This picture from my non-religious perspective

This is a shot I captured whilst walking through Waverley Cemetery on the Bondi to Coogee walk that I recently posted about here. It is a stunning walk, even the graveyard was fairly picturesque.

The picture below was inspired by my friend that stood in this spot to get the great effect. I liked his image that much I had to do the same.

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For me, this photo sums up the reasons why I am not religious. For some, this photo is a sign. A message from a higher power that has incorporated two things in life into one glorious view for us to marvel at. A person no longer with us that has been glorified by God at this moment when people are present to witness it. I didn’t look at the gravestone, however I can imagine this moment of spirituality for some would increase tenfold if it was a person with the same name or birthday. We seek patterns and coincidence and love when they occur.

But of course by taking a step to the left or right this picture would not be the same. It would simply be a gravestone with the sun behind it. The same if I held the camera higher or lower. For this shot to work, I had to make it work.

This does not mean that I don’t appreciate the view. This may be my favourite photo I have taken on this recent trip and I often look at it. I love it and not being religious doesn’t take my appreciation away from it. But it does help me to understand that in life we look for such patterns and apply a meaning because it is fun. It makes us feel good and telling ourselves that there is a logical and non spiritual reason why this often occurs is nowhere near as enjoyable as putting it down to something unexplained or wiser than us.

I am not very good at it, but I enjoy trying to differentiate between what I think is true because is it logical and what I think is true because it feels good. We are a very emotional species that likes hearing the truth when it makes us feel warm inside. If it makes us feel crappy, the truth is an inconvenience and this is substituted for a more pleasant alternative. Of course this is my personal belief but this is exactly what I was doing when I was a younger, more religious person. I see it as a blessing and a curse having OCD that I obsess over things and if I think I am believing something contrary to evidence because it feels good, the obsessive part of my brain won’t let it go until I find a rational reason as to why I believe it. If I cannot find one, I stop believing it. This is why I am the person I am now, with my current blog and opinions on religion and atheism. I used to be a lot more direct and not as compassionate in my opinions on religion once I had left it, however I know what it is like to feel rock bottom and having at least something to cling to and this has helped me to transform my blog into a one that anyone of any faith or opinion can reach out too and speak openly on. Of course some religious people are dicks, as any human is capable of being, so my rule is if you are nice to me I will be with you also. The golden rule if you will.

But yes, back to the photo. I think it is good to see this photo with logic, as with life itself. Not to just see it and assume something that reaffirms a belief but break it down and ask questions, maybe contradicting your own opinion. Yes it is good positioning, however why does the cross have to be at an angle for it to work? Why does it have to be this gravestone? Why a graveyard where the person has already passed and the sadness already suffered? To ask questions feels like breaking the shackles for me and liberates us of the thoughts that we have always been told to think, and opens up doors we feel uneasy about opening. Sometimes in life we are so grateful to open these doors and when looking back, do not want to imagine a life in which we didn’t.

 


 

Thank you again to all my followers and regular readers, and hello to you if you are new to my blog!

New to this site? Click here to visit my About My Blog section

Want to keep up with my travels? Click here for my Travel Diary

Want to introduce yourself and your blog and discover new ones? Click here for my meet and greet page.

Happy blogging,

Sam

Why I changed my blog three times in four years

Some of you will know that I used to go under a different name back when I started blogging. And some of you will know that this changed. And changed again. My blog is still on a similar theme as it always has been, but I have adapted it to keep it moving and to keep me satisfied when I feel change is needed.

The original blog name reflected an incident that I witnessed a few years back and wanted to write about. It was a time when I was questioning everything, and I started to think very deeply about life, death, reality and beliefs. I left religion and anyone that has done so will know it is a very weird phase. Everything I believed was no longer, and I felt very vulnerable and my anxiety rose. Withdrawal symptoms you could say.

My website was called religionerased or coincidentally, RE for short. One of my first posts was Witnessing discrimination first hand, a post about domestic violence that occurred one day at work. It shocked me that this could occur and that the man committing the act was surprised he was even told to stop. ‘But she is my wife?’ was his reply. This shocked and appalled me. I admittedly lumped culture and religion together at this moment (they can indeed go hand in hand) and it made me distance myself further from any kind of religious belief. I had a lot I wanted to speak about that was bottled up inside me for roughly 6-7 years and blogging was a great way to do that with people that wanted to listen. It gained a following as I published posts once or twice a week, mainly in the atheist community however not exclusively. I remember a great christian blogger following my work and I followed hers, she was so open about questioning her beliefs and listened to my opinions and I listened to hers. She later blogged to say she could no longer keep blogging as she wasn’t comfortable confronting her own beliefs. This was a shame as I feel we had some open and honest conversations in the community between differing beliefs. She was a loss.

