Those of you who have been following my threads in recent weeks will have read the story about the origins of my Avatar
It goes back to a time when I went through a long period of hard thinking.
That's not to say that thinking hasn't always been hard for me.
These days there are plenty of places you can get career advice, in those days there wasn't.
I remember talking to my dad about it and he came up with various ideas.
But when I told him that I wanted a vocation rather than a job he suggested a fortnight in Benidorm which wasn't quite what I had in mind.
My mother told me that I needed a purpose in my life. I found out later that at the time I'd misunderstood what she said.
So I finished up working at Sea World as it was the only place I knew that had one.
I had always been interested in helping people, it went back to being told things like 'always help old ladies across the road'.
It turned out not to be so easy at times, especially if they didn't want to go.
I thought about becoming a priest or a minister of some kind.
The idea of working on Sunday and having the rest of the week off sounded good to me.
Several people suggested that I should become 'a man of the cloth', but I wasn't sure that I could cut it as a tailor.
For a couple of years I seriously considered becoming a missionary, but I could never find the right position.
Many years later I was sitting at the back of a packed church hall listening to a talk by a woman who had just spent three years working as a missionary in India.
She was a really good speaker and she made everything she talked about seem so vived you could picture it almost as if you was there.
Apart from her voice the place was silent, everybody listening intently to what she was saying.
Everything was alright until she started talking about the Ganges.
She told us that the river was considered sacred and that people used to go there to bathe and that they used to make small floating offerings on which they put flower petals and often a lighted candle.
She also told us that the women used to go there to do their laundry and how they would swing the clothes over their shoulders and pound it against the rocks to get it clean.
Then, without any discernible pause, she told us how the men used to take their cattle there to wash them.
I couldn't help it but I had to chuckle.
The person sitting next to me asked me what was the matter, so I told him.
Although we were only whispering several other people heard and in a couple of seconds everybody in the two back rows was trying not to fall off of their seats laughing.
Of course neither the Minister, who was sitting at the front, nor the woman had the faintest idea of what was going on.
The problem was the lack of a pause between the two sentences.
One moment I was sitting there with the image in my mind of a woman swinging her washing over her shoulder and pounding it against the rocks.
The next it was replaced by a little guy in a loincloth and turban doing the same with a cow.
Can you blame me for chuckling?
I never found out if that night had anything to do with it but I never got invited back again.
This is another extract from Pilgrim: A Brief Hystery.