Church culture shock

I was so desperate to leave church by midday but couldn’t work out why. I sent round a flurry of texts hoping to find at least one friend who was actually in London. Someone who required minimal effort, who was fun to be with, who could cheer me up, and who got me. Thank goodness…

Foolish attempts to make love out of thoughts

A woman in North Dakota, no longer waiting ‘for someone to complete me’, has married herself, according to this column in the Guardian. Her wedding to her ‘inner groom’ is a move that is celebrated, albeit with a healthy dose of cynicism, by the columnist who is ‘always cheered to hear that anyone has learned…

Magnolia

For as long as I can remember, I always dreamed of having a magnolia tree in my garden. Of course, that dream naturally evaporated along with those other child assumptions of a house and garden and sedentary life in the UK. Nevertheless, magnolia trees have retained their je ne sais quoi and have been cheering…

When religion is lived

Last week I enjoyed one of the perks of studying at SOAS and went along to a random talk about the socio-political involvement and religious behaviour of Western Muslims. It sought to address questions like whether or not Islam’s transcendence of the civic sphere affects the political participation of Muslim people. That all sounds pretty…

I am (single, etc)

It was Richard’s flyaway reference at church to ‘some singles’ which set me thinking. Church is the only context I know where ‘single’ is used as a noun to refer to a person. For the non-Church folk among you, you can probably guess that it refers to a specimen of person who isn’t in a…