Despite this, I started to grow tired of debates. I didn’t feel good at the end of the day continuously disagreeing with people, and it just felt a little toxic. No matter how long I could debate with someone, it was highly unlikely that I would convince them, nor could they convince me. A clash of two small egos on very small blogging platforms. It often led to nowhere with someone I will probably never meet anyway. This is the point in which I felt I needed my first change, instead of clash with bloggers I wanted to do my own thing without trying to convince others. If they wanted to read my thoughts and opinions on topics they could. This sounded much better than what I was doing at the time and I would get much more satisfaction this way. I would build an audience that appreciated my posts and I would spend more time speaking to those that had similar interests and were eager to chat. A time much less wasted.

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I remember travelling to Brazil for a wedding and the Olympics in 2016. A trip I loved. One day we headed to the Iguazu Falls, a stunning set of waterfalls between the Brazilian and Argentinian borders and we took a boat right to the plunge pool of one of the falls. It was an amazing experience, pretty terrifying as you could truly feel the immense power of the waterfall. I recorded the footage of us heading right up to it, and stopped recording a little sooner than I wished I did. I could no longer see anything from the mist of the water and didn’t think my camera would have been able to.

Stepping off the boat and onto dry land was the moment that I wanted to blog about travelling more. I still wanted to blog about my personal beliefs and thoughts however merge this with my travelling experiences. I thought if I can show the world that someone without religion can find happiness and motivation to live, I have another reason to blog.

I changed the name of my blog to Living with Atheism, and I posted about the change here. I wanted to post with a little more optimism and fun, whilst preserving my original intentions for blogging. I used the ‘Living with’ to state that I aim to live life to the full but also demonstrate the negatives and stigma around a blog like mine. A blogger friend mentioned that this may look like I am trying to compare it to living with an illness or disability, and this played on my mind. I kept this title for a while before ditching it.

So here we are at my current domain. I was really debating whether to change the title altogether and ditch any association with religion or lack of, but it is such a big reason why I blog I just couldn’t. I love philosophy, debate, conversation and new ideas. Instead I decided to make it as blogger friendly as possible and I want to engage with anyone of all walks of life. I always have, I just feel earlier editions of my blog weren’t very good at achieving this. If anything they would have led people away instead of inviting them in for discussion. This isn’t me. So, I eventually went with My Life Without Religion. It is short and to the point. This is my website address, however I have changed the title of my blog to simply Living!, as living is what I want to do and inspire others to do as best as they can.

I believe change is key to success, or simply survival. No one likes change, however without change we rust up. We get complacent and get bored. These can be small or big changes, but I think it is wise to mix life up every now and then. It is stimulating and provides additional challenges. These challenges develop us as individuals over time and are often looked back on with good feelings instead of regret. I would always prefer a regret due to change in style- as these can always be reversed- than regret not change at all. One regret is much more fulfilling than the other.

 


 

Thank you again to all my followers and regular readers, and hello to you if you are new to my blog!

New to this site? Click here to visit my About My Blog section

Want to keep up with my travels? Click here for my Travel Diary

Want to introduce yourself and your blog and discover new ones? Click here for my meet and greet page.

Happy blogging!

There are two kinds of traveller

This post has been my thoughts for a few weeks. Something that I have wanted to post after recent conversations, and from the people I have met in the last 12 months. Ironically I was going to post it a couple of days back, however due to a bout of anxiety I put it off and stayed away from my blog for a couple days.

There is, from my travelling experience, two types of traveller. This opinion was formed from my experiences as I make my way around the places I have been fortunate enough to visit, and from speaking to people of all walks of life on these journeys. It has really helped me to understand why people travel and that travel isn’t always about having fun in the sun.

The first kind of traveller can be split into two groups. These are business and leisure travellers.

Those wanting to learn.

These are people eager to travel. The ones that are hungry for adventure or personal development. Someone wanting to expand their horizons, become more confident and learn about new cultures. It could also be someone travelling with work, wanting to develop in their career and travelling is a requirement in the role. The common link between the two is that travelling is the gateway to development and new experiences. The learning aspect that drives them to board that plane.

