2007 — 28 September: happy anniversary to us!

Time now (07:52) and the penultimate dose of rads coming up. Maybe not the most conventional way1 to kick off your 33rd wedding anniversary, I suppose. But it appears you do not always get quite what you want in this Life.

However, we were both startled and very touched when the "lads" with the wheels who have been ferrying us to and from these radiation sessions presented us with a card and a bottle of wine. Thank you, Peter and Paul. Thank you very much indeed. And here we are, back at home, before we know it. Very smooth operation.

Can you feel the (driving) force, Luke?... department

Way back when (23rd July, actually) I noted I had picked up the official DSA theory test, the Highway Code, and their DVD guide to Hazard Perception. I've since read the material a couple of times, taken delivery of my provisional licence, and (although I didn't note it at the time) on 19th September I also picked up both the DSA's "Learning to drive" book and the AA's version of the "Theory Test" with the 964 questions and answers that are in effect from 3 September this year. And, just yesterday, Christa got me added to her car insurance for an amazing £52 or so, fully comprehensive.

Now that we have a break from the regular "tick tock" of having to be somewhere for all this radio-therapy it's a good opportunity to turn the ignition key. So my first driving lesson is set for next Wednesday morning — I have booked a block of ten one-hour sessions to get me started. Let us try not to refer to this as a "crash course", but I really do wish to become a qualified driver just as fast as I can manage it.

How should atheists respond?... department

Returning, briefly, to a topic from 6th September, there's some interesting reading here, from which I quote:

Polite respect ends when believers insist on sacred texts as God's authorization of those believers to regulate, suppress, or punish the behavior of nonbelievers ... Is there anything as impolite — a gentle word, to be sure — as forcing one's moral rules on another because they supposedly come from a divine being whose existence the other doesn't accept?

The simple answer, then, to how atheists should respond to sacred texts is: politely, if possible, employing all the wry ambiguity book critics use when awkwardly trapped with the author or admirer of a book about which they have reservations. "It's really quite amazing," one might say, or, "You know, I was just reading it the other day — it's as good as ever."

Carlin Romano writing in the Chronicle Review an article called Are sacred texts sacred?

To end the day, I selected a DVD I recorded from BBC4 — a one-hour compilation of snippets from chat shows all originally transmitted in 1973. Who now remembers the 3-day week, I wonder? The two most frequent hosts were, of course, Michael Parkinson and Russell Harty. And the shows were notable in allowing guests time to formulate (and utter without interruption) complete, and generally grammatical, sentences. Most interesting.



1  We'd been vaguely contemplating a long-overdue trip down to New Zealandland, for instance!