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Living as I do On Zeee Beeech here in Bidart in South-West France near Biarritz, I am not only a Beach-Blogger but a Beach-Comber.  Scandalous amounts of flotsam and jetsam are swept up every morning of the Summer tourist season by municipal tractors, which pick up our leftovers, what we inspected and rejected, weighed and found wanting.

Out there, between here and New York, I guess there are any amount of “derelicts”, the maritime term for cargoes at the bottom of the sea which no one has any hope of reclaiming.  Around this country and yours there are also not a few derelicts, in human form, who have also hit rock-bottom but do deserve the effort to be reclaimed.  Even on the sea-bed there are “lagan”, goods and wreckage that can be reclaimed …

All this makes me think of … BOTTLES, those empties, “dead Marines” (!), which people toss into rivers and oceans.  I’m thinking not just of empty bottles but of those other, sealed, bottles, rare of course, with messages in them, that can end up anywhere.  For obvious reasons, this makes me think of this Blog.  I am amazed, every day, to find readers identified as living in Finland, or Canada, the Philippines, Russia, the U.S., Croatia, Panama, the U.K., China, New Zealand, Poland, Ireland and, of course, France and Australia.  They never post a comment.  I have no idea what they think about what I write, or about the frequent comments and too rare posts of THOM, without which the Blog would be so much poorer.  Maybe it’s just as well that you readers out there do not tell me what you think.  In the past, one assiduous reader and outspoken commentator, JIM, pulled no punches in punishing my posts, and flogging his archaic arguments from ancient Apologetics on everything from the “First Cause” to the Last Judgement, sharing his Six Steps “proving” not only the existence of God but the infallibility of the Church (Catholic, of course), and why we should believe in nonsense like Mary’s apparitions (except at Medjugorje), Jesus’ “transubstantiated” presence as a wafer of bread in His “Prison of Love” in the tabernacle, Miraculous Medals, First Fridays (but not Last Tuesdays), and Eucharistic miracles involving bleeding hosts and blood-stained cloths at Mass.  Maybe, different from James, the indefatigable Defensor Fidei, you don’t reply because you don’t want to offend me (never been a problem for my former schoolmate and friend Jim) – or even admit that you agree with me.  Fear not, ye of little faith !  I can take the hard knocks – and I love all those smart people who realize I’m right (though I do sometimes make spelling mistakes : English has become for me, these last forty years in France, a secondary language).

This post itself is a Bottle in the Sea.  I wonder where it will end up – and whether its readers might do the rest of us the honor of telling us what they think, not only about this post but about any of the 349 others.  Click on that “Leave a Comment” button.  You’ll have readers all over the planet, though they will remain as anonymous as yourself.

RIDENDA   RELIGIO

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