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But these aren’t the only people that travel. It isn’t always with high ambitions and the pursuit of fun. In fact, it is quite the opposite.

The escape of pain and misery.

Not everyone that heads to the airport does so with a giant smile on their face as they hand over the passport. Despite the Facebook feed being flooded with messages from family stating how jealous they are, with those all too common ‘is there room in your suitcase for me!?‘ comments, spending a week, or month or even a year abroad isn’t always a guarantee for happiness.

It certainly is an escape from the norm. However what that ‘norm’ is exactly largely determines why that person is travelling. A relatively comfortable existence often results in boredom and the need for adventure. Leaving a boring routine, but not necessarily a miserable life. But for some- and sadly, a fairly large percentage of people- travel is a way to escape. Whether this escape is from people, a place or even themselves, travel is used as a distraction.

I have realised this as I meet new people. Some backpackers have left poisonous relationships or family members. Some have suffered losses of close family or friends and needed to take a break from the pressures of life back home. Some have terminal illnesses and this may be the last time they get to see certain places they have had on the bucket list. The last one in particular hit me hard not too long ago as I checked in a couple into a hotel in Sydney. I asked rather merrily what their reasons for visiting were and the husband stated that his wife was terminally ill and this would be one of their last trips together. I would have had no idea as she looked relatively healthy as she stood there whilst I went through the check in process, and no training can prepare you for such an answer. I decided not to show too much emotion, acknowledged what was said and assured them a great stay with us, and that we would be here 24/7 if they needed anything during their stay. A quick check in, I felt they did not need a reminder of how tragic this situation is for them and their loved ones.

This was just one example of the sad reality of life, and the troubles we all face day to day. Whether it is depression that makes someone feel the need to escape their thoughts and find a way to try and stimulate themselves outside the 9-5, or wanting some alone time to take in some recent news, the view outside of the airplane window isn’t always met with excitement. It can be another chance to escape some kind of suffering.

I would put myself in both of these categories. Since I left the UK for the USA in 2010 on my first trip abroad alone, I have always desired for more travel. I made so many lifetime friends, gained confidence and learned that alone time is great. But then in 2013, my dad died. After this I was drained of any motivation to travel, however I realised that travel helped to keep depression and anxiety at bay with so many new experiences on a daily basis. The motivation to get up and do things can be difficult after such a loss, but because I new what travel was like prior to this, I realised it would be a remedy and a positive distraction from the negative feelings.

I know there are people out there that will benefit from this. Not to forget such an event, but to make the most of the time we have and get out and explore. Knowing so many others are going through similar things, knowing we aren’t alone and having new conversations with new people about similar experiences can be a great therapy. Travel isn’t always filled with happy people smiling 24/7 like their social media portrays. It is a mix of all kinds of people travelling for many different reasons.

And with this, what is your reasons for travelling?


Featured Photo by Marten Bjork on Unsplash


 

Thank you again to all my followers and regular readers, and hello to you if you are new to my blog!

New to this site? Click here to visit my About My Blog section

Want to keep up with my travels? Click here for my Travel Diary

Want to introduce yourself and your blog and discover new ones? Click here for my meet and greet page.

Happy blogging!

 

What do you hate?

Hate is underrated, I guess. If we don’t know or talk about what we hate, we have no way of making life better for ourselves and others. I was just watching a fascinating conversation on YouTube between two of my favourite speakers, Jordan Peterson and Sam Harris. Douglas Murray, someone that I am eager to research more on, was the moderator and to close the two hour long discussion, he ended with a question. If you are eager to watch the conversation on religion, it can be viewed here.

It was a rather humerous end as he had to bring the event to a halt due to time constraints, the topic being discussed at the time was the nature of love.

‘We had a long session on love just then, and I refuse to finish this evening on such a positive note.’

This was met with laughter by the crowd and speakers as, with the previous conversations they have had together, they are always productive and well mannered. Murray went on to say:

‘And I wanted to hand over to both of you to give an idea of not of your loves, but of your present hates’.

Peterson stated after a brief pause that what he hated was the evil inside us all, the part of him that could potentially not just be okay with being an Auschwitz prison guard, but would happily be. The evil that we possess whether we like it or not. Harris stated that he hates unnecessary suffering, his personal capacity for it and ‘everything in our culture that conspires to make the preciousness and the sacredness of the present moment difficult to realise.’

