Monday, 21 November 2011

He ranks as high as any in Rome!

This is for my family who gathered to say prayers with mum and dad: Margaret; May & Norman; Angela & Roger; Eddie, Ruth & Karen; Anna, Pat & Andy. It’s also for my friends around the world who have been having a word with ‘Him upstairs’ on my behalf. Preparing for more n-n-n-n-nasty chemotherapy tomorrow, I’m strengthened by your prayers and wishes - and I thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Somewhere in the Middle East with hair
I’ve led quite a wild life, so many people are shocked when they discover I’m religious. Yes, I mock all the man-made hierarchies, costumes and rituals. And 'Life of Brian' is, perhaps, my favourite film of all time. But I have unshakable faith in God and the life to come.
In 2003 I set off on my motorcycle, rode around a lot of countries, and haven’t turned around since. I met the fabulously wealthy and the poorest of the poor, wise men and fools. On the road, I studied many religions. In the Bible, I concurred with what Ecclesiastes saw on his journey. It’s from Chapter 9, verses 11 & 12:
I returned, and saw under the sun, that the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favour to men of skill; but time and chance happeneth to them all.
For man also knoweth not his time: as the fishes that are taken in an evil net, and as the birds that are caught in the snare; so are the sons of men snared in an evil time, when it falleth suddenly upon them.
Death is certain - life is not. Life just throws stuff at us. Good and bad. I believe it’s all a big test of character and faith on which we will eventually be judged by our maker. The snare of a rare and deadly cancer has fallethethethed suddenly upon me. God only knows when my time will come but, when you pray for me, take comfort that I have no fear of death. I fear only God. And needles. And wasps.
... and at Dr Karmen's office - without!
I’ve been deeply touched by the hushed prayers of a great many people who are more usually found in a bar than a place of worship. Desperate times call for desperate measures and all that. For them, one of my favourite passages from the Koran; it’s from Sura IV; Women:
O ye true believers, come not to prayer when ye are drunken, but wait till ye can understand what ye utter ...
Now if that doesn’t start some intellectual debate on the comments page, I don’t know what will.

For the pious, it's time for Elvis with a spiritual belter:

I'll need cheering up after a tough day tomorrow. So, my fellow sinners, think carefully and post your best ONE line from 'Brian' please. And, all together now:


  1. I'll leave the intellectual debate for another time, but will give my favourite quote now before I change my mind for the 100th time......

    "Found this spoon, sir"

  2. Someone in the crowd shouts at Brian's mother.
    'are you a virgin ?'

  3. Not Life of Brian,how did you pick an Elvis that I hadn't ever heard. I thought I knew all of his numbers, again my son, you surprise me, I would have thought after listening to all my music it would have put you of Elvis, Johnny Cash,etc. for life. Just wait to listen to the CD,S I have sent you.

  4. Iris van den Hoven22 November 2011 at 03:56

    Dear Rick, Unfortunately my knowledge of 'Life of Brian' isn't that good. Hopefully this will put a smile on your face after a tough day like Tuesday. Hang in there!
    Sander and Iris

  5. thinking of you tomorrow. Thanks for Elvis clip, what a legend, I really think you are going to have to preform "If I can dream" at your sisters wedding now. Whilst watching it I couldn't help but think of David Byrnes suit....

  6. Talking of favourite clips ..... "its just a ride" Bill Hicks

  7. Most of it is rubbish, but the following was beautifully performed;

    Strike him Centurian, very wruffly indeed!

    Oh yesss, throw him to the floor.

  8. Spirituality is a very personal journey mate, and those for whom the jury is still out maybe they haven't had the experiences you've had Rick? Either way you've got people across the globe praying for you in their own way, either though faith or just the fact you're a great bloke!
    Too many fav LoB quotes...try this one.

    "alms for an ex-leper? ..bloody donkey owners, never have any change!"

  9. "and how should we fuck off?"

  10. Mrs M! What happened to 'no swearing' there's kids watching!!

    Classic quote though!

    Did you know Life of Brian was still illegal in Aberystwyth in 2009?

