Well, I did it. I went the whole of January without a single, delicious, drop of alcohol so much as touching my lips.
I mean, I didn’t exactly start, per se, until 4th January. But that was only because we were in Norwich with the in-laws on New Year’s Day, then I had the long drive back to Sandbach on 2nd January – which warranted a half bottle of wine by the time we got home – and then, on 3rd January, for some inexplicable reason, there was a half-empty bottle of wine knocking around the house, and it quite simply had to be finished.
But, since 4th January 2015, I haven’t consumed any alcohol at all. Not even so much as a small lager shandy (although, admittedly, that’s primarily because I don’t like lager shandy). What’s more, to make up for the few days I missed at the start of the month, I’m going to continue with my abstinence until this Saturday. On Saturday, however, I’m not only going to watch County (which almost always necessitates the consumption of alcohol to numb the pain), but it’s my birthday the following day, so we’re planning a midday start in the pub. In all likelihood, I will be falling off the wagon in spectacular style and trying to get it on with County’s match day mascot, Vernon the Bear.
Honestly, though, I’ve not even missed having a drink. And that’s despite the fact that I have been to watch County – four times, as it happens. Having said that, I never suspected I would miss it. I only ever drink at weekends anyway (Friday counts as weekend, before you ask), and even then it’s only a few beers or glasses of wine. It’s rare that I’m properly ‘on it’, and that’s mostly because I’ve reached an age where hangovers are potentially fatal. Or, at least, they feel that way. Either that, or I’m liable to do something daft – like try and get it on with a 6 foot bear, for example – so I decide to calm it down before it gets out of hand. I’m quite a ‘handsy’ drunk, you see.
Most people like a good drink now and then, but no one can honestly say they enjoy the morning after. Smelling like a skunk’s underarm; head throbbing like an oversized walrus is playing the drums in there; mouth drier than a camel’s junk…. You get the idea (I had other animal-based analogies, but I think I’ve made my point).
So I didn’t give up booze for the month because I needed to, or because I wanted to see if I could (as I knew it wouldn’t be difficult), or even to raise money as part of the national ‘Dryathalon’ event (I have nothing against that as a cause, or raising money for charity in general – in fact, I’m planning a charity event as I type this – it just wasn’t my motive).
I guess, when all is said and done, I gave up because I felt my waistline could do with a helping hand. Having recently stepped on some scales for the first time in years – and having adopted the foetal position on the kitchen floor when I saw what I had ballooned to – giving up drink for a month seemed to be an easy way of kick-starting the road to physical perfection. Well, maybe not perfection, but at the very least being able to wrap a towel around myself after a shower, without the risk of it springing open and revealing ‘mini-Greg and the twins’ to the world, as soon as I exhale.
There’s an image, eh? I bet you need a drink now.