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Wednesday 26th December 2012

Some sad losses to the world of celebrity over Christmas, including Quincy star Jack Klugman (imagine how weird it would be to be the one who does his autopsy) and Charles Durning. But I was especially saddened to hear about the death of Gerry Anderson. His shows were amongst the very first thing to make an impact on me. Captain Scarlet was my absolute favourite television show as a kid and I loved Joe 90 as well. The voice of the Mysterons and Joe being in that strange spinning ball are two of my earliest memories and sure, I liked Thunderbirds too and was in love with Aquamarina in Stingray and even vaguely amused by Zoonie in Fireball XL5. Without me knowing it Gerry Anderson was possibly the most important cultural force in my life between the ages of 2 and 10. That's quite an impact and so it hurt to hear he'd gone, even though he was one of those celebrities that I was quite surprised to hear was still alive. Thanks Gerry and everyone at Century 21 for all those fantastic shows.
It's been a fun Christmas at the in-laws. After winning games of Scrabble and Trivial pursuit over the last couple of days my run of success came to an end as I got thrashed in the Trivial Pursuit rematch, which I chose to blame on gamesmanship by my father-in-law rather than my own lack of brain power and then being beaten at poker by my father-in-law who typically for a new player had no idea what he was doing but kept hitting the cards he needed to win on the last (river) turn of the cards. In the final hand I had Queen Jack against his Jack Ten, which pretty much meant only a ten would save him. I was utterly convinced that he would get that on the final card and true to jammy luck he did exactly that. I was very tempted to throw the table over and punch every last one of my in-laws in their stupid in-law faces, but I might have to see them again at some point so I couldn't shout and swear at him as I would in any other poker situation. Also we weren't playing for real money so it was a bit less painful. I contented myself with having played every hand correctly and having been in the lead when the money went down on every occasion he beat me. But it's astonishing how often this happens with a new player, unfettered by fear or understanding the odds. I am tempted to find a poker newbie and enter him or her into the world series to see if they can win. They are always unreadable because they don't know if their cards or good or not and no amount of betting will put them off their hand. Could this be a genuine tactic in professional poker? If so my father-in-law might be the man to pull it off.
Luckily tempers remained in check and the atmosphere remained jovial and in the long run it's probably best for family relations that I didn't win all the games. I think I know who might have been punched in his smug face if I had.
I laid off the booze today and felt a lot better for it and am looking forward to cutting down on eating, even though the food has been terrific over the last few days. Our holiday might slightly get in the way of a full on diet, but I need to put the brakes on as always. I am looking forward to getting back into exercising, something I've been unable to do thanks to a very persistent cold which is now only finally abating after almost a month. 2013 is the year that I am finally going to get thin forever! Oh yes.

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