Sunday, 26 January 2014

Dryanuary (I know that's not the official name, but if you say it really quickly I think it has a better ring to it!)

New Year’s Resolution Number 1 – improve diet! 
New Year's Resolution Number 2 – make time for real Laura time!

By way of adhering to both of these resolutions, I made a rather extreme (by my standards, anyway) decision at the beginning of the year. Every year I have made an attempt to at least say ‘this year, I am going to take a break from alcohol’, and every year I have failed to even say that sentence without an overwhelming sense of doubt, let alone make it a reality. This year, however, despite the reactions of my highly supportive friends (said with a slight hint of sarcasm after mutual agreement that perhaps we could all support each other in our endeavour, followed by shock and awe at the news this weekend that I am still standing by my word), I am making a proper go of it!

Admittedly, I did not start at the very beginning of January, as I had to see to the alcohol store leftover from Christmas (there is still Gin hiding in the freezer if anyone is looking for any) to avoid temptation! However, I have now survived three weekends, substituting Cobra for pineapple juice, cocktails for Turkish teas and red wine for cranberry! I’ve hardly dared to openly own up to my choice to give up alcohol for fear of imminent failure (as I write this, I worry that I sound rather like an alcoholic – as if the ring addiction wasn’t enough!), but this weekend marked a significant achievement in the proceedings, so I now know I am doing well.

Last Saturday I awoke with the most atrocious headache. It was as though my body is so used to my usual morning-after-the-night-before state that it decided to give me that hungover feeling just so I wasn’t in danger of missing it too much. Of course, I was less than impressed, but thankfully it cleared and a most productive weekend followed. This weekend has been equally as productive and although less adventurous, with the weather as it has been, it has been quite nice to spend some time feeling cosy inside. Friday nights spent cleaning to music bordering on an anti-social volume (I’m simply engaging in friendly competition with the Portuguese folk music so loud from our downstairs neighbours that I always feel convinced there must be a live band performing in our kitchen) and/or doing an extravagant food shop have become something I genuinely relish the thought of (old before my time?), and mean that Saturday is not spent in comatose, but instead has the potential for productivity and the outdoor element of making time for ‘real Laura time’ (when I want to venture out, anyway)!

Friday night thriller. It's how I do.
Last night came my real test, as all the odds were against me;

I went out for a friend’s birthday.
I went out for a friend’s 30th birthday.
I went out for a friend’s 30th birthday where I knew no one (Dutch courage had to instead come in the form of over-enthusiastic violin playing detrimental to the living room before I left the house, but that’s a-whole-nother story!!).
I went out for a friends 30th birthday where I knew no one and drinks were in a GIN BAR (gin is my favourite, just for future reference when this is all over)!

The thing is, I not only survived, I really enjoyed myself. Despite the genuine shock expressed by the barman when I ordered a gin and tonic without the gin (he was shocked? Imagine how I must have felt!), the fact that others have expressed admiration, and that I am feeling and (I may be imagining this but) looking better in myself makes me feel like this is totally worth it and I have a true respect for people who do this every year! I won’t share what’s going on in the back of my mind right now, but we’ll see how the land lies; the spoken aim is until Easter/my birthday.

And hey, I had three sausages for my tea tonight. That’s an odd number. I still know how to have a good time!