Wednesday 21 May - A year on

It's been such a long time since I've written on here it came as a surprise to discover that a good handful of you still check in. It's probably been quite a disappointment to find that there haven't been any new updates but I'm hoping that will change.

Looking back over some of my old posts I can't quite believe how often I used to write. Most of it was about student angst, vague theology or just banal. Now that the days of afternoon lectures and walks by the beach are long gone, I'm not quite sure of the direction this blog will take.

A lot has changed in the last year. The majority of my time is now spent working on the Guardian's GuardianWitness, with dancing and riding my Vespa filling up my spare time. Unfortunately, I've had to put the last two on hold after being in a road accident four weeks ago. Bar dental problems and the inability to walk I got off quite lightly considering (imagine flying over the bonnet of a car and propelling towards the road face first...). Now that I'm stuck home for the foreseeable future, and inspired by St John XXIII's daily decalogue, I'm attempting to rediscover some of the old hobbies I used to love - updating this blog and drawing to name but a few.

I hope I'll have something more interesting to write next time but for now, if you have no idea what GuardianWitness is about, take a look at the video below.

Sunday 3rd February - New Year

I've written a new post for my graduate blog over at The Saint:

Wednesday 23rd January, 16:05. It is over. I have emerged from my 20-week hibernation. The last you heard of me I was having a grand ol’ time in Kings Place building Lego (see Sister Act). After the euphoria of the Olympics and the brick-by-brick project died down, I enrolled on a course which boasted to successfully transform me into a qualified journalist in five months. Or at least hoped to.

What followed was an initiation akin to Freshers’ Week but without the excessive drinking or fornication. Lunch breaks were spent on Clapham Common, where wide-eyed wannabe journalists conversed and shared their  disdain for tabloid newspapers, and their hopes to never be anything  like those who write for them.

Oh to be so innocent again. As time went on, our rose-tinted view of the  world of journalism slowly broke down. We realised that if we hoped to make any money in our field, we would have to stock up on juicy stories  about how our best friend slept with our mother, only to find out that she was his sister.

Monday 5th November - The Special Kind: Being a Palliative Care Nurse

I had a really moving experience when I visited Trinity Hospice. Speaking to those who worked there, I felt a real need to express the great work that hospices do for those with terminal illnesses.

The story's not online yet, but you can pick up a copy of Kensington and Chelsea Today from banks, book shops, and supermarkets in the borough.

Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor on prisons, Savile's papal knighthood, and a controversial Irish priest

The main story on +Murphy-O'Connor's speech on prisons is the one I enjoyed writing the most. Mainly because I interviewed Ann Widdecombe who provided me with a "killer" quote. Lovely lady.

Friday 2nd November - Front page bylines

It's always nice to see one's name on the front page of a newspaper ... twice.

Working once again for The Catholic Herald, they were kind enough to let me loose and write a story ... or five.

Here are some photos of my front page articles. Unfortunately, the stories are yet to be uploaded online, but you can still pick up a copy of this week's issue from local churches or Westminster Cathedral.

And down page:

Friday 26th October - Review of Mind the Map Exhibition

To read the full review, click here.

Friday 5th October - Lord Sacks and Dawkins at BBC RE:Think

I've written a comment piece on the BBC RE:Think Festival in Salford Quays for Kensington and Chelsea Today.

You can find it in the recent September/October issue of the paper, which is available in every Waterstones and Waitrose in the borough.

The piece is also available online for you to read here.

Wednesday 26th September - Sister Act: Part Two

Below you will find a preview of the second instalment of my Graduate Blog over at The Saint (St Andrews' Independent Student Newspaper).

Yes, I can see it is called Sister Act. I had no say in the title, merely the content. It seems that the stereotype that comes with having a theology degree is not something that can be easily shaken off after all.

You can read the post here.

Friday 21st September - New Start

Whether you're a faithful follower or you simply stumbled across this site because you typed in "raisin," "tea," or "theology" into Google, welcome. For those who have been here before, you will already know that this blog is not about quantity but qual... no, scrap that. The majority of my previous posts have been about life in St Andrews and the Philippines. Amongst the sea of photographs there are some interesting pieces on theology and spirituality which I hope to repost in the near future. It has been a while since I have written any more than a sentence on here so please excuse the cobwebs.

Since graduating, life has slowly been throwing me opportunities that have made the offline world worth living and blogging near impossible. Back in May, I was lucky enough to be offered an internship at The Guardian. I attended the interview with the hope of simply coming out of it alive. The only two things that were going through my head whilst sitting at reception that day was 1. Breathe. 2. Talk.

You will be pleased to know I remembered to do both, and a few weeks later I found myself with a freelance pass in my hand, a view over Regent's Canal and the opportunity of a lifetime. The time I spent there during my internship was short yet enjoyable, so it came as a surprise when I was asked to return to work on a project. For the next two months I was a researcher on the Brick-by-Brick series, or as most of the online world knew it as, the Lego Olympics.

Like all good things, the Olympics came to an end and I no longer needed to be in the office every day. Urged on by a fellow intern, I applied to do the fast-track NCTJ diploma in Journalism at Lambeth College and the rest is, as they say, history. 

Along with questions or issues to do with philosophy and ethics, theology is what keeps me up at night - which is probably a good a reason as any to want to be a religious affairs correspondent. That said, I enjoy writing features and comment pieces as well as posting photographs I've taken here and there. 

In regards to religion, I think people underestimate its importance in the public square. It has shaped the world as we know it and it affects many aspects of life such as politics, law, culture and identity. Buildings have been built and destroyed in its name, as well as wars started and lives saved. Books have been written praising it, and placards have been waved denouncing it. 

But religion is not black and white. In fact it is one of the most grey things you will ever come across. It will make you think and it may even make you angry, but you can be certain everyone will have an opinion on it.

My aim from here on in is to provide a platform for my work, published or otherwise. At the very least I hope some of it will be read, and perhaps even raise questions or stimulate debate. If you have any questions or suggestions, please feel free to drop me an email. 

Your ever verbose blog administrator,