I have an old friend, an on-course bookmaker by the name of Mick Crombie,who has always said to me that his favourite art, is that of conversation.I, today, met one of his fellow artists.In order to save my right-hand-man, Gaul Wood, from the punters and staff,should I snuff it out of the blue, I have organised an insurance policy thatwill leave him plenty of ammo to crack on with. As part of obtaining thisinsurance policy, I have had to have a full medical, carried out by anexperienced doctor, just in case I might try and hoodwink him! Would I?Would I ever try and do something like that to an official?! What anafront!! Anyway, this morning, at eleven ‘o clock, Dr Afzal Hossain of ‘Harley StreetDoctors’ came to my home to carry out the said inspection of my being. Whenpeople watch the likes of John Francombe inspecting a horse they speak ofhim being a ‘horse-man’. Of absolute knowledge and judgement of the animal,and at one with it. Dr Hossain appeared, to me at least, to be the same butwith the human body. I was given a full MOT and what ensued was afascinating hour of checks, balances, blood test, knocking of knees andstretching of limbs. In addition to this, was produced some extremelyinteresting and thought provoking conversation, that digressed at times tohis charitable work in Mauritius, horse racing in the same country,autopsies he performed at medical school, and his beliefs in a God or acreator that are afirmed by his professional knowledge of the creation thatis the human body.He told me the following interesting medical facts:I am twelve and a half stone (I’ve lost a bit since my brutal tonsiloperation) and my BMI is recorded at 27, being two units over therecommended level. In short, I am a stone over-weight.He said that, in laymans terms, if your tummy sticks out further than yourboobs, your life expectancy is reduced by 25%. I immediately challengedthis as being rather extreme as that means that even slight porkers struggleto get through sixty, and he just nodded dead-pan at me. He said it is aproven medical fact that has stood the test of time. When looking down atthe tragectory of my body, this will at times, from now on, be a ratherworrying fact to carry in my mind. Note to self: act upon this information.I said that I run an hour a day, six days a week. He said he was amazedthat I was thus over-weight and should see a thyroid gland specialist. Ifailed to advise him to read my blog ‘Arriba Espana’, where I was referringto myself as ‘El Gordo’, because of my roast beef eating performance atRules Restaurant. I must be honest to myself in admitting that by notinforming Dr Hossein of these Olympic level eating skills, it was borderingon telling him an untruth and I withheld essential information from him.Apologies, doc!He said that you should have your sight checked when you get new glasses,even if you don’t think you need to. Your lenses not being strong enoughcan lead to glaucoma (bad thing).I have blood pressure of 105/72. This is apparently very good. I amobviously fully in control of my punters and staff related anger this week!I am 172 centimetres in height, 80 kilograms in weight, and my pulse rate is68. I do not have diabetes and blood tests show no sugar or protein, so mykidneys are performing well too.He said that you should mix up the types of exercise you do as you willderive far more benefit from it. Ie not just running everyday. Herecommended cross-trainers and rowing machines highly.I told him that I have been known to retire to the balcony and enjoy thevery occasional menthol cigarrette. He informed me that there are some verygood herbal substitutes that give one a far greater feeling of relaxationthan chomping on an ‘oily rag’.After he had performed the tests he asked me if I had a photo-copier. Ipointed him towards a black light-aircraft type object, that looks like itcould have brought some small aliens to Earth. I am personally unaware ofthe machine’s full uses but I invited him to give it a go. He looked from adistance and then declined. I think the makers of such overly complicatedmachines need to take some responsibility in that even some of the mostintelligent people in the World, like Dr Hossein, shy away from trying touse them!Anyway, it was a most interesting hour. Thank you, Dr Hossein. I am stillalive and plan on being so for at least the forseeable future.Ben.