Years ago - before Mr Coffee and I were married - we were sitting in the home of some friends drinking rather a lot of beer. Someone said something sarcastic and pious; our host lit a cigarette, blew out smoke and said, wryly, "It's about this time of night that we like to talk to people about Jesus". It was a joke; of course it was a joke. The awful hilarity of the idea- that you'd suddenly find yourself trapped in a previously incredibly comfortable chair, surrounded by evangelists.
And so it is that I introduce my new book for March.
It's a blow-by-blow guide to Mark's Gospel, bought for us by my mother for two reasons: because she likes Tom Wright's work, and because Mark's Gospel is really, really short.
It's Lent. It's a good time to schedule in some Bible-bashing, to think on a more daily basis about why on earth I go to church and to concentrate a little harder than I can during a sermon whilst trying to placate bored children or ensure that no-one sets themselves alight on the votive candles.
And the shortness of the task is important - because I have other things on my Lentern to-do list. I'm giving nothing up; instead I'm trying to look out. I'm writing letters I'd been forgetting to write; practising my mandolin instead of slumping in front of the television; trying to get enough sleep instead of sneaking another half glass of wine and fiddling around on the Internet. In short, I'm trying to climb out of that hole so many of us often find ourselves in, where our attempts to relax start to turn into self-sabotage. But I'm being gentle with myself too - if I slip back into the hole a little, it isn't the end of the world.