Lead me not into temptation. I know a shortcut.

It’s probably best we don’t mention I took a 3 month “sick day”, yeah?
Good. I just *knew* I could trust you.

Today I’m going to write about religion. It’s not something I write about often ( if at all ) because in all honesty I don’t know much beyond the basics. This is quite possibly why I scribble the odd ( very odd, occasionally ) entry or two about zombie chickens. It’s so much  easier to appear authoritative when nobody else knows what on earth you’re talking about, and whilst I’m a hopeless liar I’m also an olympic – standard bluffer.
“Reanimated poultry flesh? Yeah man, bane of my life… ”
See? Easy peasy lemon squeezy. Props to me for being the only person on the planet to still be using that phrase.

So, religion.

For a long time I proudly declared I was an atheist. It was a new word I’d learned ( Remind me at some point in the future to tell you about my Schroedinger’s Cat obsession. I was am such a strange child ) and nobody was going to take it away from me. Not that anyone wanted to. Religious preference amongst the average pre-schooler tends not to carry much weight.
Kid 1 : I believe in God!
Kid 2 : I have Dora The Explorer knickers…look!
Kid 1 : Cool !!!!!
Spiritual analysis over. Pink lace trim 1 : Faith 0

Nobody really cared what I thought did or didn’t exist, so my skepticism went ignored. Just as well really, because once I gained access to an adult encyclopedia I discovered I was in fact agnostic instead. I would have felt very foolish had anyone been taking any notice of me beyond “There’s that strange, quiet, long dark-haired girl with the huge collection of fruit-scented erasers..” Such is my legacy.

Now, I’m not entirely sure whether my agnosticism is a natural extension of my inherent apathy. And naturally, I can’t bring myself to care. But I do know , whatever your religious views, I’m cool with it. I’d just like more folk to be nice to each other. And for cakes to be given free to hormonal women. But that’s another matter entirely.
Therefore, it was a little unusual to be discussing religion and money with my dear insane friend, Shelley, a few months back. Unusual because our conversational topics in rough order of frequency are :
1) Her genitals.
2) My constipation.
3) How kids in general are driving us crazy, and our kids in particular.
4) Her lack of beer.
5) Men, and how they can be dreadfully silly sometimes.
And so on. You know, girl talk.

Then she set me a task :
“shit.  it’s nearly 11pm.  tell you what,  you design a religion – its rules, major belief points, do’s and don’ts, etc.  don’t forget that each religion has a miracle of some sort in there, and a god that occasionally speaks to followers and maybe appears in different forms for proof of existence.
do a blog.
i don’t do well in yellow, so cross that colour out, btw.”
…and being my friend and knowing me very well, she never mentioned it again. I’m not good with deadlines, pressure, or commitment, so dropping the whole issue was the best possible way to get me to do it.

Then today’s prompt crowbarred itself into my mailbox:
“Do you prefer to lead or follow? Or neither? “
and my deranged chum’s directions sprang to mind. Obviously if you’re going to be starting up an entire new system of belief you’re going to be the leader. You’d have to be 2 cartons of coleslaw short of a KFC Family Feast not to, cos let’s face it… that’s where the big shiny piles of cash are. Besides, being an agnostic I might choke on the “following” part and I’m slightly more likely to sign up if they’re my rules.

Then it gets tricky. Try it yourself. Think of one thing you’d have as a written-in-stone rule ( see what I did there? Hahaha. ), and it will quickly dawn on you that’s it’s probably featured front page on a whole bunch of slightly more advanced religions, and your little one now seems the Faith equivalent of own-label store cola.
Suddenly you start to realise that to found an entirely different way to worship is going to take considerably longer than one blog post. And you, my lovely fluffy subscriber, realise I’m going to fob you off in installments again like I did with the whole zombie chicken thing….


The Holy Church Of The Resurrected Poultry!


Alas, I’m seeing yellow-feathered robes though. Sorry about that, Shelley.


Credit where credit’s long overdue.

My best friend, Shelley, is insane. Not “gnaw your way through the leather wrist restraints” mental, but she certainly qualifies enough to carry the laminated membership card. I’ve known her for a good few years now and she’s that very best type of friend… the sort that will listen in silence as you air your grievances at her for an hour, give it a good long think, and then say, “Yes, I can understand why you might feel that way… but you do realise you’re talking utter crap, don’t you?” I need a friend like that, to keep me grounded in ways that well-meaning but less deranged friends simply don’t. And she’s done all this from the other side of the planet… because Shelley and I have never even met. Somewhere along the line she went from being an “internet friend” to just being my friend and the distance became immaterial.

The glory of the internet is that the world truly has become a much smaller place unless a) you’re attempting to either dust it or find your keys in it or b) you’re trying to walk it in heels. Heels and I are not friends and I just can’t get from one place to another in them, no matter how small the journey may be. Maybe it’s my natural lack of grace. Maybe it’s because I have calf muscles like a Russian shot putter. Not that I know any Russian shot putters ( that I’m aware of ), but I do share a love of cheese with my friend in America, an adoration of vampires with my buddy in Sweden and a passion for marmite on toast with my pal in the UK. Shelley is Australian, but I’m trying very hard not to hold it against her. *chuckle*

So, it was my bald-headed amigo ( she shaved her head because I did exactly the same thing on a whim last month…sucker hahahaha )who instantly jumped to mind when today’s blogging prompt was posted : “Name someone who deserves more credit than they get. And for bonus points, how to change things so they get more “.

So.. why exactly does she deserve more credit than she’s getting?

Well, it’s been a hard couple of years here, and sometimes it really has been a case of struggling to get through it all day by day, hour by hour. Whilst I have a supportive and caring Better Half, sometimes a girl just needs a good girly chum to make labia jokes with as a way to cope with the sheer terror of seeing a child struggle and being powerless to stop it.
That just makes her a good friend, yeah, but what’s the credit deal?
The deal is : She just doesn’t see it. She doesn’t realise how much her support, her caring, her humour and her random packages of tourist junk in the mail mean to me. She doesn’t realise the honour she does me by confiding her hopes, dreams, failures and successes when we talk. She hasn’t seen me creased up with laughter on my darkest and most hopeless of days simply because she’s told me that she’s dyed her entire body blue for the office christmas party. She’s smart, funny and the best friend I’ve ever had. When I confided in her that finances were dire she went into a flurry of “How to give you some money” ideas with the words “Please let me do this for you, let me pay you back for your friendship, let me be a good friend.” More than anything my frog pyjama-wearing friend needs to give herself the credit due, because I think she’s wonderful. Strange, slightly surreal, imperfectly perfect and brilliant.
So how is she going to get more credit? Well, I’m going to show her this and maybe, just maybe, she’ll start to realise just how truly fabulous she is and how she’s been nothing BUT a good friend from the very first day I met her.
Even if she makes me squeeze my head in the scanner and post the result on Facebook for her amusement :

Help, help, I'm stuck!

Help, help, I'm stuck!