Tuesday, February 15th 2011

There you are.

I have been that busy writing a new Angel book that I have almost forgotten about my diary.

In addition, I have a health issue which was occupying my mind. I was directed by my GP to the hospital to see a specialist, and suffice to say he said that there was a requirement for me to loose some weight. Doesn’t everybody say that these days? Well, this is to avoid me having to have a biopsy and possibly a subsequent operation that the surgeon didn’t want to do anyway because of the risk involved. But he also said he didn’t want me to start doing anything extreme. A gradual loss of weight was the order of the day.

Well, readers, if you knew me really well, you would know that I’m not an exercise man at all. I mean I wasn’t brought up in a family where we were interested in the Olympics or the local football team or anything to do with exercise or sport or any of those sorts of things. If any sport associated items came on the telly, we would promptly turn onto another station. Our Saturday evening conversation round the telly was more likely to be what wine we were to have with our Sunday roast than how Manchester United had done in the league! On Boxing Day we didn’t go out for a brisk walk round the park or go on a skiing holiday in the Alps. We would go to bed to recover from the previous day’s jollifications.

We didn’t even have a set of weighing scales in the bathroom.

Anyway, the surgeon sent me to Weight Wise (part of the NHS). This is not Weight Watchers or anything similar. It is an entirely different concept. Weight reducing organizations advise the foods you should not eat and suggest all kinds of weight reducing diets and strenuous exercise. The result is that half the time you are starving and unhappy, and when the diet ends and you relax slightly, you balloon into some monster from outer space.

Well, Weight Wise advise the foods you can eat and should eat, and also suggest stacks of alternatives.

More importantly, they teach you a new regime for a lifetime, so that you do not spend half your life half-starved, and the other half, overweight and unhealthy. The course is ten sessions 1½ hours long and I am halfway through it. I have lost 10½ lbs so far and I must say, I have not felt deprived or hungry at all. I will easily be able to keep to the changes for the rest of my life. I strongly recommend it.

For instance, they strongly recommend you to have a healthy breakfast. They say it cuts down the craving for something unhealthy later in the day.
They teach that it is all right to have a sensible portion of ice cream (for example) provided that you also have a balancing portion of fresh fruit. They teach you how to interpret and understand manufacturer’s product labels, which fats are tolerable, in what amounts and so on.

Another offshoot of Weight Wise (also an NHS initiative) and free in Barnsley is a 24 session course at a local gym.

Well friends, I could never in a lifetime imagine me in a gymnasium without someone holding a gun at my head. I haven’t been near any exercise equipment since I was 15. But then it was compulsory.

In a weak moment I decided to do it. It’s amazing what the stern look of a doctor, the fear of death plus the magic word ‘Free’ will do to a man.

However, me in shorts is a sight to behold.

I had no sports kit, only an ancient pair of shorts I had worn years ago on the beach. Anyway the queen said I had to get togged up properly, so our housekeeper, Elaine, bless her, measured me up, duly went to the shop and bought me a pair of jogging trousers and a white T shirt. I put the gear on with trepidation and checked in to the gym. But I’ll tell you all about that next time.

The only news on the writing front is that THE CUCKOO CLOCK SCAM is sold out. It’s been my best seller through 2010. If you have a copy, hang onto it.

I am looking forward to my latest Angel book, THE DOG COLLAR MURDERS which is due for publication on March 31st next.

Thank you for your letters. If you are waiting for a reply from me, I’m sorry. I will write in the next few days.

Take care and keep warm.