It's a tough job, getting to sleep

What were you doing in the small hours of Monday morning? Were you tossing and turning, flip-flopping about in bed, sighing and fidgeting, all in an attempt to block the worries of the coming working week out of your mind and get some shut-eye.

According to the latest research on this subject – there's been lots – that's what an increasing number of us do.

Instead of drifting into the arms of Morpheus, we spend Sunday night getting ourselves all in a lather about work tasks and work politics.

We are stressed, anxious and suffering.

Or so we say.

I suspect we may be over-egging the pudding on this work thing because it's one of those questions, isn't it?

When asked by hairdressers and others desperately trying to make small talk whether we are "busy at work" we all roll our eyes and say: "Oh God, yes" or similar. It's expected, isn't it? To reply otherwise would be to break all the rules – it would be like being asked how we were and not replying that we were fine. A flagrant breach of small talk etiquette.

But I've often wondered what would happen if I replied to the busy question by saying that, no, I didn't actually have much to do that week. The conversational flow would certainly be impeded.

So it's my secret belief that a lot of people, when questioned about their work will say it is hard and stressful, even if it's really a walk in the park.

They will claim to spend all Sunday night in a state of worried wakefulness even if they slept the sleep of the just.

And if they were awake half the night they won't admit the real reason – that they slept too late and drank too much coffee on Sunday morning.

Tarrant on trial

This isn't a situation I could ever have foreseen but I find myself increasingly siding with Chris Tarrant over his marriage breakdown. When he says: "Come on, there were no dead bodies," I have to agree with him.

I'm sure it was very upsetting for Ingrid to find that her husband had been cheating on her. Even though I doubt that many women looking at Chris Tarrant would have him down as dutiful husband material, it must still have been a heart-stopping shock. It always is, for the person on the inside.

But then again, Ingrid has managed a bit of a career comeback on the strength of being a wronged wife, hasn't she? Her profile now is much higher than it was when she was "happily married".

Admittedly, both of them are now being pathetic: Ingrid with her holier than thou attitude and Tarrant with his bleatings about being a single bloke who lives on Boost bars, beer and Lucozade.

But of the two, Ingrid is the more pathetic, creating endless high drama out of an everyday story of a marriage breakdown.

When Chris Tarrant says he only had an affair and nothing worse, he speaks the truth.

Since a 20m fortune is at stake, these could well be public posturings designed to help the behind-the-scenes thrashing out of a financial settlement, but somehow Chris Tarrant's words ring true. He's an ageing Jack the Lad. Ingrid. Get over it.

I don't want to know about Paxman's pants

It's not a good idea for people to suddenly change their public persona – it upsets the natural order of things. I didn't like it when Ann Widdicombe went platinum blonde. What was she doing adopting the universal hair colour of sex kittens everywhere, for goodness sake, when the whole country knew her as a religious spinster and a political dragon? Her new hair hinted at pretty underwear, and that was clearly wrong.

Only Princess Anne shedding her cottage loaf of a hairstyle, frosty face and knee length, A-line skirts could have looked more wrong.

Which brings me to Jeremy Paxman. Some women find Jeremy sexy with his stern demeanour and cold, shark-like face, some don't. I'm in the camp that doesn't.

But whichever camp you're in, none of us wants to think about Jeremy's underpants. He's bigger than that, if you see what I mean.

Jeremy should have remained on a higher plane and not reminded us that he has the parts of a mere mortal.

Never mind the size, look at the shape!

A new book details what makes us attractive to the opposite sex and contains little that will come as a surprise. That ugly men get beautiful women because they have power and status isn't exactly a shock, and who doesn't know by now that we find symmetrical faces attractive because we associate them with healthy people who will produce healthy children.

There is though one little nugget of interesting information in The Psychology of Physical Attraction by Viren Swami and Adrian Furnham, and it's the WHR – waist hip ratio, do keep up. Apparently slimness doesn't make women attractive so much as having the right slim waist to wider hip ratio. In other words, a woman can be an absolute honeypot at a size ten or a size 16 as long as she goes in and out. Have I not been telling you that wide belts, the sort that act a bit like a corset on the outside of your clothes, are the way forward? Now you know why.

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