The clue for 1 Down in the Quick crossword puzzle for Tuesday January 13, 2015, in the Sydney morning herald was: ‘List of uncompleted works’.

The 7-letter answer was ‘Backlog’.

So the name for this blog is going to be ‘Backblog’, the assumption being that many of the blogs are likely to be incomplete.

Another wild prediction is that many of the blogs are going to be inconclusive. In other words, if you are looking for answers, this is not going to be the place to find them.

Michel de Montaigne, as you all already know, was an essayist of the 16th. Century. Alain de Botton devoted a chapter of his ‘Consolations of Philosophy’ to Montaigne, and in the video version he visited the house near Bordeaux where Montaigne lived.

Some might say that Montaigne was the original Blogger. Others might say that he was the inventor of the personal essay. He made himself the subject of essays that were first published in the 1580s.

In the 1960s, a copy of Montaigne’s essays was high on my list and the two volumes of ‘Essais’ from Classiques Garnier as still in what booksellers would call VGC (very good condition). They were bought for me by a dentist who lived and worked in Nancy, which is near Stasbourg. Strasbourg lies on the border between La France and L’Allemagne. Some people also call it ‘Strasburg’.

The disarming thing about Montaigne is that, while he was someone who was endlessly looking for answers, he did not always find them and would often conclude that he did not know – ‘Je ne sais pas’.

How endearing is that in a world that looks for the black and the white in everything and does not like to admit that there might be a grey?

Quiz shows are not representative of knowledge. The core belief in a quiz show is that there is one, and only one, answer to a question.

So you want to be a millionaire?

Is London in A.France B.England C. Belgium D. Holland?

Lock in B. England?

Well sorry, London is a town in Ontario and Ontario is a Province of Canada.

So you only get 500,000. Still, well done you for knowing that Angelina Jolie was indeed in Cyborg 2 and not in Terminator 2. You had obviously done your research.

There are plenty of other Londons. There’s another one in New South Wales,
which is one of the States in Australia.