Doggone – the dog’s gone!


WENT to a Callanetics class and was told by the teacher that soon my bum would look like a peach – aye, I’m sure she meant James and the Giant Peach. Legs seizing up as I drove through to Glasgow for a couple of meetings. My personal trainer Pauline phoned as I was stuck in traffic on the way back to Edinburgh. “Clench your buttocks at the lights,” she instructed. “I’ve been here for ages,” I protested. “Exactly,” she said, “Clench one, two, clench one, two.” Hobbled in with a sore bum when I got home and still not a peach in sight.


PANCAKE Tuesday. Dave, who is not used to cooking for under 40 people, whipped up some pancakes for Louis and his pal. He then left the rest of the batter lying around before he went out. Managed to ignore it when my niece Sarah came round for tea – I had hit Marks & Sparks earlier in the day to buy a low-fat extravaganza of chicken and not much else. Ate that and felt very thin. Then after a few glasses of high-alcohol wine I remembered the batter and got that out. I had vaguely watched Dave earlier in the evening, so I gave it my best shot. As it turns out this pancake malarky is not as easy as it looks. I seemed to produce something more akin to thermal vests than pancakes, but if you pour enough syrup on them they are edible. So we stuffed our faces and then lay down in front of the telly feeling really sick. I don’t think they were cooked properly, if the truth be told. God knows what’s in batter, but I can’t say I’d recommend it nearly raw. When Dave arrived home I quizzed him, but he just smirked. I detected a distinct lack of sympathy.


OFF to London for the day. Whoopeee. What a place. People ask, “Why don’t you go to London and try your luck there?” Occasionally, I think: “Why not?” Then about 25 seconds after arriving in the great, grimy hole from hell, I remember… that’s right, I HATE IT! Happy to be back on the GNER train and relaxing all the way north, or at least until York, when man with verbal diarrhoea climbed aboard and selected me as his victim. Got his entire life history, with photographic accompaniment. Lovely. He gave me his address as he got off in Newcastle and I waved goodbye, smiling through gritted teeth, then opened my Hello! magazine for a bit of mental stimulation for the remainder of the journey.


LOUIS on half term and we’ve a full programme of events planned. Packed our stuff and ran to my folks’ place for a few days. Idea was to have lungs full of fresh air and walk the fat dogs around so we all return looking and feeling better at the end of our break. God, the thing with being away from home is the desire to pig out. Indian carry out? Och yes, why not? Maybe a wee bag of crisps to keep you going, too. Decide to turn my mobile off as my personal trainer keeps calling. Even seeing her phone number gives me the guilt pangs, as I sling another chocolate biscuit in my gob.


TOO cold for the exercise thing today. So stoke up a big fire, light it and watch rubbish on telly. Sit through a really bad film starring George Hamilton – why is he famous? Surely he must have been something other than actor, mainly because he really can’t act at all. Was he a sex symbol? I doubt that, too… maybe he bent spoons or something, like Uri Geller. Enjoy a day of fatness and slobbery. If fatness and slobbery were ways to aspire to lead your life I would be a guru.


LOSE the dog. Panic. My wee Flora! This is the hairy wee mongrel I got last year in the cat and dog home and it has taken this long for her to really settle and be happy – and now she is gone. Run round the streets sobbing and calling her name. Several women turn around and look at me – I suspect they may be called Flora, but not the one I want. Don’t know what to do, as it is now dark. So I sit with a glass of wine, exhausted and sad, mourning the loss of my dog – and the fact Pop Idol is finished – when there is a great kerfuffle at the door. Louis opens it to find a very wet, very waggy and revoltingly muddy Flora there. Despite the mud, she is welcomed back into the bosom of the family and we all lie around feeding her our tea.


TAKE Flora out for a big walk in case that’s why she ran away. Try to clench my buttocks and do Callanetics at the same time, which may explain why an elderly lady came up and asked if I was OK. Start humming, “Tall and tan and young and lovely, the girl from Ipanema goes walking.” Yeah, right. More like, “Short, and white and old and grotty, the girl fae Aberdeen goes hobbling.” You’ve either got it or you ain’t – and I ain’t.


Writer & broadcaster.

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