My x-rays are clear. I am disgustingly, bouncingly, 100% fit and healthy. If I were a cat, my nose would be wet. But still, I am compelled to lose some poundage. My weight gain has not been accumulated by gluttony or unwholesome foods; I am the annoying kind of person who can (and does) keep a Lindt chocolate bar in their desk drawer and eat a couple of squares a week. I enjoy oatcakes and unsweetened muesli and feel no temptation towards cakes or snacks. No, my pounds have built up from the unbelievable hardship of having my studio next door to the bedroom, which I enter first thing in the morning and (previously) did not leave except to do the odd walk or pop-to-the-shop. Thankfully, being 6ft tall, it doesn't really show, but the scales do not lie. So, for the first time since I was fifteen, I am taking daily exercise. I have lost half a stone and am feeling bizarrely fit - my skin is almost glowing and my cheek bones are cautiously emerging. Even Andy has noticed, and when your long term partner notices change, it must be change.
At eight am in the morning there are few places I would rather be than on one of my regular circulars; a seven mile round trip to buy the Saturday 'Times'. It's downhill and uphill and gets my cardio-vascular thing-a-me-jigs going nicely. The roads are fairly quiet, as most people are indulging in a weekend lie-in, so I cycle in blissful solitude.
We are enjoying a golden end to summer and the fields glow warmly with browns and golds. The occasional leaf drifts through the sunlight and through gaps in the hedgerow I glimpse church spires poking up from the landscape, the countryman's map markers.
I take a detour to one of the prettiest villages in our area, and visit the little shop. As well as my paper, I pick up burgers from Foxbury Farm, cottage rolls from a Gloucestershire bakery and cheese. The cheese - Crudges - is new to me and is one of the few to be produced in Oxfordshire from locally sourced Jersey milk. If you weren't tempted by it's provenance, then the blurb on the label would utterly win you over;
"Now made with raw milk for a fuller flavour, Haddon Gold is smooth and has a buttery taste derived from the rolling organic meadows of Hutton Grange Farm, Great Rollright. Meadow Fescue, Cocksfoot, Timothy, buttercups and dandelions, all gently swaying in the breeze, amidst the dappled shade of Horse Chestnut trees and the gentle sound of rumination from these beautiful Jersey cows."
Mr Crudge - for, unlike our favourite cake-baker, Mr Kipling, he really does exist - is a locally born farmer. For those of you who take an interest in such things, he rents his premises from ex-Blur member and newly-turned country boy Alex James. And if you are thinking that cheese is an odd thing for someone losing weight to be putting in their shopping basket - all things in moderation.
My aching knees have lost their stiffness and I almost whizz back along the narrow, straight lane and through the side of the woods, calling out a cheery hello to the drowsy herd of Dexter cattle. The sun is getting up and crickets are chirping in the dried grasses. People begin to emerge in their cars and it is time for me to be home.
There are, after worse ways to shed a few pounds.