Dark days sending me ape

TOO many people have been telling me all I ever do is talk about myself. Well I know it's my favourite subject and, to be honest, few things are more interesting but I have decided that this week I shall try to avoid mentioning my ballroom dancing lessons, amateur theatricals nor even my dramatic weight loss and mission, despite the lack of an au pair, to be like Jude Law by November.

DARK days sending me ape.

TOO many people have been telling me all I ever do is talk about myself.

Well I know it's my favourite subject and, to be honest, few things are more interesting but I have decided that this week I shall try to avoid mentioning my ballroom dancing lessons, amateur theatricals nor even my dramatic weight loss and mission, despite the lack of an au pair, to be like Jude Law by November.

I shall instead talk about the awful depressing nature of late January.

Will it ever end? Everyone asks themselves. As if being skint isn't enough, I am still waking up in the darkness of Ipswich town centre and by the time I am safely ensconced in my little Ipswich sitting room of an evening the light has faded and all I have to turn to for entertainment is truly awful television, nothing but violence and common people, and a selection of Miss Marple mysteries. I am fed up.

So in my distress I have been thinking of a few ways to get out of this dreadful rut that is winter.

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Last week I had a day off. Got out the trusty but rusty Rover and took to the country roads for an explore.

After talking a wrong turning near Woodbridge I found myself at Orford. What a depressing place that is. Despite finding a nice place for a bit of smoked haddock-it later made a tasty despite being low fat kedgeree-and walking along the quay in the biting wind Orford failed to inspire. It was empty.

Devoid of life, I was most distressed to discover I had arrived too late and missed the chance of a fish and chips, low fat of course, in the pub. I got back in the trusty rusty and headed back to the relative civilisation of Ipswich town centre.

Desperate by now to avoid complete and utter misery of being forced to watch soap operas featuring badly spoken cockneys who never stop arguing or badly dressed northerners who never leave the confines of a small unattractive street I found myself heading for the escape of the cinema.

King Kong, I thought to myself, looks quite fun. A massive monkey that takes a shine to a little blonde lady mighty just do the trick.

Well it would have done if it wasn't for the audience. There's nothing ruder than children who are badly behaved and some idiotic parents decided to take along their pride and joy-though I doubt the child-I didn't see if it was a boy or a girl-could provide much of either.

Sitting down to the 8.30pm showing, of a film that lasts three hours I could hear this whimpering child the other side of the auditorium. From the moment big black Kong appears on stage rampaging through the undergrowth stealing handcuffed women to the instant the credits started to roll this child decided to tell his, or her parents and indeed the rest of us that it was tired, bored and wanted to go home.

It didn't move a muscle. They didn't even have the decency to take it out. It should have been in bed. Naturally, being English, I didn't say anything just tutted loudly and thought mean thoughts.

After what turned out to be rather exhaustingly long film, with extra sound effects provided by our own little monkey, I still wasn't much cheered. King Kong had been to my mental health about as much use as a waitress with one leg in a busy restaurant.

So the failure of a trip to the coast and several hours in the cinema has got me thinking.

Next week I shall be considering these ten ideas to lift me out of my curmudgeon mood

1 A gin and tonic-and then another one.

2 Bloodsports-killing things is such fun.

3 Someone naked and willing-well obviously.

4 Prozac-just a short course.

5 Chinese food-low fat of course.

6 Turning off my mobile phone-no more stupid texting.

7 Lunching with Camilla Cornwall-she looks like a giggle.

8 Vandalism-always nice to smash something.

9 Shaving my head and wearing a hoody-might make me feel powerful.

10 Getting an Aston Martin-well I'd have one given.

IT was an honour being nominated.

Now I know that my prodigious, even precocious, talent is not just a figment of my imagination. Not that I want to be big headed but I am now officially an almost-award-winning-journalist.

The short-list for the EDF energy East of England Media Awards 2006 has been announced and my name is on it and it's nothing to do with ballroom dancing or playing the organ or any other of my numerous skills-this time it is for feature writer of the year.

Naturally I am telling everyone I know, emailing people with the details and trying to work out what on earth I am going to wear at the glittering awards ceremony. The room will be full of journalists and photographers, so there's bound to be some interest in my attire.

Of course I am just one of four in the same category and if I don't win then I shall have been robbed most mercilessly.

I hope the meal is low fat.

I HAVE finally managed to have a nice binge drink.

Meeting a friend in Cambridge last weekend I sunk a bottle of wine and relaxed and enjoyed myself until chucking out time at 1am.

How much more sophisticated than being thrown out into the cold at 11.20pm.

Of course a bottle of white wine, which turned me into an overfriendly maniac and meant I didn't stop talking to complete strangers most of the night, isn't on my diet but my latest progress does not seem to have been affected. So far I have lost nine pounds and despite a binge drink I managed to lose three and a half pounds this week.

Can't be that bad for you can it?

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