Friday, 10 April 2015

Out with the Old, in with the New

I hope you had a great Easter break? I had the Bank Holidays and weekend off and the weather was sort of okay, at least it was dry. A 21st birthday party and other social events kept us busy and chilled out and the weather has miraculously decided to get better here. This post Easter week has been pleasant and warm - so much so that smog is a problem in the south UK with industrial pollutants from Europe, domestic road pollution and Saharan desert sand being deposited upon us, it makes for difficult breathing for some. 

A break down this weekend coming will see fresher conditions, little in the way of pollution and some rain.

Richie Benaud, OBE
I was sorry to hear of the death of Australian Richie Benaud today. He was 84 and had been suffering from skin cancer, something he had campaigned to protect people against for years. This man was a blast from my past and was the voice of cricket on UK television for many years on BBC and then Channel 4. His melodious gentle Aussie accent was coloured by a dry wit and long periods of silence from the commentary box as he left the viewers to enjoy the game and the atmosphere without lots of forced waffle and drivel. His co-commentator for many years was Yorkshireman, the late Jim Laker, himself a spinner (for England) and still holder of the record for taking 19 wickets in a single test match.

Richie Benaud had credibility too. He captained Australia to three Ashes test series wins and took nearly 250 test wickets as a spinner. His honesty meant that the listener could enjoy the game knowing that he praised good cricket from whatever team and criticised it by equal measure without fear or favour.

For him the score book is complete and the pavilion doors close for the last time.

What did Easter mean for you? Did you celebrate it in a religious context or with traditional pagan rites such as buying  Easter eggs and suchlike? Perhaps you mixed the two. I missed the funeral of a good friend recently through no fault of my own which I regret, but I have happy memories of him which will always be around.  I would have liked to celebrate his life and what he gave to people. In the same way that I guess most religions celebrate the life of Christ and give thanks for the sacrifice he gave for us and his rising so that we may live again. 

I know of one religion that sees this as a sad mournful occasion with grey and dark overtones. What a pity. Spiritualism has so much connection to religion although seemingly at a distance for some sometimes. Some who follow my faith don't like to associate themselves with God or religion at all, yet believe in Angels (as I do) who of course are messenger of guess who? God. Nothing is perfect I have learned.

I don't like the orthodox church particularly but it gives people faith and comfort - good for them. I guess I have seen too much hypocrisy to impress me any more. I still have both my Methodist and then my later Church of England christening, but these in my view have now lapsed as I have left their ways behind. God is here, in my heart, God is all around us, I don't have to go to church to believe in the divine. I am a good person, do good things; I think I'm a good citizen, I care for others, I'm even philanthropic now and then where I can afford it. I love my partner, my children and our family. I pray - to the God I understand and love.

Importantly, I respect others love for their religion even though some of them are a little at odds with modern living. Religion has damaged me in some ways and recovering is hard but with the love and support of my partner and family, my live is becoming more fulfilled spiritually.  There is life after religion!

Chat soon