The road we live on in Central London has a catholic church about one hundred meters from our flat.

Because we have free parking, it fills up very quickly on a Sunday. Worshippers take advantage and all the spaces get filled very quickly with the overspill having to find parking on neighbouring side streets. The spaces nearest the church are the most prized (and fought over) because they are obviously won by the most devout…

So what?

Well on a Sunday, all the West Indian and African women dress in impressive outfits (usually made from the colours of their national flags – Green, Gold and Black for Jamaicans, Green and White for Nigerians etc.)

Not only are these dresses and hats impressive. They are also very expensive.

On a dry day there is no concern about the walk to the church. We often spend a good half hour watching the parade and sometimes award informal prizes for the best.

On a wet day though, we only see the men in their suits.

The poor husbands and fathers are made to do a quick stop outside the venue and drop their spouses and children off to avoid their dresses and head-dresses getting wet. Some are even made to leap out themselves and hold an umbrella for the fifteen foot dash to the door…

These poor souls then have to struggle to find somewhere to leave the car and we see them trudging back alone glancing at their watches lest (Heaven forbid) they are late and get disapproving looks from the congregation plus the inevitable wrath from their wives. (Much worse than God’s?)

It’s torrential today. There are benefits to being an atheist…

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