All or nothing in booze stakes

SO here we are.  Double digit-days, untold hours and minutes into the brave new year.  How are your resolutions working out?  Or did you wisely abstain from making any heartfelt pledges in the days following the Christmas excess?

 ‘Everything in moderation’, as one particularly insightful relative always points out, sipping on her one small sherry while I merrily tuck into my fifth glass of bubbly.

The problem is that I am woefully bad at living life in moderation.  Excess is simply so much more fun; ‘All or nothing’ would be a more appropriate motto for me, which is why I am now approaching half-way through a ‘dry’ January.

The first few days were a breeze.  There really is nothing like a good old New Year’s Eve knees-up followed by a stinking hangover to reinforce the vows of ‘never again’. Taking refuge in Northern Europe nicely circumnavigated the pitfalls of King’s Day festivities, which could otherwise have rocked my resolve.  But as the days pass, it is easy to lose sight of the original reasons for the detox.  Back in Spain, friends blink bewilderedly at me when refusing a copa.  It seems a foreign concept here, maybe it’s just further North we inflict these periods of abstinence on ourselves?

By day 10, I am pretty sure my liver is like a new-born baby’s and surely a breathalyser test would confirm me a pseudo-saint, halo and all?

To strengthen my resolve, I have canvassed advice on how to persevere, which I am of course delighted to share with you here.

It might seem blindingly obvious, but you have to remove yourself from the haunts you usually frequent, especially if the bartender produces your ‘regular’ as soon as you walk through the door.  This is the time to seek out cafés, juice bars or anywhere without a drinks license really.

Diversion tactics are also important; you need to fill the time you have created with something else. Perhaps one of the other resolutions, such as hiking or ballroom dancing?  Both are infinitely easier with a clear head and clean blood.  Or if physically challenged, why not start a blog for your friends and family in distant countries. Every Tom Dick and Harry seem to write one these days and with a bit of luck some talent scout might discover your literary skills and give you a whopping publishing contract.  Trend-setters say that aliens are the new vampires as far as fiction is concerned, so start your masterpiece now. Move over JK Rowling.

Look in the mirror! Chances are your skin is more luminous, eyes clearer and, assuming you didn’t replace the pints with pies, you may well be a bit trimmer too.

Still missing the Merlot? Police in Spain are clamping down on drink drivers and even with the best intentions, it can be hard to judge the alcohol in your glass, so save yourself a bundle of cash and a stint in the penitentiary, not to mention any horrid accidents.

In fact, the only legal way to ship you to and from the bar (except walking) is by horse, since they have a mind of their own, so maybe use your dry January to take some riding lessons, setting you up for a galloping return to the social fold come February.


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