- Green tea
- Black tea
- Orange juice and lemon juice
- Black grapes
I saw this yesterday, and it is yet another of those stories that would have given me the excuse to keep drinking. Sometimes I think the BBC must receive handouts from the drinks industry. There is simply no excuse to keep promoting the drinking of wine when we know the alcohol is harmful and yet there are substances in the grape which albeit perhaps beneficial can be found in many other drinks and fruits as well. At least the article did mention this fact such as the supposedly beneficial polyphenols being found in:
I belong to a charity organisation that meets a few time a year for a formal evening meal. During the meal we always have a raffle which is usually for a bottle of drink. This year, and with me as a teetotaller being president of the dinner the treasurer who organises the raffle decided to have as a prize a book voucher instead.
Now I don't mind there being a prize of booze and I even enter the raffle on the basis that the money is for charity and I don't expect to win anyway, but I do appreciate the treasurer feeling it was more suitable to have a non-alcoholic prize during my presidential year.
Two dinners on there have been so many complaints and so much moaning we have decided to cancel the raffle at the dinner tonight. It is a shame really and I will be shaking the charity bag for contributions regardless but it does show that fewer people are interested in reading these days. I used to love getting book tokens as a kid.
In case you missed it on Sunday evening, you can see my live blog for ClubSoda by following this link https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D0ZBvyIeHoA
I apologise in advance for the rubbish picture quality as I used my desktop and should have used my iPhone, but then it is only my face for half an hour and you are therefore better just listening than risking nightmares later on.
You can find out more about the fabulous group ClubSoda by following the links on my home page or simply going to Clubsodauk on facebook.
An article in today's BBC news caught my eye. It was about people having drink related accidents on holiday not being able to claim. That of course doesn't bother me any more but the fact the article stated that drinking is part of what a holiday entails did make me take notice.
I remember years ago, especially in my teens when my annual holiday did indeed involve booze, and was often focused purely around booze. The chances are I would be in Spain, the drinking would start early in the day and go on until the early hours of the next day. I would spend hours round the pool drinking beer, ogling the girls and wishing I had the nerve to talk to them and that would be the sum of my holiday.
Now I would hate to go on a holiday like that and I wouldn't be caught dead in an 'all-inclusive' resort because for one I would hate all the drunks, and two I would resent subsidising their drinking. It just goes to show what a massive attitude change has taken place since I quit alcohol and I expect the same will happen to you if you decide to quit forever.
On this note I had been hoping to take my wife on a Thames dinner cruise this summer and have been looking at what is on offer. To my disgust every cruise I can find involves a free bottle of wine per couple. Obviously I can have water or a soft drink instead, but these cruises are expensive and once again I resent having to pay for something I just don't want. Surely there must be a cruise with a menu that doesn't include booze!!!
This sort of expectation that everyone will want to get pissed or at least need alcohol involvement to enjoy themselves is perhaps the only thing that gets me riled these days. Everything else I take with a pinch of salt.
If you have managed Dry January but need something to keep you motivated why not sign up for Swimathon 2018?
I do this event every year and have ever since I used it as a motivation to quit smoking twenty-five years ago. I now swim nearly every day of the week and manage a mile each session (64 lengths of a standard pool). This keeps me fit, looking trim and swimming works every muscle for you. Why sit in a bar or at home nursing something alcoholic when you can be nursing your whole body to a great shape and taking away the desire for booze at the same time. And swimming really is a great way to focus your mental energies and boost your willpower. Sign up now at www.swimathon.org
When I was a drinker there many times when I experienced despair but I was lucky enough to never experience homelessness.
I now regularly visit St. Martins in Trafalgar Square to listen to the wonderful concerts they put on in the church and to eat at the Café in the Crypt (which does the best apple crumble ever!). The reason behind St. Martins doing all this activity is to raise money to help the homeless through their charity, The Connection.
I have now decided that from now on, ALL proceeds I receive from sales of 'I Don't Drink' will go to The Connection to help homeless people.
I am so lucky to still be alive and to have escaped the alcohol nightmare, I feel honoured to be able to do my bit to help others, many of whom have reached the position they are in because of that same damned drug - alcohol.
It is amazing how many people in my office are now going drink free and some of them forever like me. Certainly Dry January helps, but the fact that I have been working there for over four months, have enjoyed all the lunches, entertaining and other after-work activities and been alcohol free seems to have started a trend, and the realisation that you don't need alcohol to have fun and it means anything but the fact you are boring.
