If only I hadn’t put off having that darned clearout ...

WE are in the process of moving house. And it is providing an opportunity to take a radical look at my lifestyle.

That darned clearout I’ve always been promising myself, but never quite got round to, is now dominating my days.

I think by the time we move, my car will be able to find its own way to the household refuse site. I know exactly the spot to park to make unloading a simple chore, so I’m keeping my fingers crossed that the layout doesn’t change before Christmas.

Like almost everyone else getting ready for a move, I didn’t realise I had so much stuff. Every year without fail, I’ve had mini-clearouts, but somehow other things have moved in virtually unnoticed to fill the gaps.

But this time it’s serious. Do I really need the book that seemed such an important addition to my collection when I brought it more than a dozen years ago ... but haven’t yet got round to reading?

Every year for the past few years I’ve looked at it as a possible charity shop item, but then put it back on the shelf believing retirement would finally allow me the time to read it. Little did I know.

But the book looks good on the shelves, and it’s so difficult to be ruthless, although I know I have to be.

I’m not quite into slash and burn mode yet, but that is certainly getting closer as we count down the days to the arrival of the removal van.

One area I am aiming to downsize is my waist measurement.

It needs a little work – well, alright more than just a little – and at this time of year the temptation to do just the opposite is constantly staring me in the face.

Almost every day, when I go to get a paper, I’m encouraged to buy chocolates at half price or less, so that “you’ve got them in for Christmas”. So far I’ve managed to resist. So far.

For someone who generally doesn’t eat chocolate, it’s amazing how easily I fall.

Already a tin of Quality Street has bitten the dust at our house, and it wasn’t bought for me. But I did replace it ... after some prompting from my wife and daughter.

I fear these next few weeks are going to be hell.

The headline read “Torch snub for Sudbury” and the story that the Olympic flame isn’t coming anywhere near the town. There were expressions of disappointment from a number of people.

However, I do wonder if the reaction of the majority was instead one of relief. There will be no big battle for a parking space, and the town will probably be a little less crowded when the torch makes its way through Bury, Haverhill, Ipswich and Colchester.

Even ignoring the cost of potential white elephants, I have mixed feelings about London 2012, believing the games should be staged in the same place every year, as was the original intention when the modern Olympics started at the end of the 19th century.

But I don’t suppose Greece will be able to afford to stage the games again, and it’s hard to see the rest of the world ever responding very positively to yet another request for a whip round for the Balkans.

Babergh is running short introductory sessions designed to help people go online for the first time.

All you have to do is ring the council office to book a session. But if Hadleigh’s not convenient, these sessions are on offer elsewhere.

To find an alternative venue, the council poster suggests you ring a different number or – you guessed it – go online.

Ken Watkins is a former Free Press editor and sports editor