A problem shared

IT'S a little bit funny this feeling inside. I'm not one of those who can easily hide. I don't have much money but boy if I did I'd buy a massive house where I could live.

IT'S a little bit funny this feeling inside.

I'm not one of those who can easily hide. I don't have much money but boy if I did I'd buy a massive house where I could live.

And spent the rest on Art Deco ceramics and vintage claret.

As Wallis Simpson famously said you can never be too rich or too thin. Unfortunately I am neither.

My raw ambition to succeed, which knows no end and is really quite dangerous in a lad of such tender years, is of such magnitude that at any moment I expect the International Herald Tribune to call my mobile and offer me the editorship.

Yet somehow, deep down and despite my superman status and considerable journalistic prowess, I know this is unlikely.

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But as I was sitting in my little Ipswich sitting room enjoying a whisky and soda last night, after a particularly hectic amateur theatrical rehearsal that involved me sweating and rolling around on the floor mid way between jumping around at the back and drinking an imaginary glass of crème de menthe, I found myself thinking that winning the lottery might be a useful shortcut.

In fact I had a sleepless night wondering whether to buy a Maserati or a Jaguar if I won - the radio in the trusty rusty Rover has broken so I have to have something to cruise about in.

The next day I was tired and emotional again after discovering that despite walking to my weekly interview with Weight Watchers and lifestyle guru Roberta and moment on the scales of truth and prancing around in the world off am dram I had put on a pound and a half, reducing my overall weight loss to a mere 15-and-a-half pounds.

“Oh dear,” said the concerned Roberta.

“Oh dear,” said mortified fat me.

“It's only a blip,” kind Roberta offered, “do not worry about it. How much do you drink?”

“Well,” I tentatively replied, “no more than the average travelling rugby team.”

She may have well have blamed it on a blip. I blame the kebab.

So now where do I turn? I am neither thin nor wealthy. I need advice.

But who do you turn to in your hour of desperate need?

I have always kept my own counsel often too scared to ask for advice in case I sound stupid-perish the thought.

So I have turned my worries into practical help.

In my finite wisdom, I have decided to start a problem postbag to help others and offer advice to those who turn to me for assistance and wish to draw on my vast experience of life in all its dodgy forms.

So what's your problem? What's niggling you? Is anyone getting on your goat? How can I help?

If you would like the benefit of my hindsight, if you need a little local difficulty, if you need some straight-talking advice, if you need a solution to your emotional cramp, if you need a listening ear and a kind word, if you need my deepest sympathy, then do drop me a line or ping me and E-mail and I shall turn the bright lights of my attention to you.

Now famous in Ipswich and the east of the county, I turned the ignition key in the trusty rusty Rover and headed to the west of the county for the anonymity which I have begun to crave.

During a midweek soiree with the close circle of friends, often linked with the rising star of James Marston, I was reminded that cheesecake can suddenly appear to scupper your diet at the most unexpected moment-in this case just after the pastry-based main course.

“Be Prepared”-that is the clarion call of many a boy scout.

And though I never have worn a woggle or been camping with a group of lads in the new forest I am always ready for the unexpected.

So when this cheesecake appeared surrounded by chocolate sprinklings and the offer of double cream I knew I had room in my calorie counting to indulge. Despite being handed a banana by my generous and concerned hostess - an offer which I graciously declined - I plumped for the cheesecake option with double cream.

Thanks to ballroom dancing, however, I had prepared a little room left, or so I thought, to accept the groaning platter of pudding and later delight in a rather tasty Shropshire blue.

I shall just waltz and cha cha cha my way to my target weight.

Margaret, the assistant costume lady at Ipswich Operatic and Dramatic Society, measured me up for amateur theatricals this week.

A few costumes, to include a French custom's officer uniform, a Swiss farmer, a wedding guest and a reveller in a Parisian nightclub, are needed for my cameo parts in Summer Holiday at the end of March.

Well I say cameo parts but 'dressing the stage' would be a more accurate description.

Anyway, after messing around for a few minutes with a tape measure - at least she didn't get out a trundle wheel - Margaret informed me that after her calculations I am considerably more than 200 inches all over, a worrying statistic really.

This total, which is bound to be reduced by the time of the performance, was a shock to my system and I bet poor Margaret will have her worked cut out as she is bent double running up a shirt or two for me.

However, I suspect the biggest shock will be among the ticket-buying IODS audience who will have paid to enjoy the sight of me cavorting around the stage in lederhosen.

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