One of the joys of the season that has just passed is to have a quiet drink with friends.
Although officially retired, I met up with some of the gang before Christmas for a seasonal gathering, dinner and a drink.
I couldn’t drink much: I was driving, but that didn’t stop my enjoyment of the event.
What I didn’t expect was that would be my last drop for… well, will someone please tell me when?
I should have been warned. The receptionist at my surgery had said the doctor wanted to see me.
“Well?” he said when I walked in. “Well,” I retorted.
He didn’t hold back.
“You’ve got diabetes,” he said.
OK. The weight had been going on. The nurse had weighed me in just short of 18 stone.
But then I have been heavy for decades. It’s not overweight, it’s living a good life.
The trouble is I have got lazy, and along with eating well, I have avoided hurrying anywhere, running any time, and exercising at any opportunity.
I have successfully done that since my teens.
I’m now on medication that reacts violently to alcohol.
I’ve got a string of medical appointments in the offing, all designed to get me back on a level footing.
I’ve had a great time eating things I love, drinking things I enjoy and sitting in front of the telly while Britain’s Olympians covered themselves in glory.
Now I have got to get out, in the cold and the frost, and start walking around a bit.
Yesterday I found my way to Bredhurst’s tiny church and set off to explore the local woods.
It’s the start of my exercise for health regime.
I have to say Bredhurst Hurst is a revelation. (Hurst, by the way, is Saxon for a wooded hill – and that is precisely what Bredhurst Hurst is.)
The volunteers who have been battling with the litter, the overgrowth and the disappearance of pathways have done a marvellous job. I shall have to go there again... probably in the next few days.
Anyway, I have set myself a couple of targets.
One is to exercise each day.
I’ve been on the foot treadle this morning. It’s a sort of primitive torture machine.
This afternoon (rain permitting) I shall go for a tramp around Medway.
The other target is to lose four stone in weight. I shall then review the options.
Pity I’ve got to go down this course.
But at least the malt whiskies are ready for my return from this period of pain.