  11. Always look on the bright side of life...(Whistles!)Fre fro...fre fro...fre fro fre fro fre fro!
    And what have the romans ever done for us?
    I want to be called loretta
    Where's the fetus gonna gonna keep it in a box?
    Follow the shoe, no follow the gourd, it is his gourd!
    Romanus aiunt domus...romans go home...this is tantamount to war boy!
    Half a dinari for me life story
    We got lumps of it out the back
    Are there any women here today?
    All i said was this piece of halibut is good enough for jehovah....he said it again.
    How do you know he's a king.....well he anit got sh*t all over him... oh sorry wrong film!
    Apologies Rick i know you only asked for one...i couldnt help myself!

  12. That was not Mums quote. She's not on the computer that early in the morning!

  13. His Royal Highness The Prince Charles Philip Arthur George, Prince of Wales and Earl of Chester, Duke of Cornwall, Duke of Rothesay, Earl of Carrick, Baron of Renfrew, Lord of the Isles, Prince and Great Steward of Scotland, Royal Knight Companion of the Most Noble Order of the Garter, Royal Knight Companion of the Most Ancient and Most Noble Order of the Thistle, Knight Grand Cross of the Most Honourable Order of the Bath, Member of the Order of Merit, Knight of the Order of Australia, Companion of the Queen's Service Order, Member of Her Majesty's Most Honourable Privy Council, Aide-de-Camp to Her Majesty22 November 2011 at 18:36

    The bit when Spike Milligan just stands there, bewildered, opening and closing his hands, then walks away. Doesn't say a word. Fucking genius.

  14. Hey Rick

    I was going write 'how's it hanging' but I realised it's not really appropriate.

    Your blogs are brilliant and although I'm sure living with, and fighting, this disease is even harder than anyone can imagine you are doing remarkably. I feel so proud of you and find you an inspiration. I wanted you to know that when I read your blogs I feel the struggle you are facing but you remind me how sweet life is and not to take one day of living for granted. I don't attend church weekly but I too am a religious person and for me that is knowing God aka Ala, Buddha (and all his other aliases)loves all his Saints and Sinners equally.(I should probably add that I do pray regularly this is the case or I'm in trouble!)

    There were so many quotes I wanted to put down from the Life of Brian but this is one of my favourites:

    Brian: Who cured you?
    Ex-Leper: Jesus did, sir. I was hopping along, minding my own business, all of a sudden, up he comes, cures me! One minute I'm a leper with a trade, next minute my livelihood's gone. Not so much as a by-your-leave! "You're cured, mate." Bloody do-gooder.

    There's just no pleasing some people!!! Love it!!!

    Must add that I became quite hysterical when I read you're mum's quote and then even more so when I realised your dad had commented in her name...priceless!!!

    You and Lance Armstrong hey? Mmmm...I see an invention on the horizon...perhaps a saddle for bikes (with our without engines) with somewhere to store your bits? Might be worth a patent hahaha...

    You, Rick, are kicking cancer's butt!!!!!

    I think of you and Moniek every day, she sounds wonderful and I'm so pleased you have each other.

    Love to you both


    Love to you both.

  15. Pope Benedict XVI22 November 2011 at 22:01

    Brian: There's no pleasing some people.
    Leper: That's just what Jesus said, sir!
    Double brilliant!

  16. He's not the Messiah, he's a very naughty boy!

    Where's the foetus gonna a box?!

  17. Elaine's old upper school buddy Kate (and possibly newest bridesmaid?............ No?!)23 November 2011 at 08:33

    Pontius Pilate: He has a wife, you know. You know what she's called? She's called... 'Incontinentia'... Incontinentia Buttocks

    I think it's all the sniggering during the scene that gets me rather than this line itself, nothing like contagious laughter.

    Yay! Great news for you and yours today, keep it coming! Lance Armstrong - pah! You're kicking his ass. I read his book, it was an awesome, inspiring read.......until I started reading your blog, you're 'literally' kicking his ass too!
    Thinking of you ALL and sending love and positive vibes. You're doing great x

  18. Kate - I've got a particularly fetching pale blue taffeta number you could wear if you like?