The Archbishop of Canterbury

I don’t collect teddy-bears ...

... but if I did, I’d find the one on the right quite irresistible.   Rowan Williams took up office formally on 27 February 2003 – the 104th Archbishop of Canterbury.  Ship of Fools is marketing this version of “his hairiness the Archbishop”, but warn that “members of Reform and other traditionalists are already waiting to question the Rowan Bear about his attitudes to same-bear relationships.

 

I used to be a Classical Scholar

Once upon a time I was really up-to-speed with Latin and Greek – the language, the philosophy, the history.  In fact more than a quarter of a century ago I read Classics at Cambridge.  Nowadays I’m still very comfortable with Ancient Greek (especially the watered-down sort found in the New Testament), but some of the other stuff that I used to know (eg Latin Verse Composition – can you believe it?) is very rusty.  I still retain a firm interest in linguistics though, and am delighted to learn of the ongoing Classical Greek Lexicon Project.  These days, however, I’m putting more effort into improving my knowledge of modern languages, especially Bosnian.

 

What are the Symptoms of Middle Age?

Hair-loss, talking about gardening, developing an interest in art?  I can’t paint, but I’ve started to enjoy other people’s art a bit more.  A real discovery for me has been the work of Gustave Caillebotte:  click on the pictures below for a larger copy of the work.

 

Raboteurs de parquet             Le Pont de l'Europe             Rue de Paris: Temps de pluie           Canotiers

 

I think that I prefer the more naturalistic Impressionists.   Caillebotte is perhaps the epitome of these, but I’ve a particular liking also for the paintings of Alfred Sisley, the only English Impressionist.

 

Did you know that I play the horn very badly?

Anton Horner said:  “God created some people horn players;  others he made less fortunate.”  I was born in the same year that Dennis Brain was killed, and hoped for a while in my youth that his muse had been re-assigned to me.  My friends soon disabused me of this idea.  But I do play occasionally for my own amusement.

For more horn information, why not try the British Horn Society homepage.

 

Isn’t mathematics beautiful?

I don’t pretend to be an expert at maths, but I do enjoy the elegance of so much of it.  Euclid’s Elements especially inspire me.  The site I’ve linked to is a wonderful interactive presentation of his geometry:   for a taste of how mouthwatering it is, how about trying one of his Circle Theorems?

Interesting in a different way is the work (and the life) of Alan Turing – the mathematician who a fractalled the Enigma code-breaking during the Second World War, and whose work laid the foundations of the computer age which followed.

I don’t begin to understand the maths behind them, but fractals (there’s an example to the left) make a visually spectacular display.  While not the most beautiful, I find the Mandelbrot fractal one of the most fascinating of them.

 

Don’t you think that pigs are delightful?a pig

They enjoy themselves so uninhibitedly.  Follow this link to find a few on the web.

 

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This page is still growing, and the following will be added in time:

Industrial Archæology, (including internal links to railways & canals, and external links to the Weald & Downland Open-Air Museum, Ironbridge Gorge Museums and Fred Dibnah).  And perhaps some cross-referencing to some of the links on my HomePage:    Motorcycling, Family History, Walking, Philately, and Beer.

 

Back to John’s Home Page

 

page revised February 2003