Two conversations from the weekend:


While discussing this recent post (where the comments closed before I found the time to write a proper response to Jol’s comment and I can’t figure out how to turn them back on, argh!), I brought up Jol’s impression that Christian ethics involve the belief that people can be banished to Hell for failing to believe.

Me: It’s definitely not anything I’ve ever been taught in all my years of Catholic education and weekly churchgoing. Did they teach you that in Ireland?
Alec: Of course not!
Me, satisfied: Good, I thought as much.
Alec: In school they taught us we were all going to Hell. For wanking.
Me: ……
Alec: It makes God blind or something.


Alec, sulking: I didn’t have enough time to linger in the library, so I had to just run to the section nearest to the door and grab some books to borrow.
Me: Aw, that’s a pity.
Alec: Yah! So all my authors literally start with B, but because I didn’t even get enough time to go look for Batman, I had to settle for Brecht instead.
Me: Batman is not an author.
Alec: Yes he is. He’s an author OF DESTINY.

I just realized on Sunday night that back on November 6th, our sixth anniversary as a couple came and went and we didn’t even remember it. It’s hard to believe we just forgot a day we used to celebrate quite dutifully, but we weren’t too bothered. I’ll try to remember it next year (any excuse for a nice meal), though in many ways it feels like the importance of that date to us has been overwhelmingly superceded by the new life we now get to enjoy together on a daily basis.

Anyway, just so I can say I did something to celebrate having this lovely man to myself for 6 years now, I hereby rename the sub-category formerly and boringly called just “Alec”, repository of classic Alec stories like Spandex Party Boy and the particularly ugly bird, to “Alecdotes”, with all credit for the name due to James (for coining it in his best man speech at our wedding party).


  1. Anniversaries coming and going without remark are a good thing.

    Dustin has this theory that if you need to celebrate an anniversary with the big flower dinner dance hoo ha, the rest of your life sucks.

    But if your daily life together is roses – the flowers on the anniversary aren’t ‘special’ mainly because everyday is already, by definition special.

    So here’s to the unspecialness of special occasions.

  2. “Author of destiny” – WIN!!!!!

    Since my impression is mentioned, I should clarify that my impression is also that Catholics in Singapore are a relatively relaxed set of people who in my experience don’t go in for this fire-and-brimstone stuff (and are also, irrelevantly, disproportionately generally well-adjusted people). And certainly since coming to Britain and meeting the wonderfully porous CoE my understanding of Christianity has further shifted.

    However, having been for much of my life a person with a bent for metaphysic-king everything (“you mean you were a drama queen,” my boss rephrases this), when my religious affiliations were in any way in doubt, I tended to pay attention more to the C.S.-Lewis-ish versions of Christianity that are more prevalent in Singapore; and by the time it finally penetrated my thick skull that nobody had to be a fundamentalist anything, religious or atheistic, I was so atheistic “all the way down”, for all practical purposes, it didn’t matter anymore. So thing about my previous comment is, when the conflict was relevant to me, the Hell thing was too, but I realise I should acknowledge there are obviously other variants.

    OK. Sorry to blather on about self as usual. But just wanted to clarify.

  3. Well, comments for your other post closed so I’m posting here instead. Thanks, Sharmila, for adding your tips re: London! It’s just that I started e-mailing Michelle instead, rather than posting long laborious comments.

    And awww… I really liked it when James said “Alecdotes” although I think he later said, while at Zouk, that it was a slip of the tongue, but let’s just wait for him to clarify.

    And would you believe it? Nobody wants to go see Take That in concert with me. Hmph. What is the world coming to?

  4. Actually nobody, you mean you’re the only one going and they’ll outnumber you 4 to one, and sing every song while staring deep into your eyes, and give their all in a private show just for you, and then for the encore, invite you up onto the stage and let you sing Robbie’s part with them to an empty room, and the sound guy at the back?

    Or just no one you know? Cause if it was the first, that’d be pretty good. Even if it was a concert by Take That, who wouldn’t be my first choice either.

  5. ^^^ now that sounds like a religious experience.

    I always liked the fire and brimstone version of Catholicism. It was more dramatic. By the time I was 10 or so mass had been shortened, had a more positive (and bland) message, but still took longer because every reading was punctuated by a group of hippies with guitars singing godawful modern hymns that made my ears bleed. That’s when the romance went out of religion for me.

    Yes, Alecdote was said entirely by accident. No way I could write something so painful.

  6. No, but you WILL spend eternity in Purgatory. It’s a bit like Hell but not as exciting, it’s like a big waiting room with really, really old magazines.

  7. Matt, you can’t make promises like this to Kelly without asking all the other 8,634,180,381,482 denominations of Christianity in order to know The Truth for sure.

    Oh and in my version of Purgatory, the waiting room sound system just keeps playing really bad praise and worship music. And there’s a little shop, but all its crisps are stale.


  8. But will the other side be full of Christians like the ones I saw in Jesus Camp? I’d take stale crisps over that anytime…even if they play Mariah Carey christmas songs on loop! BRING IT!

  9. I took the Belief-O-Matic test today (Rupert Murdoch just bought which is apparently very popular).

    They scientifically calculated that I’m a Liberal Quaker. It seems to be quite accurate because from what I can gather they don’t have a clue what they believe in either. I think I’ll just stick with Catholism for now on because I’m finding all this personal interpretation stuff quite baffling.

  10. Interesting site, James, thanks for pointing it out. I took the test, with no real shockers. Being an enormous pedant though, I pointed out that Atheists hold the active opinion that there is no God, rather than the more passive ‘don’t believe in a God or deity’. I expect a two word reply… And I’m about 60% Liberal Quaker too, apparently.

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