Paying the price of festivities

NO sooner is the festive celebration over, than I have to start paying for it. I already suspect my unbridled festive generosity will take me until March to pay for, but money is such a vulgar topic and I refuse to discuss it in the pages of my column.

NO sooner is the festive celebration over, than I have to start paying for it.

I already suspect my unbridled festive generosity will take me until March to pay for, but money is such a vulgar topic and I refuse to discuss it in the pages of my column.

However, I am today paying for the surfeit of mince pies, sausage rolls, cake, stilton, champagne and port that I have taken in the last few weeks.

Indeed 2005 was not a good year for my figure.

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If it wasn't for my ballroom dancing, and the occasional energetic game of canasta, I wouldn't be able to fit through my front door.

Firemen would have to break down the wall of my small Ipswich sitting room to get me out in case of emergency and I could appear on Trisha as the boy who asked his landlord to reinforce the bedroom floor and put in a stair lift by the time I was in my mid-30s.

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So as I was munching on a cheese straw sipping a glass of chilled Chablis and bemoaning the fact I hadn't got anything to wear that fitted, I decided enough was enough and it was time to break free from the shackles of overweight angst.

Pouring a second large glass, I sat back and imagined a svelte-like James buffed and burnished by the sun and photographed by the adoring paparazzi on a Caribbean beach. I thought of a man that could wear white without looking like a demented vicar.

By the time I was on my third glass I had mentally accepted an invitation to model underwear for a top designer fashion house.

So I have bitten the bullet and this week I went to a slimming group.

For less than a fiver I have been weighed, I got a lovely booklet and I had an hour talking about myself and my eating habits with a group of 15 women.

From the anxious moments of nerves as I waited to step on to the scales of truth to the terrifying realisation that I am a stone heavier than I thought and I cant blame my shoes, my experience inside that welcoming church hall was best described as akin to riding an emotional rollercoaster.

Class leader Roberta didn't bat an eyelid when I said I wanted to shed three stone. She even said I might be able to do it in about four months - I reckon I can start buying tight fitting t-shirts in May.

I have to change my habits apparently, to eat more fruit and less crisps.

But what is the calorific content of blinis with cream cheese? How many penalty points are there in a glass of Jack Daniels? Does the Cha Cha Cha count as exercise?

According the guidebook I shall have to 'remove temptation by throwing out my problem foods or put them somewhere I won't be reminded of them'. I have to 'explore my emotional eating' and 'accept my right to take care of myself'.

All sounds great doesn't it? I can't wait to make myself the centre of attention with a legitimate reason and once a week talk about it to people who will listen!

Well it gets me out of the house and Roberta seems pleasant.

AMATEUR dramatics is going well.

Back in rehearsal on Tuesday nights, members of the Ipswich Operatic and Dramatic Society have taken me under their wing after I passed my exhausting audition to join.

And this year's show Summer Holiday already seems to be taking shape.

I have a few dance moves to perform-naturally at the back of the stage and I also “react” to the lad who plays Cliff Richard.

This week I was moved from the back to the front where I shall enter stage left during a blackout and, as the lights go up, dazzle the audience with the non-speaking part of a French custom's official.

Shortly afterwards I shall change costume again and miraculously become a customer in a Paris night club enjoying a glass of cassis from an upstage podium. Next week I shall no doubt find out more.

Of course I am wonderful darling.

I notice so-called 'Celebrity' Big Brother has reared its strange head again.

Though I have heard of hardly any of those who are prepared to humiliate themselves in the name of public entertainment, I expect I might watch if all the ironing is done and I have nothing better to do.

I see that former secretary Faria Alam, who rather oddly told the world about her most intimate experiences with someone else, is among the contestants. I expect she will be useful if anyone wants to dictate a letter. Perhaps shorthand will be a Big Brother task?

Someone else in there is called Maggot. I imagine I would find it difficult to take seriously a man with a name like that.

I am glad they didn't ask me this year. I am far too busy being talented to take part.

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