In the run up to Christmas I got occasional bouts of stiffness and mild pain in my left leg. I assumed it was a dodgy shoe-lace making me walk slightly off centre.
However, over the holiday, as I indulged for three glorious days in white wine, it came back - and the pain was all the way up the leg. Not too bad but enough to make me hobble a little. It's gone now - maybe the result of some vigorous walking in the snow and ice after Christmas and the New Year. I can only assume it's a kind of gout caused, ironically, by indulgence in white wine and probably a little too much whisky before Christmas.
Sometimes I manage so well I forget how susceptible I am - as I discovered at two New Year's parties.
At the first one, I thought there would be no harm in trying a blue cheese dip - after all what is it? Blue cheese and vinegar. It might make The Blotch - which used to be The Ring - flare up a little but not much else. I dipped a bread stick into the dip, put it in my mouth and tasted onion. My mouth burned and my throat choked and I rushed off for a glass of cold water.
Something similar happened two days later when everyone was dipping into a plate of Christmas cake with a layer of sugary icing on it. I dived in and sliced off the icing, just to get a taste of the fun. "It's marzipan," someone mentioned. Marzipan is made with almonds but it surely cannot cause too much damage. It was the same as the cheese dip - a rush for cold water to prevent the choking. When I say rush, I don't mean making a fuss about it - just making the tap the next port of call. Make a fuss and you don't get invited back.