I have put on weight. OK, so I'm not morbidly obese, but the process of writing a cook book has played havoc with my diet. The past months have seen our surfaces groan under the weight of a volume of cakes, biscuits, tarts, etc, tested and retested. Most have been gratefully ferried away by my mum and dad for neighbourly distribution, but I obviously had to try some of the stuff myself... and sometimes did indeed literally stuff myself. In among the recipes was a little menagerie of baked 'creatures' - chocolate bear buns, sugar penguins, whose sweetness I needed to counter with something salty, like a 150g bag of crisps. Too tired to cook properly after a day's work, we rediscovered the delights of the Chinese takeaway, and Nando's and chips. Getting up to write at 5.30am, I'd regularly have no time for breakfast before dashing to work - thankfully the canteen does bacon sandwiches. Wearing my velvet tux for the first time in a year, I was reminded of another one of my recipes - pigs in jackets. Now the book is finally with the publishers and we should be able to get back to eating normally. Well, maybe after Christmas.