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May 13th 2019
My church has a Celebration of Hope coming up this Saturday, so let me do my bit publicity-wise by pointing you towards it. Unfortunately I won't be able to be there myself, but I did put together a Daniel monologue for the occasion, which I present to you below as a sneak preview of the event. (We don't currently have a Daniel lined up, so in the unlikely event that you're reading this and want to perform it at CRBC this Saturday... get in touch!). As I noted when I read it in church yesterday morning, it is based on the Bible but this scene may not strictly have happened.

[Daniel at the Doctor's]

Hello doctor, I'd like to register for the Babylon Health Service. No, I'm not new here, but I've had plenty going on recently so I suppose I've never quite got round to it. Better late than never, though, wouldn't you say? Yes, I'd be happy to answer a few questions.

Name? Daniel. It means "God is my Judge", but Daniel is fine. You might have my medical records on file somewhere... no? Ah, perhaps you have something under the other name I had for a while. It was given to me by Nebuchednezzar he called me Belteshazzar. Anything under that name? You want me to spell it? Er... B-E-L-T... Belt-... E? maybe A? U? I never really took to the name, you know, as it was meant to break me off from my connection to God, and I wasn't going to let that happen, so I never got round to learning how to spell it. Perhaps we'll have to start from scratch.

Birthplace? Jerusalem. Yes, I'm Jewish, but I was taken into captivity and brought here to Babylon. If you did have my medical records you'd see what they said about me back then. I don't like to brag, but the words "without physical defect, and handsome" were thrown about. Yes, "handsome". This was quite a while ago, you understand.

Diet? I'm pretty careful about what I eat and about what eats me! Sorry, just my little joke but there was a time not long after I first came here, serving Nebuchednezzar, when I'd only eat vegetables and drink water. No, no meat at all... yes, I realise that's very odd. No, I can't imagine that catching on either. But I didn't want to defile myself by having the royal food and wine. And, thanks to God, I ended up healthier and better nourished than the people who had eaten everything on the menu.

Do I have trouble sleeping? Not at all it's one of the things I'm famous for, actually. Well, not sleeping exactly, more the dreaming. And it wasn't me, it was God. He has given me visions, and also given me interpretations of other people's dreams, particularly Nebuchednezzar's. He didn't always like what the dreams meant, though. And he had a very bad ending he ended up eating grass all by himself. Even worse than just eating vegetables.

Mind you, his son Belshazzar wasn't much better. He certainly liked drinking wine definitely more than the recommended daily units and he made the mistake of drinking from the gold and silver goblets that were taken from the temple in Jerusalem. He had a vision of a hand writing on a wall, he was terrified, and he asked me to interpret it. It was bad news for him, and he died that very night. Yes, stress can be very bad for you, I know, but he was actually slain. Yes, that can be very bad for you, too.

Am I ever in stressful situations? Well, yes and no. I did get thrown into a lions den a while ago. Yes, lions. L-I-O-N-S. But they must have been on a vegetables-only diet as well! No, just another little joke. How it happened was that the next king, Darius, insisted that no one should pray to anyone except him. Well, I kept praying to God, so I was thrown into the lions den as punishment. Except, God looked after me and I came out without a scratch. No, doctor, I won't make a habit of it but I trusted in God to keep me safe. After all, he'd looked after three friends of mine when they'd been thrown into a fire.

And now Cyrus is king. So far, so good. But whoever the current king is, I know that it's God who's really in charge.

Well, thank you doctor. Sorry, that was a lot to get down all in one go, wasn't it? Still, it's not the end of the world. Speaking of which, if you've got some more spare time...? No? Ah well, OK then. You can wait for the book to come out.

what was I listening to?
Harry's Bar - Gordon Haskell
what was I reading?
Brown at 10 - Anthony Seldon
what was I watching?
Sympathy for Delicious
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