RICHARD MADELEY AGONY UNCLE
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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.
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
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.