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I really like the question because it requires deep thought and in these examples, looking inward and at ourselves as well as the world around us.

And with that, what do I hate?

I agree with both speakers, and especially the answer of unnecessary suffering. This is the main reason why I decided to start blogging all those years ago, I have always desired to get my thoughts out there one way or another. The understanding that whilst I type these words, people are being imprisoned unjustly, tortured and enslaved for simply not conforming to the beliefs of those that have the ability to carry these evil acts out. Beliefs that are unworthy of such suffering.

Selfishness also comes into this and I find this a good and bad aspect of our nature. If I didn’t worry about how horrible it would feel for me to be in this situation and try to avoid it throughout my life, I would really struggle to show empathy and try to understand what it is like to be in their shoes. However this comes and goes from day to day, as I am sure is true of most if not all of us, as I struggle to be content with what I have a lot of the time. The more peaceful our lives are, the easier it is to become complacent, bored and desire more. This is a struggle as there is no end point here, only a desire to keep looking for happiness and the realisiation that we are not there and to become frustrated. I find one thing I strongly dislike about myself is that I don’t reflect enough on how lucky I am to be where I am and have what I have. A loving family, the ability to travel, the technology to be able to communicate with you all anywhere in the world. This selfishness does help inspire me to grow, but it doesn’t always help me appreciate what I already have.

I also hate not knowing the answers to life and the universe and the human desire to crave a bad answer over no answer at all. I am not religious and I feel that there are so many wrong answers about who we are and where we came from, and striving for the truth is like swimming against the current. We often crave answers that make us feel good, answers that we have been told throughout our lives and don’t require a change of thinking. I feel this will- and currently is- causing big problems in the world as this is a universal phenomena across many belief systems. If all of our differing cultures like to stick to what they currently believe, change and agreement will be slow. I wish we could fast forward this.

And with this I ask you, what do you hate? 

I would love to know and as always, I look forward to seeing you in the comments.

 

What was your first blog post title?

I look through the welcome pages frequently because I love to see the diversity in bloggers interests, including those that are just getting started on the site. One of the things that caught my eye was the number of new bloggers posting the following:

‘The Journey Begins’

It fascinated me as I wonder why so many choose that exact title. Are they looking at the welcome page and seeing this title regularly and following suit? This would make sense I guess. Or do we humans think a lot more alike than we anticipate and genuinely see blogging as a path or journey, starting with the first post and seeing where it takes us…

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Either way, it is interesting.

And with that, what was your first blog post title? Mine was ‘Truth: The Only Saviour’ and you can give it a read here. This was way back in 2014 when I was fully committed to discussing religion and my reasons for leaving. Now, I still want to provide my thoughts on such topics here and there, but infuse it with travel, art and photography. It helps me to remain creative, more inspiring and less conflicting.

And with that I ask you, what was your first blog post? Feel free to share it in the comments below 🙂


Featured image taken in Newcastle, Australia


 

Thank you again to all my followers and regular readers, and hello to you if you are new to my blog!

New to this site? Click here to visit my About My Blog section

Want to keep up with my travels? Click here for my Travel Diary

Want to introduce yourself and your blog and discover new ones? Click here for my meet and greet page.

Happy blogging!

Constantly living in fear!

Whenever I stumble upon one of these signs, I reflect upon the fact that these just aren’t a thing in the UK. The ‘thing’ of course in question being dangerous animals. 


Growing up there was never a concern about what animals were hiding in the wilderness. Building dens in the fields, climbing trees, the odd occasion when the weather was nice enough to take a dip in the water… the animals we were on the lookout for as kids were hedgehogs, fieldmice and frogs. The main concern was if the farmer caught us in his truck ruining the crops. This did happen on a couple of occasions. 

I guess I took this for granted. Something I have realised now I am in a country that makes me keep one eye open at all times. Maybe I am being overly cautious, I’m sure locals are a lot more laid back and aware of the probability of a wild encounter. But if anything, going from a very non hostile environment to one that is rife with so many dangerous animals is one of the biggest differences I’ve experienced here. It also makes me thing about life, how scary and unforgiving it can be and that I choose to reject the belief that the many cruel and painful defence mechanisms possessed by these animals were designed intentionally to cause such suffering.

But my question for today is, do you come from a land of friendly or not so friendly creatures? Did you have to be on the look out growing up? Did you or anyone you know feel the effects of a dangerous animals attack first hand? 

