Danny Breslin

How it is…

Losing My Religion

Several years ago my sister lived for a spell in London, she had not long left University and had found a job down there. One day she rang me and said her flat had been broken into and could I go down to watch the place until the locksmith turned up to sort the door out. Apparently it had been raining really heavily that day and all that was missing was a towel; seriously, I’m not joking – they just wanted to dry their hair!

I ended up staying for a few days and she took me to see The Smiths live on the South Bank as a thank you. On the way home from London I had what can only be described as a reverse Road to Damascus moment on a Stafford train station platform.

I got to Euston and decided to catch the train to Birmingham for a connector to Tamworth as it would have got me there quicker than the direct train which I would have had to wait another hour for – bloody sunday services. At the gate there was a breakdown in communication with a Jamaican train guard and I ended up getting on the wrong train. Travelling north I was having a conversation with a cockney lad who I happened to sit down opposite, happy as pig in poo chatting about football as he was a West Ham fan. He asked me where I was headed and I told him, his brows knitted into a frown, “This train ain’t going to Brum.” He pronounced Birmingham’s nickname as “Bram” but that didn’t occur to me as I was too busy digesting the rest of the sentence. I thought he was winding me up and laughed at him at first, but his expression convinced me that he was being honest, something that is never easy for a cockney anyway!

Just then the ticket inspector turned up and inspected our tickets, as they have a habit of doing. “This train doesn’t go to Birmingham, this is the Stranraer train,” he confirmed.

“I can’t go to Scotland, I haven’t been vaccinated!” I protested. “What’s the first stop?” I was informed that the first chance I would have to get off would be in Crewe, not quite Scotland but still miles further north than I intended to go.

At Crewe I enquired the best way to get back to Tamworth, I was told I had to go to Stafford then Rugby first. I thought I might be quicker walking. I reached Stafford and found I would be sitting there for another 45 minutes, I’d be quicker crawling! I sat down on a bench to wait, grumbling to myself, by this time I was hungry and felt grateful for the packet of buscuits, Hobnobs I think they were, that my sister had given to me for the journey home. I took one and started munching when along came an elderly nun and joined me on my cold pew. “Afternoon Sister, how are you today?” She smiled sweetly and we got into conversation. Naturally, being a gentleman I offered her a buscuit which she gratefully accepted. I put the packet down on the bench between us in case she wanted another.

We chatted for 45 minutes until the train rolled in, at which point I realised that the greedy nun had eaten all of the buscuits! I was starving and had no more money to get any food and she stuffed her face with my Hobnobs! Unbelievable, and after I had tried so hard to watch my language. Right that’s it I thought, I will never darken a church doorstep again. They have leeched off the poor for too long and it was time someone stood up and said “No more!”

True to my word I have never set foot in a church since, apart from weddings and funerals – other people’s of course. And I will promise you this, unless I see a formal apology and a replacement packet of Hobnobs from the Vatican, I will continue my boycott indefinitely.



November 23, 2012 - Posted by | Stuff and Nonsense | , , , ,


  1. I imagine she was even more hungry than you and probably had nothing to eat for quite a bit. Knowing English sensibility, most would realize it would be wrong to eat a complete stranger’s cookies unless…there was a good reason. Now, I’m not religious by any stretch of the imagination but I do know hunger and I think that just as you felt offended that she had done what she did, she’s probably thanking the powers that be that you just happened upon her.

    Something to think about, no?

    Comment by tauromaja | November 23, 2012 | Reply

    • It’s ok, I wasn’t really offended, it was just a little anecdote. I didn’t mind her scoffing all my hobnobs – mind you if they had been chocolate hobnobs I’m afraid she might have been thrown in front of the train!

      Comment by Danny Breslin | November 26, 2012 | Reply

      • I would have to agree. Between those and the chocolate Digestives, it would have been so on! If she so much as looked at them, it would have been over! Bring it sister!

        I liked the story, though.

        Comment by tauromaja | November 27, 2012

  2. And sweetheart, I’ll bake you a jaffa cake if you are still miffed just so you don’t feel THAT bad. 😉

    Comment by tauromaja | November 23, 2012 | Reply

    • Then we will be friends for life : )

      Comment by Danny Breslin | November 26, 2012 | Reply

      • You’re on! One jaffa coming right up!

        Comment by tauromaja | November 27, 2012

  3. Danny, that’s a bit too harsh, the old nun probably liked you, it’s got nothing to do with the Vatican eh? Loved your stories anyway, beautifully written and full of humor. On second thoughts, I might put in a few words about your ‘anger’ to the pope, he might reward you in some way.
    Enjoy your day Danny!

    Comment by Seyi sandra | November 23, 2012 | Reply

    • She liked my biscuits better. Glad you enjoy my stories though.

      Comment by Danny Breslin | November 24, 2012 | Reply

      • Well…yes, you could say that!!

        Comment by Seyi sandra | November 24, 2012

  4. “I can’t go to Scotland, I haven’t been vaccinated!” – wait ’til I grass you up to my Mum!

    Comment by jamiejlg1986 | November 25, 2012 | Reply

  5. LOL! Hmmmmmm….. cant go to scotland comment is too funny! I agree about the Sister… now you know why I am a Lutheran… muwahahaha…
    Great post, keep up the wonderful writing!
    the collies and chuck 🙂
    PS Ginger says you should have asked to see her Rosary and then forgotten to give it back… 😛

    Comment by colliesofthemeadow | November 27, 2012 | Reply

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