HERE we are again, the J word, regular readers know what a fan I am of January. So here are a few sobering (if you needed them) thoughts: Fantastic holiday reading (we’re just back from Goa) Yuval Noah Harari and his fascinating book, ‘Homo Deus – ‘A brief history of tomorrow’. He sets the scene by asking: where we are at now and what have we achieved? ‘In 2010 famine and malnutrition combined, killed about one million people, whereas obesity killed about three million. In 2012, 620,000 people were killed by human violence (war and crime). In contrast 800,000 committed suicide and 1.5 million died of diabetes. Sugar is now more dangerous than gunpowder.’ It is a complete tragedy that people die from starvation of course, in countries and seasons where there just is no food to eat, we’ve seen it on the telly often enough. But there’s something rather vulgar about individuals stuffing so many calories into their bloated bodies that they live an intolerable life and then peg it 15 years prematurely.

So on the weight front, I’m coming at it from a slightly different angle this year. Instead of ‘take out more than you put in’ (vigorous exercise and abstention to balance your culinary gluttony). I’m going for ‘put in less than you take out’, I’ve been doing it for most of last year, lost 35 pounds and have brainwashed myself into never feeling hungry or craving sweet things (I’m not a big fan anyway).

That ‘less’ that does go in however, is a much more considered, special, delicious morsel of exquisiteness, the memory of which lasts for days if not weeks. Avoiding suicide however, is a much more complex subject and not one I would make light of.

Happiness, that’s a difficult state to define and often a more difficult state to achieve, or even describe. So for me, happiness is getting up at 6am to work sixteen hours in the kitchen alongside a brilliant guest chef, cooking food for 50 eager punters.

Happiness is also having not to get up at 6am the next day.

It’s also helping my daughter with her A-level business studies revision, helping plan my other daughter’s 15th birthday party, spending two weeks in the company of my delightful family on a beach in India reading a clutch of great books and catching up with their dreams, thoughts and ambitions.