I may be dead within the next two years, or, let’s be optimistic, perhaps the next ten, certainly within the next twenty years (if I make it that far – I hope I don’t – I will be as old and decrepit as is Kirk Douglas, 103).  At 83 years of age, this is one of my rare certitudes.  If you can pardon the cliché, I am a lot closer to my death than – wait for it – my birth.

I cannot say “Good-bye” (“God be with ye”) to my Australian family and friends, for all the reasons I have presented in this blog.  And I cannot say “Au revoir” to my French family and friends, for we all know we will never see each other again, nor can I say to them even our definitive “Adieu”, because I cannot rationally commit them to the care of a non-existent deity.

The best I can do is to say “Fare well !” : I wish you all health, happiness and prosperity.  Enjoy your life, as I did mine, and accept the fact, as I have, that one day it will end.  I would like to think that you will remember me, but more important, you must remember Horace : “Carpe diem, et quam minimum credula postero” (“Seize the day, and think as little as possible of the morrow”).

RIDENDA      RELIGIO