The trouble with diets is that you become utterly, all-consumingly obsessed with food. Every second of every waking moment is spent dreaming of things you cannot have; dreams which clash upsettingly with the grim reality of the actual lunch that sits before you (another apple? no really, I couldn't).
So when a night out presents itself, the wheels are apt to come off at an alarming rate. Saturday night was spent in Didsbury, firstly with a farewell bottle of Chateauneuf du Pape in the Pitcher and Piano before it becomes a ghastly Wetherspoons, and then a magnificent, gargantuan feast in Jade Garden.
As any aficionado knows, the repast of choice in Jade Garden is Banquet C - under no circumstances attempt to choose your own dishes from the frankly terrfiying menu. You will still be reading it at Christmas and will be none the wiser. Banquet C is all you need - crispy duck, a platter of ribs, prawn toasts et al, and a selection of main dishes including the so-good-you-will-fight-your-friends-for-it fillet steak in Cantonese sauce.
I need to stop pretending that the short stroll home from Didsbury comes anywhere close to burning off the sort of calories provided by the jolly staff at Jade Garden, and I also need to accept that I am no longer capable of going out two nights on the bounce. Sunday saw me stepping bravely into the breach when a friend found herself with a spare ticket for Anton and Erin at the Bridgewater Hall, with an obligatory dinner at Livebait beforehand. After the red wine of the previous night, a glass of prosecco, mackerel pate, smoked haddock with parley mash, and a creme brulee, I was pretty much ready for going to sleep. It is much to Anton and Erin's credit that they prevented me from doing so, although I did have to close my eyes on occasions against excessive sequin glare.
I promise not to go out for the rest of the week; next stop, a wedding reception on Saturday night. Promise.