Back from my own personal MOT and the results were as I expected. Most of my bits are functioning well enough, but I do need to cut back on my consumption of sugar. “But”, I protested, “there is virtually no sugar in my diet.” “How about alcohol?” “Ah.”

I am not quite Cyril Smith in the excess weight department (and certainly not Cyril Smith in terms of my sexual proclivities), but there’s about a stone and a half that needs to go and, if I am being totally honest I know what’s causing it.

I was secretly hoping my GP would say something along the lines of this: “Your alcohol consumption is fine, but you really need to eat more chips, say at least three times a week, and plenty of cheese.” That she didn’t was a trifle disappointing, but I was not totally surprised.

I was surprised to learn that there are good kinds of fat and some of them are kinds of fat that I enjoy. Unsalted nuts, for example, and pumpkin seeds. I was not advised to gorge myself on handfuls of the things every day, but apparently they lower the Cholesterol in ways I didn’t quite understand. This is a better alternative than going on to yet more prescribed drugs.

So the lessons were simple: stop drinking so much, don’t eat anything that tastes remotely nice and take more exercise. To be honest, the first two won’t be that tricky. Cutting back on booze will be a pain, but no more than that. The exercise bit will be a bit of a nause, though. One of the last things I will do is join a ‘gym’ because the idea of what I regard as ‘pointless exercise’ appals me. All those people running on the spot, often at the same time waving their arms about, strikes me as hell on earth. And they pay for it, for god’s sake. Once you’re too old to seriously compete with others in team and individual sports, the idea of competing in old codger groups doesn’t really appeal, either. And I regard running/jogging/call it what you will as being right up there with pointless gym exercises.

It was, I suppose, my ‘wake up call’. I’m not 21 anymore and I long realised I am not indestructible.

As someone once said, you can give up smoking, drinking and sex. You might not live any longer but it will certainly feel like it.