*cough cough*

I'm deathly ill. I didn't get much sleep once more and woke up with a temperature, so looks like I'll be ill for Christmas. Woo!...

I'm staying in bed all day, popping pills and downing cough medicine, so I've updated the blog with a few things:

I came across a post on School Gate (The Times - subscription required). Written by Jennifer Lipman and titled 'Why it's not the end of the world if you don't get into Oxford or Cambridge...' it caught my attention because I had applied to Oxbridge only to be rejected. It's fine though, save your sympathy for someone who needs it more. I wasn't suicidal, quite relieved to be honest, and am better off now as a proud matriculated student of 'Hogwarts' (St Andrews basically IS Hogwarts, there's no point denying it).

Here are a few reasons, quoting the article, why Hogwarts is better than Oxbridge:

"You will only have to wear a gown at graduation. The hat may look cool but, I promise you, this is a good thing." - Due to my job I wear my gown nearly every week. If you happen to own the red gown you're probably wearing it every day to keep you warm from the Scottish weather. If you're not wearing it every day you're at least wearing it to the pier walk, to church services, to exams ... The list is endless. If you want to wear a gown, you can at Hogwarts.

"Your accommodation will probably have been built some time after the 17th c
entury, vastly reducing the likelihood of university-inflicted hypothermia." - We have halls of residence that were built before the 17th century. They're beautifully old with grand pianos, high ceilings and bay windows. Hypothermia is unlikely though and is more probable in privately-owned accommodation. That said, we have modern halls too: en-suite rooms with double beds and underfloor heating. Ah, the life of a student.

"Tourists will not point at you in the streets, take photos outside your window or shriek excitedly when you pass them by on your bicycle." - Tourists point at us on the street, take our photos and shriek excitedly - not because we ride bicycles though, but because we go to Hogwarts; wear gowns; run into the North Sea at dawn on the first of May; and have a wonderful tradition called Raisin.

"You'll save a fortune on books. Nobody outside of Oxbridge needs them." - False. As a humanities student books are my life. Then again, even if I was not buying and reading books for academic purposes I would be spending all my student loan on them anyway. But perhaps that's just me.

To re-emphasise my point, Hogwarts is just Oxbridge but better. Q.E.D.


I am tired of reading articles on faith and religion in newspapers only to find people denouncing them as 'stories', 'a joke' or 'fairytale'.

Many articles are written with presuppositions that this or that religion is true. If we questioned every grounds for every belief or opinion found in an article we would produce pages and pages, perhaps even more than Karl Barth ever wrote.

It's just infuriating. Everyone's entitled to their opinion (or so I'm told) but please, keep it relevant to the article in question. If you want to debate the existence of God don't try and do so in a little comment box.

Get yourself to the School of Divinity at Hogwarts (or any other reputable university).


Also for the fourth day running, i'm still living out of my holdall. Damn, my shirts are really going to need ironing now.


  1. I get annoyed at the anti-Faith message that comes out in Newspapers this time of year too. But, it's also a backhanded compliments: we're worth challenging. :) Still, I just wish people were more open to debate and listening to the Christian refutation of these arguments. God bless.

  2. I agree. They challenge people's beliefs only to ignore any response they provide as 'nonsense'. It's all very ignorant.

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  4. You can't call the beloved place "Hogwarts"! Seriously, it's an outrage. OK. It IS a magical place (it was when I was there in the 90s; from your description evidnetly it still is), and filled with childlike wonder too. All the wonderful traditions. Most certainly those including gowns. And academic families. (My red gown remains with me to this day, sadly unused, although I too wore it at least once every week when I was there.) I know what you mean, but...

    OK I graduated from there (just) before the whole Harry Potter thing got off the ground. And I suppose many of my generation thought of Enid Blyton (perhaps that's even worse, actually - althogh we did find out later that there was a character in the Malory Towers books - never read them myself, they were strictly for girls - who, after graduating, chose to go to St As). Although I maintain that Sally's chapel by night, from North Street (especially when it's not floodlit) is straight out of the Gormanghast trilogy.

    Obviously as a St As student I was also an Oxbridge reject. I think another wonderful thing about St As, apart from the very close-knit, make-your-own-entertainment and create-your-own-traditions - nature of the place is also the fact that as an undergraduate there, you get 4 years of 30 weeks, compared with 3 years of 24 weeks at Oxbridge. Still many of my closest friends are those I made up in the auld grey toon. Oh, and ceilidhs. And beach parties. And evenings in Crail or Elie.

    I studied as a postgraduate at a perfectly normal university, afterwards (UCL). It really wasn't the same, believe me.

    But in any case I certainly have no regrets about not having got into Cambridge!

    And on your other point, I think Johann Hari is quite simply the very worst of them. He almost seems to wallow in his ignorance (and vulgarity). At least George Bernard-Shaw, in his debates with GK Chesterton, was able to recognise that is still possible to be a sentient being, worth of respect, despite having very different, fundamental, opinions about life.