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Town Mouse

Regulars | Summer 2017

Hogarth's rotund beer drinkers

Soft city life has given me a beer gut and puny arms says Tom Hodgkinson

Long ago, when I was a country mouse, living in an unheated, unmodernised, tumbledown farmhouse with an old Rayburn and two wood-burning stoves, like George Orwell on Jura, I became lean, taut, thin and even slightly muscular. The country life – writing in the morning and spending the afternoon chopping logs, attempting to grow vegetables and kneading dough – did away with the excess pounds. Since returning to London, sadly, I have started to become what I call thinfat; that is, I am suffering from an expanding stomach and shrinking arms, and look like a scraggy old potato with four matchsticks poking out of it. My cruel children call me fat and prod my tummy. Worse, my chin is starting to disappear, enveloped in the fatty folds of my neck, in the manner of Piers Morgan; a terrible fate indeed. The city seems to turn you into a slob. Most...

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