Everyone seems far happier, everyone has lost weight which makes them feel wonderful and all feel fitter and more alert. One unlikely chap even went to a 40th party last weekend and stayed dry. he said he felt great, drank fizzy water made to look like a G&T to stop himself being pestered, and drive a number of the drunken attendees home. His only concern is that the conversation with many of his mates was so boring after they became drunk and he realised there was no point talking to them as they wouldn't even remember what was being said. He ended up chatting to the three other people at the party who were also off the booze.
It really is such a nice environment to work in!
I am glad to say that Churchill’s statement here doesn’t refer to drinking alcohol!
Just having seen ‘Darkest Hour’ and recently having watched ‘The Crown’, I was struck by how much of an issue the producers make of Churchill’s alcohol intake. In almost every shot the man has something alcoholic in his hand and often to the shock and dismay of his companions such as King George V.
When I was a drinker, seeing such a great man supposedly being able to run the country during such perilous times whilst being permanently sozzled would have filled me with hope and encouragement to ‘Keep drinking on!’ as he might have said. And this got me thinking, and exploring on google..
First of all, if he did walk around in an alcoholic fug, surely he could have made far better decisions had he been sober. Certainly, he is renowned for having made many mistakes in his life, and many of those led to a great many others dying as a consequence such as at Gallipoli (although Churchill’s sole responsibility for this debacle cannot be assumed.) He also looks far older in the films and in pictures taken at the time than a man in his early sixties, and far less fit, but then he had a huge amount of stress to cope with and that wasn’t helped by the personal debts he was running up through spending such massive sums on extravagantly expensive champagne.
Once again, the old alcoholic me would have happily accepted the fact that he needed alcohol to help cope with all that wartime stress - I certainly had the mistaken belief that alcohol is a stress reducer. I of course now know differently and in watching these films I now know how much more effective a leader Churchill could have been had he left the bottle alone. It also makes me wonder how many current Ministers and MP’s resort to the bottle to ‘help cope with their jobs’, whereas the truth is the opposite.
Winston did of course live to a great age and whether he really did drink and smoke as much as the films portray is in doubt. Some medical reports state that most of his drink was water merely tainted with whiskey or wine and that most of his cigars went unsmoked and merely chewed. Being such a great showman, I can readily believe Winston kept up his drinking and smoking charade merely for affect and as part of his marketing/spin.
Where his drinking did have a personal effect is on his son Randolph. Randolph also became an MP but using his dad as an example smoked and drank for real, becoming hopelessly debilitated through both these habits in his early fifties and dying aged fifty-seven, the age I expected to live to when I was still drinking. Randolph is portrayed as a young man knocking back the booze in Darkest Hour.
So now, when I watch films such as these from my perspective of having ‘been there and done that’ but now living a completely sober life, I feel sad for the characters involved. I feel sad to see a great man beholden to a drug that is affecting him and so many others around him, that was and is the cause of so much embarrassment and shame to all concerned, and that sadly is still being allowed to affect and impact the lives of so many people today.
If I had my own 'Churchillian' slogan it would have to be ‘Keep Sobering On!’
I am finally back from an amazing month in India. I have so many relevant tales to tell which I will feed in over the coming weeks, but once again it was a blessing not to be beholden to alcohol. As we were for the main part in remote areas of India there were so few occasions when I would have been able to buy alcohol, or at least something safe to drink, the torment of wanting a drink would have been terrible. It wasn't until we hit the tourist areas of Kerala that drink became more readily available and needless to say the locals couldn't understand why this white European wasn't in India solely to get smashed on cheap booze!
A quite surreal experience last night as my wife and I went to the carol concert at St. Martins in the fields. I have never seen so many Santas in one place - all having great fun and all up to no good, because they could get away with it. Many were sitting on the lions at Trafalgar square and what amused me most was the fact the police could do nothing. How can you try and arrest a Santa when he or she will instantly merge with thousands of others when pursued? It was great to watch and to see so many people enjoying themselves.
In the interval however, we popped out for a coffee and the sight was somewhat different. By that stage Santa was either lolling around drunk, leaning against a wall with a fag in his mouth and his hands in his pockets, or being sick. There were lots of broken beer bottles to be seen and some of the worst Santas reminded me of the Santa scene in 'Trading Places'. It was a joy to watch, especially from a completely sober perspective knowing that I wouldn't be suffering the agonies of a massive festive hangover the next day or worrying what pictures might materialise on social media Sunday morning! I love Christmas!