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George Street's diary

Friday: Life as a civil engineer-turned-columnist is no joke. Had to leave the house at 11 this morning in time for lunch at Quaglino's with People's Architect Lord Ted '321' Rogers. He was the architect behind my GS2000 plans to celebrate the millennium which were abandoned when lottery funding was withheld. Things turned extremely sour between us when I dismissed him from my team.

In the wake of this disaster he wants to know why architects and civil engineers get on so badly. Apparently Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott is setting up a task force - the 485th so far this month - to tackle this thorny problem. Would I like to be on it?

Monday: An exhausting day. Spent the entire afternoon chairing important editorial strategy meeting re Brit Awards which take place tonight.

Tuesday: After much pondering, I decline the offer to be on the 'Construction Industry Inter-Profession Animosity Challenge 2000 Taskforce'. It's too much like hard work - lunch twice a month for six months, a five day 'fact- finding' mission to Tuscany and culminating in an intensive afternoon session putting together the report at Lord Ted's self-designed habitation pod overlooking the wilds of Holland Park. They must be joking - I'm busy enough as it is!

Spend the afternoon forking and pruning in the garden. Nosy neighbour Elsie Twitchett pops her head over the fence and enquires whether I have been made redundant. 'You never seem to leave the house except to go to those fancy parties up in the big smoke,' she rasps.

Wednesday: Forced to cancel my usual Wednesday afternoon yoga masterclass when requested at last minute to open a school science laboratory in High Wycombe. Only agree when they offer me the full 50 quid appearance fee and pay for a taxi to and from the station. Having cut the ribbon and grimaced at a few teenagers I return home tired and stressed. Even my habitual cup of steaming Ovaltine fails to calm my frayed nerves. Spend a sleepless night tossing and turning - my mind keeps churning over whether David Beckham is really the right man for Posh Spice.

Thursday: Drained and depressed. Black rings around my eyes and return of adolescent acne. I'm clearly working far too hard. Spend 20 minutes trying to find the kitchen to make a cup of camomile tea - I'm a stranger in my own home! I must be one of those super-keen employees suffering from 'presenteeism'. An NCE colleague informs me the symptoms are staying at work longer than everyone else and always competing with your colleagues. I fit this bill exactly. I am on the rocky road to 'Karoshi' - death through work.

Decide to cancel all further lunches, cut back my working hours. Feel better already, having made such a positive life decision. Celebrate by indulging in intensive yoga session. Advanced 'Manchurian Mangle' position leaves me with left ankle jammed under chin. My screams alert Elsie who calls an ambulance and self is rushed to hospital. A week in bed beckons. Bliss.

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