A day spent in London. Just like in the old days I had an early start followed by meetings then lunch then meetings then drinks then dinner then drinks then home. So no exercise and a large intake of calories.

Had dinner in a Szechuan restaurant with an old colleague. As he is from Northern Ireland he was quite upset when I asked for vegetarian food. The Irish simply do not understand the concept of vegetarianism, it is genetically hard wired that they eat just meat and, when available, potatoes.

Szechuan cuisine is basically Chinese food dosed in chillies. I picked around the chillies whereas my friend started munching through them until he ended up so red that I swear I saw steam escaping from his ears. We then noticed that the Chinese clientele around us were not eating what they clearly considered to be a chilli garnish. I think his discomfort tonight will fade into insignificance once he makes his first bowel movement tomorrow.

The restaurant had two dining areas in two adjacent buildings, but with no connecting door. All evening we watched the staff scuttling between the two buildings with plates of food. Sometimes they went through the front door, sometimes the back door, and they even appeared from a basement door – you think they may have realised by now the importance of having a door directly in to the dining room. The time and motion boys would have a field day.

Henry