22 April 2018 (Sunday) - Between the Night Shifts

I was going to start today’s rant by saying “Religion is a load of old rubbish, isn’t it?” but I thought better of it. Religion might actually be right. I don’t know. But I do know that I can’t understand it at all. As I drove home from the night shift there was a church service on the radio. It was led by some bishop or other from inner London. The bishop was taking the line that God was wonderful and brilliant. Admittedly there had been over fifty stabbings in the bishop’s stomping group already this year, but if you just ignored all the bad stuff in life, then everything was great.
I was reminded of the revelation I had when I gave up with religion. As a young man I was *very* religious. Having been brainwashed by constant exposure to Christian propaganda after ten years in the Boys Brigade I had risen in the Methodist church to the position of Steward. That’s the person that hires and fires the vicar. But one day I realized that I didn’t actually believe any of the religious stuff. The fact of the matter was that I desperately hoped it was true as the promise of the creator of the universe as your best mate was rather appealing, and the thought of a godless creation was rather frightening.
I went through a stage of being a staunch atheist… then I was an apathetic agnostic. Now… I think (like Blaise Pascal) I would like to hedge my bets.

We did have a vague plan to take the dogs to hunt some plastic tubs near Alkham this morning, but I’d had a notification about a new puzzle cache whilst I was coming to the end of my night shift. There were ten riddles to solve which would give numerical values for the letters A to J. From this there was a little calculation to give GPS co-ordinates to find the new geocache. Ten minutes work gave me solutions for A to J. I say “solutions”… I had answers from which I had no idea how to get numbers.
An hour later and twenty-five miles later I had a stroke of inspiration over a cuppa at home. I delved two layers deeper into the puzzle. Some frantic work on the lap-top gave me the thumbs-up on the checker on the first attempt.

Our hounds needed a walk, so "er indoors TM", the hounds and I set off on a little mission to locate this cache before our walk. I was pleased to have figured out this puzzle; doubly pleased to be the (joint) first one to find it too. Being the first one to find a cache has a certain kudos; and something of a novelty value locally as the competition is so stiff.

Having been successful in our hunt we relocated to Singleton Lake where we had today’s walk. There were people fishing there. I did chuckle. The fishermen were chatting. I say “chatting”; they were talking bollox as fishermen so often do.
I’ve fished in Singleton Lake on and off over the years. I’ve walked dogs past the place on a regular basis over the last five years. I have *never* seen anything bigger than six inches having been caught in that lake. And when you talk to people fishing there, neither has anyone else. However *everyone* knows someone whose mate knows someone who caught something the size of a blue whale only the other day. The people fishing there today were all telling each other how their mate’s auntie’s cat’s sister’s boyfriend caught something humungous only last week.

Pausing only briefly to re-pot those plants I got from the garden centre the other day I took myself off to bed for the afternoon. The nicest Sunday we’ve had all year, and I was asleep. Oh well. I wouldn’t be griping *quite* so much had nice-next-door not texted me after a couple of hours to say they were having a barby and did I want to get my washing in?

Once "er indoors TM" had boiled up some scran I’m off to another night shift…

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