‘For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.’ John 3:16
Look at the 2011 Census figures and the overwhelming majority of people claim church membership. Look at surveys of religious belief, and the picture is not so clear, people will say they believe in God, but they are not so clear about being members of a church. In the past twenty years, the church has become a hindrance rather than a help …
‘Yellow fever reappeared in Uganda. Make sure you take your certificate with you. They are checking them and if you don’t have it they will turn you away’.
The doctor passed back across the table the vaccinations booklet, stamped and signed up to date. He wrote his mobile phone number on a card he stapled to the back page. ‘If you are sick, phone me . . . phone me before you let them do anything’. The world is now so instantly accessible that the call would be easy to …
Rows in country parishes can last generations. A row between two churches in the North had begun over someone borrowing a ladder and someone else making an accusation over dishonesty. The active antagonism lessened to no more than a persistent antipathy, but persistent it was.
If rows in parishes are bitter, they are gentlemanly affairs compared with rows between individuals, and no row is more bitter than a row over land. The relationship with the land is powerful, the attachment to particular places something that cannot be fully articulated. John …
Writing in the weekend edition of the ‘Financial Times‘, artist David Hockney discerns the current times to be the final days of the mass media:
Technology brought in the mass media and technology is now taking it away. Perhaps our celebrity culture is the last gasp of the mass media “star period”. The power of the old media barons is in decline – I am sure Rupert Murdoch knows this – and seems to be passing to the masses themselves, whether they want it or not.
You go out for the evening with John to watch a match, it is a good match. The opposition is trounced and you arrive home well pleased.
‘Did you win?’
‘Yep, we had a Russian ballerina playing in the scrum and she scored a brilliant try, intercepting a pass and running the length of the pitch before touching the ball down under the posts’. (This detail passes unnoticed.)
‘Didn’t you ask?’
‘Nope, why would I?
‘Because she’s his …
A little white pick up sat parked in the square in Ballyragget, it was similar to that driven by Mma Ramotswe from BBC Television’s ‘The No 1 Ladies Detective Agency’. Except, of course, Mma Ramotswe would not be found in Ireland, Mma Ramotswe’s Botswana is a place very different from Ireland.
Martin Meredith’s magisterial work ‘The State of Africa’ covers five decades of African history in its 700 pages. Progressing through its pages, one longs for some good news, for the appearance of Botswana. There are just seven references altogether, …