I found a sparrowhawk sitting at the end of my drive. I stopped by the side of the road but I think I was too close and it took off, leaving its dinner behind. The dinner in question turned out to be a pigeon with a ring round its leg – a knock on the pigeon-keeping neighbour’s door confirmed it was one of his.

Unexpected and rather marvellous to remember that birds like the sparrowhawk are still around although rarely seen in this neighbourhood.