RICHARD MADE­LEY AGONY UN­CLE

The au­thor & broad­caster an­swers your ques­tions. Write to him at [email protected]­graph.co.uk

The Daily Telegraph - Saturday - - GAMES -

Dear Richard

de-al­co­holised wines. The whites tend to be a bit sweet, but there are some palat­able reds and rosés, es­pe­cially if you chill them first.

If you could do with shed­ding some pounds, weigh your­self every three days. Al­co­hol is stuffed full of empty calo­ries, so you’ll be sur­prised and en­cour­aged by how much weight you lose and it’ll help stiffen your re­solve. (Although you’ll al­most cer­tainly de­velop a sweet tooth: I’ve found that choco­late is fan­tas­tic at killing crav­ings for a drink, es­pe­cially at bed­time. Speak­ing of which, ex­pect bet­ter qual­ity of sleep and more clear-headed morn­ings.)

Good luck, Roland! Let me know how you get on.

Dear Richard

My own feel­ings about this are mixed, and by no means neg­a­tive – the job was in­ter­est­ing, but promised to be tough, and I’ve used the of­fer as lever­age for a pro­mo­tion from my present em­ployer.

The trou­ble is that my fam­ily are ab­so­lutely dev­as­tated. My wife, who

I’d thought shared my am­biva­lence, is mop­ing around like one be­reaved; my two teenage daugh­ters, who ob­vi­ously an­tic­i­pated some Clue­less-style idyll of de­signer high schools and trol­ley dashes around Rodeo Drive, have taken to their bed­rooms.

As I look out of my win­dow on to a dre­ich win­ter morn­ing, I can see the al­lure of some time in the sun. But our life here is com­fort­able, our chil­dren do well at school and have good friends, and our home, for all its short­com­ings, is our home. How can I en­cour­age my loved ones to take stock and be thank­ful for what they have?

LUKE, VIA EMAIL

Dear Luke

I’ll keep this brief and to the point.

First, the dar­ling daugh­ters. Teenagers mope and sulk at the drop of a hat, so it’s no sur­prise your girls have re­treated to their rooms, pre­sum­ably to watch back-to-back box sets of Clue­less. They’ll get over their can­celled LA story; in fact I’ll bet by the time you read this they’ve al­ready moved on.

Frankly, it’s your other half who needs to do some grow­ing up. Dis­ap­point­ments and set­backs are a part of life and this one is hardly up there with, say, the house burn­ing down. You’re com­fort­ably off, se­cure and with good prospects. How would she have coped if you’d been made re­dun­dant?

I feel a new year’s res­o­lu­tion for some­one com­ing on. “Must stop be­hav­ing like a spoilt child.” Luke, I’m not talk­ing about your kids.

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