At my recent medical I was told to start taking exercise and watch my diet. So I walked to the pub and had fish and chips on the way home.
“I don't think that's what they had in mind,” said my wife, Maria.
Then I was recalled to the surgery to discuss my cholesterol.
I have to admit, not only couldn't I spell it, I wasn't sure what it was. Apparently, there is good and bad cholesterol and a high level of the bad sort is not good because it can lead to a build up of fatty material that narrows the arteries to the heart.
Narrowed arteries can lead to heart disease and a coronary, so getting it sorted out seems like a good idea. Which means getting really serious about exercise and changing the way I eat.
I now walk for half an hour a day, which can be a bit embarrassing when you don't have a dog. When we did have a dog I was always suspicious of hikers with no canine at their heel. What on earth were they doing out in the middle of the woods? They can't be up to much good. It never occurred to me they were being healthy.
And then the other day, as I was marching across the field at the top of the road, I saw a lady walking towards me without a hound in attendance.
“Morning,” I said, wondering if she would see me as a threat. And then I realised: she'd been for a medical, too.
I have also started waving my arms about in the privacy of my home. I tried this in my office until I almost sent a computer crashing.
Whoops! There goes the Tuesday column.
Now I do it in the bedroom and have started on press-ups. I used to be able to do 100 with no bother but this time round I managed five on my first attempt before I collapsed.
By heck, I thought. Look at the dust under this bed.
At the moment, I'm up to 20 without a coronary.
Food is a different matter.
Some blokes have a poster of Town or Angelina Jolie on the fridge. I have one from the British Heart Foundation that is a full colour chart giving advice on what to eat and what to avoid.
Red meat and fried food are out. Brown bread is in. Don't laugh, but last week I bought a poaching pan for eggs. Milk chocolate is out, my sweetie jar has had to be ditched (doesn't everybody have a sweetie jar?) and I have switched to fruit and carrot sticks. Very nice, carrot sticks. When you're desperate.
I have been stoical and determined as the KitKats and Maltesers were ditched. But oh dear. What a shock when I checked my poster for takeaway curries.
Watch out for ghee in madras and vindaloo and just about any curry, it said. Peshwari and paratha breads are to be avoided for the fat content and you can forget about onion bhajis. Better by far to make your own fat-free curry, is the advice. Even though it doesn't taste anywhere near as good as a takeaway.
And the news about chips is shattering for a founder member of the Maris Piper Deep Fat Fried Appreciation Society. It recommends that from henceforth I should only have oven chips.
The ignominy! The taste!
Still, this is my health we're talking about, so I shall give it a go.
Watch this space to see how I go on.