In France we don’t need the abbreviations of “ante meridiem” and “post meridiem” because we identify each hour of the day, till the end of the day going forward, the way I used to when I was an Army cadet :  “11 hundred hours, 11:00h, 11:00 a.m.; 21:00h, 9:00 p.m.”  But in recent years I have begun to see the Latin abbreviations as “ante Mortem” and “post Mortem”.  Everything I do at present, including scribbling these lines, can be identified as my activities “ante Mortem”.  There will be none “post Mortem”.

Some Saints had the macabre eccentricity of keeping a human skull on their desk to remind them of the death that would, sooner or later, strike them.  They were obsessed with death.  I am not.  I am just conscious of the fact that I am in the late Autumn of my years and much closer to my death than my birth, and that any post I write for my Blog, like this one, could well be my last.  And I still have a few things I’d like to share before I croak.

455 posts !  Why this opposite of writer’s cramp, not to say blogorrhea ?  Is anything I write worth reading ?  (Quick now !  Flatter me . . .  I don’t mind lies.)  Truck-loads of books are bulldozed every day, unread, unsaleable.  This Blog could be effaced with a single click.  No need of a shrink to suggest what keeps me writing “for posterity” (!) : the egotistical illusion (?) that what I am writing may be recognized at least by some as having been worth writing and reading, and considered interesting and thought-provoking, if not life-changing . . .

It is, in fact, the importance of my subject and the illusions of target-readers that motivate me.  Had I been writing about art or literature or cinema or science – presuming I had some competence and contribution to make in any of these domains – some might find a certain justification in my being driven to write.  But Religion ?  Well, yes !  So many people have been conned into believing nonsense about God, creation, sin and the afterlife, so many people have wasted their lives living and promulgating its precepts, so many lives have been poisoned or destroyed by Blind Faith and Blind Folly, that I feel the least I can do is to help BOTBs discover the truth as I did – hopefully in time to make the most of the only life we have.