Now I realise why living in a very cool climate has its blessings.

Fact check everything!

I woke up today with an image that a couple of people shared to their social media. It was the image of nightmares, an aggressive bear entering a tent and growling at it’s next victim. Here is the image.


If you have seen the image shared, or shared it yourself, you will probably have a description that goes a little like this.

Michio Hoshino, a photographer known for his pictures of bears and other wildlife, was mauled to death by a brown bear on the Kamchatka Peninsula in eastern Russia. He was in his mid-40’s and lived in Fairbanks, Alaska. This is the last photo he took.

This isn’t the last photo he took.

Michio Hoshino was indeed a photographer. He was also killed by a bear. But this doesn’t mean any photo with a bear and the attached text is all it seems. Just a 30 second Google tells us that this isn’t a genuine photo, but a photoshop used in a competition.

Over at Snopes, they provided a little insight to the origin after the image went viral.

It’s an entry from a Worth1000 Photoshop competition in which contestants were tasked with creating “a last-photo hoax: the final photograph of the victim, whoever he might be, had a camera on him right before ‘it’ happens.

This blog as far back as 2009 also analyses the image. With the title ‘About Alleged Michio Hoshino’s Last Image of a Bear’, the author studies the image in more depth, with an update that ‘the photo was photoshopped by user BonnySaintAndrew as a an entry for a Final Photo 9 contest’. It also looks into the lighting in the photo considering the attack occurred around 4am.


Of course I could spend all day fact checking the fact checkers, but this would take me all the way back to the deadly event in 1996. But as always, if it seems to incredible to be true, it probably is.

This doesn’t mean there aren’t incredible photos out there. There have been so many that I have seen and thought ‘that has to be fake, come on!’ before looking it up and finding out it is indeed a genuine. There are photos even crazier than this one. The first one that springs to mind is camera footage of a Bigfin Squid found by a deep-sea camera operated by a drilling company in the Gulf of Mexico. 


Now I am not sure if this specific photo is genuine, however finding the video footage of the encounter shows that this is exactly what it looks like. I believe this image was a zoom out of that camera, and even if this is a fake, it is still nowhere near as eerie as the actual video footage when it was unexpectedly seen.

I don’t want to be a bore and call out all amazing yet fake photos, I just think it would be much better if we filter out the fakes and enjoy the genuine crazy occurances that are captured by our amazing little pocket devices. 

I know as the day goes on, that bear photo will continue to be shared. There will be hundreds more comments of ‘hey, that’s incredible!’, ‘scary shit!’ and so on. Yet it takes less than a minute to find the genuine source and the specific photoshopper. Is it any wonder we live in a world of lies and deceit when they can spread like wildfire online? Why spend time researching the facts when it takes less time to simply believe. This is why we have so many conspiracies, and religions determined by geographical location more than evidence. This is why I find it so fun to do a little research, the most interesting caves are the ones that are waiting to be discovered!

TBT: Staring into infinity

I think that my Thursday posts for the foreseeable future will be throwbacks to posts I have previously published. This is for a couple of reasons. One reason being I have currently 1,077 posts on my blog, with many of my early posts gathering between 2-5 views. I would love to return to these posts as many are still relevant and it would be great to introduce to the wider audience I very gratefully have today. Another reason is that blogging daily is difficult with full time work, and posting an entry that I have previously published gives me that little bit of extra time to look at my blog, respond to comments and think of new material. 

It would be tragic if a band did not play their older stuff at a gig, I kind of feel the same way about my blog. 

This one is a fairly recent one, dating back to June 9th, 2017. It was when I was starting to tell people about my move to Australia, I was having a catch up with friends in a bar that I knew I wouldn’t see for a while. I miss this kind of European architecture, however I have seen a lot more of the blue sky here than I probably ever did in Newcastle, England.

Enjoy!


That’s all there is to say of this view. A view that is astounding, normalised due to it being the only view we have ever had.

I love the term ‘space’, it’s like the most modest definition of a possibly infinite universe/multiverse. It would be like calling the ocean ‘big puddle’.

No ceiling, no boundaries. If I had the ability to launch into the clouds above, I could go on forever. Why don’t I consider this more often? How does everyday life take my attention away from unbe-fucking-lievable aspects of our reality?

