Religion, strangers, Uncategorized

…been to an Atheist Church

day 72Day Seventy-two

The main thing that puts me off church, apart from the God stuff, is the singing. The awkward group mass mumbling of hymns, where only the odd dedicated few seem to vaguely know the tune, whilst the rest keep their head down and try to get through it.

Things are different at the Atheist Church, which is an obvious contradiction in terms.  Instead of dreary old religious numbers, we sang pop hits like I Will Survive and Holding Out for Hero.  This however didn’t stop my usual awkward feeling when it comes to group singing, despite the old granny bopping along next to me, I didn’t quite have the confidence to belt the words out.

The Sunday Assembly is a Godless congregation who aim to celebrate life. They’re attempting to help everyone find and fulfil their potential.  There was tea and cake, just like in a real church. There was moments of reflection, a bit like praying in a real church, even a children’s play area, and not a pervy vicar in sight like in a real church.  I quite enjoyed it and found the optimism infectious.

The guest speaker for the morning talked about Brunel building a Victorian tunnel under the Thames.  He spoke of how it kept flooding during the construction and was only complete due to human PERSEVERANCE.  Later in the day two other people, in separate conversations, used the word PERSEVERANCE.  I found this a little odd, a day after deciding to preserve with my challenge – I thought perhaps this was a sign from God telling me everything will be alright, but then I remembered I’d just been told there is no God.  Oh well…a little weird though, no?

Dating, strangers, Uncategorized

…been on a blind date

Day 22Day Twenty-two

Very shortly into my quest to do something new each day my friend Mark asked if I’d ever had a blind date.  I’d never been on a date with a complete stranger, so I asked him to arrange one for me and immediately got the fear he was going to set me up with a man or some kind of farmyard animal.

Some of my friends are serial daters (they go on lots of dates, they don’t date serial killers) but I haven’t been on many, mainly because it tends to cost a fortune. People these days, particularly in London, seem to be into the internet dating scene yet I’m still not convinced that everyone on the internet isn’t a complete nut-bag.  Luckily I didn’t have to deal with the Worldwide Web (a computing term that seems to be less used these days) as my friend arranged it for me.

A week before the date Mark forwarded me a message with three questions from the mystery women, and at that point I was still hoping that it was a woman.  The questions were written in the style of the 1985-2003 British TV Classic Cilla Black’s Blind Date, and with a sense of nostalgia I answered in a similar spirit.  I was hoping to come across witty but may just have sounded like a knobhead, as most of the contestants used to on the TV programme.  Here are her questions and my answers:

Q. If you’re an ABBA fan, what song of theirs would best describe you?

A. The Winner Takes It All, because when I meet you I’ll feel like I’ve hit the jackpot

Q. If you could be a superhero, which would you be and why?

A. Tufty the Road Safety Squirrel (more 80’s nostalgia).  Technically not a superhero but you can’t underestimate the importance of road safety

Q. Which pizza topping is most like you?

A. Four Season’s pizza topping because I’d be there for you whatever the weather

Looking back at my answers now I must have just sounded like a knob.

I arranged to meet under the clock in Waterloo station and I was to wear a rose so she could identify me; an old-school dating cliché if ever there was one.  It turns out it’s quite hard to find a rose on Waterloo station when you’re running late, so I had to improvise and quickly bought a box of Cadbury’s Roses.

As I waited on the station concourse clutching the box of chocolates feeling relieved I’d just made it on time, I couldn’t really get away with being late as we were meeting under a giant timepiece, I suddenly thought what if she doesn’t turn up.  Luckily my blind date did turn up, and best of all it wasn’t a man, farmyard animal or indeed a blind person (not that there’s anything wrong with being blind but I may have waited a long time).

We strolled along the Christmas Market on the Southbank by the River Thames, a date idea Cilla Black would be very pleased with.  It was nice to spend an evening with a complete stranger, something I don’t normally do, and I could certainly see why people are into this whole dating thing.