...so my doctor told me my results were fine but that I could do with losing a little weight. And that one week before Xmas.
Well, it just cannot be done - especially over a Xmas in deepest Bavaria which combines the best of the Bavarian traditions with the best of the English.
I used to think that the way we celebrated Xmas at home in Liverpool was the way everyone celebrated; that it was normal that all the neighbours came into ours on the morning of the 25th for drinks and sandwiches and that having a Scotch with my dad at 10 o'clock before they came 'to make sure we get some of our own booze' was standard.
The various neighbours would come, have a couple of drinks and then we would wander over to their houses for more drinks and then - with an excuse he had prepared days earlier - my dad would say he had to meet someone in the local pub, so we would troop up there and eventually come back to a Xmas dinner - turkey, stuffing, roast taties, sprouts, carrot and turnip, apple sauce and Xmas pud, full of thr'penny bits, all consumed in a haze.
Then the snooze on the couch, the bad head, and finally the Xmas specials on TV, gingerly eating some cheese and crackers or even cold turkey.
I slowly stared to realise that this was not the standard and that in the end the more people I asked the more it seemed as if each family, while sticking to the main outline, actually had very much their own unique Xmas Day.
I noticed this even more when I lived in Greece. There, Xmas is (or perhaps was - for who knows how much our insidious form of Consumeristmas has taken hold there in the meantime) more like a little bit posher-than-usual Sunday. The Greeks go to extremes at Easter but not at Xmas.
And then there's Bavaria...well, here they do it properly. None of this conflated Xmas tradition as in England and America. I recall as a kid HATING Xmas Eve with passion as it was the day which stood between me and my presents. And it was S O L O N G !
The 'tradition' was that Santa came in the night and you had to be asleep otherwise he wouldn't leave any presents. This would lead to kids demanding to go to bed at, say, 2 in the afternoon... and, when they finally could go to bed, not being able to sleep due to intense excitement and then suffering total panic that Santa would not come...
It would also lead to parents being woken from dreamy slumber at 4 in the morning with shouts of "he's been! HE'S BEEN!!!"
This in turn would lead to the consequently bleary-eyed parents unromantically exchanging gifts over the breakfast table in the harsh light of the winter morning.
Finally by about 11 o'clock, this would lead to arguments and tears between parents and kids fuelled by mutual lack of sleep.
Where were these cosy, snow-drifted family Xmas evenings around the Xmas tree unwrapping presents, everyone smiling beatifically, with the dark winter safely outside and the room lit by candles and the flames from the open fire?
They were in Bavaria!
Sensibly, the Bavarians do all the present giving on Xmas Eve, in the evening, around the tree, with the dark winter safely outside and the room lit by candles etc., etc. and it is tremendous! Much better than we did it in England.
It means that if your present is a bottle of good scotch you can actually open it and enjoy its warm mellowness, not wince at it over your bacon and egg.
Anyway, our Xmas now extends over the 3 days of Xmas - from Xmas Eve to Boxing Day...and each day has its characteristics and its food!!
On Xmas Eve we normally have something typically Bavarian. So this year we had Spätzle (sort of egg dumplings) and Bratwurst with Sauerkraut (yummy) washed down with dark beer.
On Xmas Day we had duck with red cabbage and dumplings (mmmmmmm) and on Boxing Day roast pork with stuffing, roast potatoes and veg followed by bread and butter pudding!
Thus I prove my claim that weight cannot be lost over Xmas.
However, starting from tomorrow...