Happy New Year, dear readers. It's been a quiet time over Christmas whilst I decided to drink myself into a stupour in preparation for my abstinence in January. As we left 2009 with claims from David Cameron that they Tories were much the same as the Lib Dems (Isn't that something they should be keeping quiet? The Lib Dems are Dagenham) and that the man who has near ruined our economy thinks he's the man to save
It would appear that the New Year is to start in much the same futile, pointless waste of money way with those who want to get fit being told that they should get down and dirty under the duvet instead.
The NHS has some new advice for people struggling to schedule a fitness routine into their daily lives - a workout between the sheets.
According to the NHS Direct website, "sexercise" can lower the risk of heart attacks and helps people live longer.
I'm sure this is all well and true, provided that one's partner has a decent amount of stamina, but surely most people spend a huge amount of time trying to get some action? To simply turn around and say the answer to getting fit for busy people with no time is to grab their partner by the hand ignores the fact that about 95% of people, if they were being truthful, aren't getting as much as they would like?
That aside, why is it the role of the NHS to tell people how to get exercise? The reason that we need doctors is because they have knowledge that we don't have whereas most people can realise that a jog around the park or a trip to the gym is a good way of getting exercise. We don't need the blubbery NHS to tell us how to get fit: what we need for them is to put us back together when we break.
he advice, published under the headline "Get more than zeds in bed", is one of several sexual health-related articles to be found on the NHS Direct website.
Sex with a little energy and imagination provides a workout worthy of an athlete, the article says.
Gosh, thanks! Do we perhaps get hints and tips and diagrams, along with a warning not to get in the mood with a quick snifter and enjoy a post coital cigarette? Can citizens of this great land look forward to master classes where your local 60 year old health worker demonstrating the best way to get fit between the sheets?
And to think that I was questioning whether the NHS wastes money or not.
Look, love: I don't need to be told that moving around in bed is the same as moving around standing up (and the more imaginative among us would know that anyway) and the fact that I have to pay for this 'advice' makes my blood boil on New Years Day before I've even been awake for an hour.
Being this administration, of course, there will always be controversy and this is no different:
Sexual health experts said such claims could not be scientifically proven.
"It's good to see the NHS are promoting sexual wellbeing," Dr Melissa Sayer told the Guardian newspaper.
"Yes, there is evidence that sex has benefits for mental wellbeing, but to say there is a link with reduced risk of heart disease and cancer is taking the argument too far."
What have you got to say to that, NHS?
NHS Direct, however, told the paper the content was "backed by science and clinical evidence" and "isn't just a bit of fun".
NHS DIRECT? They can't even work out how to answer the telephone to someone bleeding profusely so why are they now the official voice of the National Health Service? Are they to be using this leaflet in dishing out advice to the sick who are lucky enough to speak to a medical expert?
Caller: I'm experiencing stomach pains and vomiting and I've had a headache which won't go away.
NHS Direct: Right then, love: have you tried asking your wife for a spot of 'how's your father?'. It's very good, you know. Not only will it help shed a few pounds but if your symptoms are related to cancer then this handy article said that this could do something about that.
Happy New Year, everyone: it's the one where we get to vote out the current shower of shits. Okay, so the alternative are also shit, but one thing at a time, eh?