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Sober Life
by Sinclair Newton



Sober Life

I've been thinking of making a will. The idea is that I get a friend to make one first, leaving everything he's got left to me and then I reciprocate. Last to go in inherits everything, sort of thing.

Actually I think it would make a good TV drama, with each of the heroes turning villains and trying to bring about the other's early demise.

It could end with them both dying together, drinking themselves to death as they plan what they're going to do with the other's fortune.

The difficulty is twofold. First, you have to find a friend who will leave you enough to make it worthwhile, and second you've got to have something worth leaving.

One of my friends has got the Beatles' autographs from her hanging-around-the-Cavern days. Well, I've got Phil Collins' signature and though he wrote the name Sophia Loren on the back of the Genesis album I'm sure it's worth something.

I've got a photograph of Tommy Hutchinson scoring for Manchester City against Spurs at Wembley, little realising he would later score an own goal and that the equaliser would force a replay and Spurs would win. I never did get round to getting him to autograph it though.

I have another friend with a very rich uncle. Now if I could get the timing right, the uncle would leave him a fortune just before he popped his clogs and it would all come to me. That's neat, but he's neither a Genesis nor a Manchester City supporter.

I don't know anyone who owns a big finca in Ibiza or even a season ticket at Old Trafford, which may be worlds apart, but they both have a certain cachet.

It's a shame you can't leave each other memories. I could swap a week or two of mine in Hawaii for somebody's experiences in Nepal, for instance.

And I've got three years of sobriety for someone's time in a French wine cellar, if there's anybody out there.

I've been prompted to come over all commercially minded by winning a tenner on the English lottery this week. I was only three numbers short of a fortune. I did look at the Spanish lottery at Christmas, but it was far too complicated for me. Do you really have to share your number with half of Majorca? And why is it called Once?

Talking of Christmas, I thought I should let you know about the progress of the Giant Stilton. I've finally cut it into portions after giving it a further six weeks' maturation in an outhouse and I can report it has improved by the minute. In fact, I can tell you it is now superbly moist and crumbly and goes terrifically with a ripened pear, some unsalted butter, celery with the soil still on the roots and a digestive biscuit. It is one of the real treats of an English Spring, where we might not have almond blossom but we can find real pleasure in eating something that smells of old socks. Shame about the lack of port, but it is historic and you can't leave that in a will.

Sinclair Newton