Beyond the blue, pure mystery. Like looking into the depths of the ocean, all we can do is stare and wonder. This amazes me, it also saddens me. The planets I will never visit and the landscapes I will never walk, the possibility of extra terrestrial life and technology they could possess. We are that desperate to cling onto old traditions we lack so much desire to discover. If our priorities are discussing same sex marriage and women keeping their hair covered, should I be surprised we have hardly explored our own solar system?

It takes a space shuttle 150 seconds to leave our atmosphere. A very short time but still difficult for us to carry out regularly. We are spiders trying to leave a bathtub, the slippery surface made of closed mindedness and hurt feelings. There are many of us that would love to leave the bathtub but cannot as we are too busy trying to fight for equal rights and evade beheadings. You know, the silly things that should be history, still taking place in a world that has the capability for so much more.

And that, ladies and gentleman, is the reason I drink alcohol occasionally. To forget that some people are offended by it.

Let me know what you think, as I am sure there are plenty of opinions on this.

First publshed June 9th, 2017

Reblogged Jan 18th, 2018

Witnessing discrimination first hand

Okay my beloved readers, my blog in recent months has transformed into less of a one set up for conversation and debate, instead it has been one that I have used to motivate both myself and my followers. I have needed it greatly, especially in the crazy world we live in.

This doesn’t mean that I won’t post the odd topic that will get us all talking and sharing different viewpoints, as I feel this is equally important if I want to keep learning. I was speaking to a blogger yesterday here on WordPress about some of the difficulties of being a female in her country of residence, and it reminded me of a blog post I was thinking of re-uploading. In a world where there are an increasing number of campaigns such as the Women’s March and the #metoo hashtag, it is probably an appropriate time to reflect on this post.

So this is the blog post from an experience I had back in 2014. It was one of the reasons I started blogging as it hit me hard, and will probably be in a chapter of my book. Let me know what you think and I hope it isn’t too much of a contrast from the recent Christmas and New Years Eve celebration posts, I will have plenty of upbeat posts to come.


Originally posted Mar 19th, 2014.

We don’t have to look very deep into the past to see how faith and discrimination can go hand in hand. Nor do we have to travel very far. It was a big shock for me to hear the terrible murder of Lee Rigby in 2013 by extremists, music to the ears of others. Although extremist terror groups are more present in the UK in recent years, hearing news of a human being beheaded on British streets is hard to comprehend. In the same year, Malala Yousafzai was shot in the head in Pakistan for daring to speak out for her right to an education. Religious ideology had almost stripped her of this right for being female, but for an incredible and remarkable recovery. The Westboro Baptist Church in the United States continually protest against supposed ‘issues’ such as gay marriage because of Bible scripture.

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From personal experience, discrimination is plain to see. Maybe not on the same scale, but discrimination nevertheless. From our personal perspective we see the grassroots level of irrational thinking and delusion in many situations. My main concern is what I see as discrimination- a percentage of society see as normality. A delusion in itself, or sheer reluctance to change? Neither are healthy.

Although it is unfortunately the norm in so many regions of the world it is important to see the differential between the two. We are very compliant at accepting life as it is, rather than addressing where we could improve. This stark reality became apparent to me first hand when working a shift in a recent hotel job.

One late shift, the assistant general manager was called due to complaints from neighbouring rooms of crying and possible violence. There was brief conversation in Arabic, but those around weren’t speakers of the language. After going upstairs to knock on the door he was greeted by a couple, a Middle Eastern couple however the nationality I cannot recall. It was the response received by the manager that really appalled me.

When asked if he was being abusive to his partner his response was “But she is my wife!?”. From the way the conversation was brought to our attention the male was confused as to why the situation was even addressed by staff. A rhetorical question to answer for his perfectly reasonable abuse.

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But that is what it was in his eyes. She was a woman who had deserved physical abuse for whatever reason and being stopped in his tracks was a shock. One regret I have from this was not questioning why we did not take the matter further. I was young and didn’t want to question someone who had dealt with many situations similar to this after more than a decade in the industry. An incident management hear regularly and therefore address but not necessarily prevent. What does make it difficult is that the female did not want to take it any further when asked. The difficulty of the situation grows here. Is leaving it causing less harm? What are the repercussions in the long term for a victim of domestic violence? Regardless, it takes more thought than a five minute conversation. Lesson learned; if someone is reported to be visibly shaken, this person needs attention.

