Christ, it’s almost lent. You know, that holy time of the year when, and here I quote from Wikipedia, we “replicate Jesus Christ’s sacrifice and withdrawal into the desert for 40 days.” Catholics give up their favourite food or stop doing things they like to do. God, I would imagine, would be thrilled to hear this news. Obviously, as an atheist I shall be ignoring the whole thing.

The good news for those who do celebrate (is that the right word?) lent is that they don’t have to actually give up, say, Marmite. Instead, they can say an extra prayer every day, go to Church twice a week, or read some scripture verses. Phew! What a relief.

Personally, I’d rather do something more like the alleged Jesus of Nazareth did. I wouldn’t want to withdraw to the desert because it’s too far away from my family, friends and of course the pub. An alternative would be a cottage in the countryside for 40 days, somewhere near the rest of humanity and stocked with liberal supplies of wine and a decent internet connection. That’s a sacrifice I could live with.

Some aspects of religious mythology I can happily embrace. It is, for example, Shrove Tuesday, which precedes Ash Wednesday. Shrove Tuesday is celebrated by eating lots of unhealthy pancakes for reasons I am not terribly concerned about. It is known in some countries as Mardi Gras, which I learn, means Fat Tuesday.

As for actual fasting, I’ll have to give that one a miss. I have an important drinking engagement this Saturday afternoon so things might as well carry on as normal in my house.

For those of you who ‘do God’ have a good Lent. I suppose if you are concerned that God is keeping his beady eye on you, you’d best go along with it. Now where’s that lemon and sugar?