Thursday 1st December - Karen Armstrong on "The Point of Religion"

Yesterday I attended a lecture given by Karen Armstrong called "The Point of Religion," as part of the University of St Andrews 600 Lecture Series.

[Click here for a shorter version of my piece on Independent Catholic News.]

I had initially planned to leave early to attend a meeting, but after she mentioned the need to recognise our "impotence of speech" and "finding meaning in the silence," I thought it might be worth staying.

Introduced by the Principal as a voice on ecumenical understanding who wants to make religion accessible, I was interested to see exactly what her point would be on religion. She began with how we talk about God / Nirvana / Dao, saying that St Thomas Aquinas would disagree with the definition that God is a supreme being, and went on to talk about how all religious language is symbolic (analogy etc.).

Following from this she spoke about the need for something more than what life can offer, she called it a "transcendence". (I should have stressed that the lecture was very much on religion and not theology. She quoted the Qur'an, spoke about Buddhism, and even told a short story about Brahman to illustrate her point about silence.) She was saying that if people don't believe in God / transcendence, they end up looking for meaning elsewhere, like in sex, music, drugs etc. They yearn for this transcendence but look for it in all the wrong places.

Saturday 26th November - St Mary's College Society Ball

Recently, the lack of writing on here is beginning to make it look more and more like a photo blog. Ah well. I enjoyed myself so much at the College ball that I could have danced all the way home had it not been raining cats and dogs.

Also, I'm going to miss ceilidhs when I leave Scotland.

The Committee

Bubble battle

The ball may have finished, but we hadn't finished dancing

Raisin Weekend (20th - 21st November)

I was going to write a bit about Raisin Weekend and how it's a great tradition (so great in fact it makes world and national headlines), but I think the photos are pretty self-explanatory.

Raisin Sunday: Mother's "Tea party" - 3pm

The pot game: Two or more people balance on a pot and have to get the rope over everyone without any support from the floor

Despite a sprained ankle, she was determined to take part in The cardboard box game (picking up the box with only your mouth and only your feet touching the floor. Every round a bit of the box gets torn off making it harder to pick up) -  4pm

The strawberry laces and polo game: Tie a polo into the middle of a lace, using only your mouth you have to be the first to reach the polo.

This is a dangerous game. This is the moment when he gave her a "Glasgow kiss".

After a wave of dizziness, nausea and a nose bleed, all was fine - 5pm

The ice game: An ice block is attached to a long piece of string. The string must go through your clothes (both top and bottom), ice block following, for the next person to do the same. The winning team is the one who gets the string through every person first.

The second round of Ring of Fire - 6 to 8pm (?) 

I apparently was the only one light enough to try this technique for the pot game.

Jousting on bikes with no breaks and crutches. Because shields and horses are overrated - 9pm

More Ring of Fire - 10 to 11pm

And on to another party that consisted of face paint, Michael Jackson, dancing and the usual....  - 11pm till 6am

Raisin Monday: Breakfast provided by mothers in order to sober up the parents children - 8am

My son's costume. Casually padding himself out - 9am

Dressed him up as Jessica Rabbit from the film "Who Framed Roger Rabbit?" Most people just mistook him for being in drag. That's fine too.

Getting ready for the foam fight - 10am

Do you need anymore proof that we go to Hogwarts?


The infamous foam fight - 11 to 12pm