But since then I’ve always wondered the poor ladies fate. A recurring nightmare she may have to deal with on a day to day basis for the rest of her life. Another domestic abuse statistic. Another suicide to escape the inescapable.

Whatever that may be, it’s enough to stick with me and drive me to ensure this doesn’t get ignored again, and one of the main drives I have for starting this blog. Has anyone else been in a similar situation, or been shocked as to how a similar case had not been addressed properly due to it being a common occurrence or a matter of ‘cultural difference’?

I wish that lady all the best.

Reposted Jan 3rd, 2018.

Photo by Paola Chaaya on Unsplash

I got attacked by an agnostic feminist

First of all, I am not one to throw the term ‘feminazi’ around like a frisbee. I have never used it before nor do I intend to. I want equality for both genders and I don’t think the feminist movement is a bad one, although of course like so many movements you get a few bad eggs. One of these eggs hit me in the face last night. It caught me off guard that I really wanted to post about it.

I was sitting in a bar after work. I was with a colleague and she had to leave, I stayed and finished my drink whilst tapping words into my iPhone. It is a bar that generously gives me discount for working in a business nearby. I was sitting at a table when a young couple sat down next to me. It didn’t take long before we got chatting.

The girl leaned over to me a few minutes into them being there. She asked if I had been stood up by someone. Fair enough, I could well have been. Thankfully, this hasn’t happened to me before. I have had girls tell me they didn’t want a date with me, absolutely. But being stood up is something I haven’t had to endure and I don’t know how happy I would have been to admit it if I was indeed left waiting for a date that didn’t turn up. I told her I hadn’t been stood up. I could see she wasn’t entirely convinced, I asked why she assumed I had been.

She responded with, ‘Why did you mention being stood up? Are you ashamed because it affects your masculinity?!

Very confused, I could only respond with ‘What?!’.

I do have to say at this point that I could tell from her eyes that she was very drunk. The guy she was with put his head in his hands in embarrassment, he seemed a lot more sober. Despite her being drunk, she still wrongly assumed I was a male that was out on a date that didn’t want to meet me and that I was precious about my masculinity when confronted on the rejection I experienced. The trouble with this is, I just came here for a cheap beer after work. Judging someone after sitting next to them for five minutes is a pretty bad move. Not just judging internally, but to turn to that person and tell them who they are is not very nice, especially when the radar is so off track.

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Hey, she was drunk. I am not proud of who I am when drunk, and I thank anyone who has dealt with my drunken ramblings when I am in such a state. Being the sober one in the situation only reminds me that I have probably been as stupid when drunk and that I have a new found respect for bar security that have to take trash talk on a nightly basis. Speaking to the guy she was with after she went outside on the phone to a friend, I found out they were on a Tinder date. I don’t know if their date was a successful one, only they can answer that. I personally would have ran a mile after her accusation. She did come back and the next thing I know is that she still involved me in their conversation, and that she opened up about losing religion. I could only assume that she caught the title of my blog whilst I was on my phone as it was strange that she opened up to me, withing about ten minutes of knowing me, on a topic I am so interested in. The topic change was out of the blue. She suddenly got tearful and told me and her date- I did not know who was on a date with who at this point- that she was losing religion and that she doesn’t know if this was a bad thing. It was something that she had all her life and that she was suddenly relearning everything.

It was actually at this point that the conversation got interesting and that I was more willing to chat to this seemingly judgmental person. Her dutch courage turned to vulnerability and both Tinder guy and myself tried to encourage her that there is a lot of beauty in leaving religion. It has, in our case at least, made this life one we really want to cherish. It doesn’t mean the final credits will definitely roll as we say our last breath, there could be some kind of afterlife, whether it be a God or an advanced alien setup. We could be in the matrix. The multiverse may well contain the most awesome and infinitely wonderful opportunities once our atoms disperse and head to the stars that we are built from. To be saddened by an absence of religion does take a dose of pessimism, enhanced by alcohol of course.

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So yes, I had an interesting chat with an ‘agnostic feminazi’. I hope there aren’t too many of them around, thankfully it doesn’t seem that way. It also doesn’t really alter my opinion on feminists or agnostics, if one person could change such opinions we would have some awful opinions on pretty much everyone.

I finished my beer, thought about the conversation and was grateful that interesting conversations can sometimes pop out of nowhere, even if I am seen as a overly masculine, emotional date reject in the process. Cheers!


Featured Image by Clem Onojeghuo on Unsplash

Photo by NASA on Unsplash