I love this time of year - but every year now I have to check my anticipation. As I approach the season I think of stuffing myself with mince pies, a rich, dark Christmas pudding and turkey laced with cranberry sauce, stuffing, parsnips and rich gravy - followed somehow by taking the first bite of a rich dark Christmas cake.
It is all fantasy - and now I'm saying to people that Christmas is a time I lose weight when they put it on. I've been circumspect this year. I used to love those early Christmas dinners with work colleagues, friends and associates. Now I'm avoiding them. If I won't be particularly missed, I don't go - it's just too awkward to keep asking for the turkey to be served without gravy and for an alternative dessert to the Christmas pudding. I'm trying to persuade the family mince pie maker to make Golden Delicious apple pies with the same texture as mince pies. I'm still waiting.
There's flu around. I wonder if I could pick up the swine flu virus on Thursday in time to allow me to drink loads of wine to see it off - as I've done for the last couple of years. No sign of it coming anywhere near me so far. Perhaps I'd better go and sit in the doctor's surgery and see if I can pick it up...