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Alison's diary; Record end-of-year news quiz for TV but only know music answers. Politics or sport? Not a knickers' chance.

Byline: ALISON CRAIG

Monday

Back to the gymnastic emporium today. It is officially hell. God, I think my lungs have shrunk. I don't smoke any more but they are in a right wheezy state. Despite pain, commit to going to the gym every day this week.

Hit the supermarket to buy porridge. From what can gather, if you eat porridge for breakfast you become slim, toned, happy and full! We'll see.

Still recovering after attending the BAFTA Scotland awards in Glasgow last night. The best newcomer gong went to Paula Sage, who was amazing in the film Afterlife, which my pal Catherine Aitken produced.

Tuesday

Oops, don't go to the gym because I'm spending the day with Dave. We haven't seen each other since about 1986 so plan to do nice things and start by shopping as he is desperately in need of a new suit. The shiny-legged, ripped pocket look is just not the done thing these days.

Sit in Slaters like Richard Gere and Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman - except the other way round. I park myself on a couch and eat Quality Street while Dave slips in and out of a selection of suits. Happy with his new purchase, we slink off for lunch. I'm not that hungry after my Quality Street frenzy but manage to scoff two courses and a couple of glasses of wine.

My pals Edith and Miles come round for tea. More food, including great tranches of cheese, biscuits and pasta. The way things are going I'll get a job as a body double for Dawn French.

Wednesday

Can't go to the gym today either as getting a mole whipped off. A plastic surgeon is doing the job because it is in a place you can see - my right breast! I'm not a Page 3 chick you understand but on the rare occasion my cleavage gets an airing it seems to make sense not to have a zip scar.

As I lie there trying not to notice the scalpel, I ask the surgeon if he does nips and tucks, too. He nods. As tempted as I am, you'll never see me here again. I am gibbering wreck getting a weeny little mole removed - can you imagine a face lift? No thanks. I will just lobby for the 'baggy and saggy is best' campaign.

It seems I can't go to the gym tomorrow either but I have a note from the doctor to show I am not really skiving. Celebrate with a donut and a great steaming cup of white coffee.

Thursday

In Glasgow all day recording a show for BBC Scotland for New Year's Eve. It's an end of -year news quiz and humiliation doesn't go half way to describing my performance. All the relevant information from the past year just vanishes.

I'm so used to asking the questions it is a chilling reminder of how few I can actually answer. The only ones know are to do with music and popular culture. Politics and sport? Not a knickers' chance. Hang head low and go to meet my pal Jo Scott, a wonderful girl I have done so many TV programmes with. She mercilessly takes the mickey out of my quiz performance.

In order to keep us out of bars, we go to the cinema to see Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason. Sorry girls but I hated it. Renee Zellweger has put on weight to be a size 12 yet thinks this is repulsive. She's also developed a walk that would suit the wrestler Giant Haystacks - she clomps around as though she is 22 stone, not 10.

And the whole premise of her being sorry for being pudgy, sorry for not being perfect and apologising endlessly for existing to any bloke that would listen got up my nose. In all, the verdict from me is a big thumbs down. After Bridget, we hit the Corinthian bar at 7.30 and everyone else has Drambuie cocktails that would knock your head off. I am off the sauce as my body is so far from being a temple it's at risk of being condemned soon. I sip my mineral water and watch as everyone around me deteriorates into a singing, rosy-cheeked, affectionate fool. Nice it's not me for a change .

Friday

Wake up fresh-faced. Well, not exactly fresh-faced but no hangover. I still look like a gargoyle but never mind. We are going out for dinner tonight with pals Chris and Jeffy. Chris is a brilliant artist and his recent London exhibition sold out in about two days.

We don't have a late night as it's Louis' birthday tomorrow and we have four of his wee chums coming round for bacon sandwiches at 8.30am then we're taking them quad biking.

Saturday

Louis bursts into our room at 5.30am, yelling 'it's my birthday'. 'Not yet it's not, 'I growl. Get up far too early and by 8.30am I'm very bleary eyed.

The door bell goes at 8.31 and all the wee boys are raring to go. Off to Ronnie Dales' 4x4 in Abbey St. Bathans, where they get a one-hour trek on a quad bike. Dave goes too but I sit in the car as it is perishing cold. The dogs sit in the back of the car and glare at me but there is no way I can brave the temperatures and take them out for longer than 15 seconds.
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Sunday Mail (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Nov 21, 2004
Words:910
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