Have you noticed how TV's obsession with gameshow formats is seeking ever-strange genres? Recently I was watching Masterchef with that cheeky Greg Wallace - the one with the dimples, hinting of a seedy past. Masterchef is a kind of Hell's Kitchen meets Pop Idol, putting contestants through hell for the gullible viewer. And now I read that Meryl Streep is to appear in a film about America's original TV chef, Julia Child.
Why food as a genre all of a sudden? We live in an age where more and more people are over-large. I should know. What I don't need is TV programmes showing me the delights of wonderful food. The irony is that when I was young, I was skinny in an age when everyone aspired to be a curvy Jayne Mansfield, and now I am Jayne Mansfield, everyone aspires to be Victoria Beckham. You just can't win.
And yet I live in the land of le bien manger. What to do? Well, I've learned more about food in the last 4 years than I ever did in the UK. Just think: I now know how to open a jar or bottle that's jammed tight. No, don't laugh. I remember in the '50s my late mother ruining the kitchen door by twisting the offending lid in the door jamb. It was actually a Frenchman who told me pityingly that all I had to do was turn the jar upside-down and run hot water under the rim for a few secs. Similarly, to avoid crying while peeling onions, don't cut the root off until you've finished chopping.
And la piece de resistance? If you want to lose weight, don't return to all those horrible foods in the UK like oily cheap diet margarine. Eat good quality food, but use a smaller plate.