Tuesday, November 27, 2007


Ana will be three next week. She is so confused about her birthday and about Christmas. She told the Sunday School teacher last week that Christmas is the celebration the birthday of the Teletubbies. Christmas cards are 'Santa birthday cards' and she says she wants a Christmas tree for her birthday (sorted).


We'll be having a party for family members but it being so close to Christmas I can't begin to contemplate arranging a party for toddlers as well. With all the confusion it won't matter so much this year, but next year it'll be an issue. So we thought about it. Ian suggested looking up her Saint's day (in Spain kids get presents on their Saint's day) and maybe having it as a time when she can have friends over for a knees-up or something.


It turned out that St. Anne's day falls in July which nicely cuts the year in half for us. I was also tickled to discover that her Saint, being the mother of the Mother, is the patron Saint, not only of women in labour (which is a personal obsession as some of you will know) but also of housewives and joiners. Joiners claimed her (I guess) because of the idea of making cool stuff from plain old ordinary stuff. Housewives maybe for the same reason. I am tempted to start telling people that we knew this before naming Ana, instead of the truth which is that there wasn't a single other female name we could agree on.


Sunday, November 04, 2007

St. Anne's


St Anne's Cathedral in Belfast is this enormous 19th century building in the middle of town. Inside there are beautiful mosaics and stained glass windows. As we arrived yesterday we noticed the spire. It looks new. It's silver and shiny and stretches high into the air. It's pretty incongrous looking and fairly ugly in a way. I was wondering what it was there for. If the old one fell down or wasn't good enough why bother with a new spire?
In the church I used to go to someone once told me that spires were a signal of spiritual authority. Whichever church had the biggest spire had more authority over the demons and devils of the town. Thankfully (they added) the Catholic church spire was slightly shorter than the Protestant cathedral's. I would guess that the phallic authority idea is indeed what's behind the idea of having a church spire.

Yesterday I sat in my space and watched the people going up for communion, coming back, the choir taking their places, the priests taking theirs, all moving and having someplace to be. Maybe religion isn't about hypocrisy all the time. Maybe it's not about victory or goodness, whatever that is. Maybe it's just about getting through. Clinging to that spire like a mast.

Survival.





Saturday, November 03, 2007

Hey Look

Funny. Spotted this article by Lucy Mangan in today's Guardian. Lucy, get the shed. Don't wait for the grant. Use your credit card! You'll never look back!