PG’s Tips with Pete Gillings: ‘The trouble with dieting’

Diss, Norfolk. Pete Gillings with the scrap metal robot
Diss, Norfolk. Pete Gillings with the scrap metal robot

Just back from visiting the grandchildren in the Florida sun for Christmas, which as lovely as it sounds, the old saying “There’s no place like home” comes to mind especially at this time of year.

Eating turkey on the beach never seems the same, then there’s the lack of crackers (not allowed through airports because they contain explosives), brussel sprouts, as well as parsnips, are hard to find, but I still managed to find plenty to eat (well it is America, the fastest country on the planet).

The trouble is, everything is huge, they don’t even have the word small at their movies. If you ask for small, they say “You mean a regular, sir.” So after two weeks of “regular” I was glad to get back to England, to small.

The trip back all went according to plan, transport to Miami Airport, fine, flight on time, all fine, Heathrow Express to Paddington, fine, two Tubes, all fine, and got to Liverpool Street Station an hour earlier than my prepaid old age pensioners ticket stated, but a train was sitting there with five minutes to go and it was empty, so I got on it. At last a chance to relax, so I fell asleep.

The next thing I know is being woken up by a “twelve year old” ticket inspector, “tickets, please.” OK, ok keep your hair on I says, “this is not the train for this ticket, says Herr flicks secretary, “I know that, but the train was empty and I’ve been travelling all night and I’m tired, anyway, when I bought the tickets before Christmas I was told that if the weather was bad to ignore the ticket times and get on any train that’s running.” “That was then, and this is now” she says. “OK, ok, so what do you want me to do?” “Get off the train at Chelmsford and wait an hour for the next one.” She then wrote on my ticket and stood there until I got off, leaving me to wait an hour for the next one, (which was also empty).

So, after all that American food (regular), it was time for that new year diet. All was going well until I realised it was market day in Diss. Dippy Dees for breakfast, bakers for the usual (a cup of tea, one sugar, tea bag out and a bacon roll), or, as it’s Friday, hog roast roll with stuffing and crackling, flying sausage hot dog, chip cart...let’s slow down and take our time, we’ve got all day, we can do the lot, all “small” of course, and I’ll start that New Year’s diet on Monday and pretend it’s a leap year.