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  • stevecowles

The Driest Year on Record

Updated: Jan 24, 2023

Today I'm celebrating a largely accidental dry year. Traditionally I'd go to the pub on my way home from work and have a few pints and a crack with my friends pretty much every day and obviously went out at the weekend too (I never drink at home). I've done this most of the time since I first started work in the early 1980's.

Back on 13th November 2019, I was prescribed a weeks course of antibiotics (the ones that make you violently sick if you drink alcohol). I collected them from the chemists and went to the pub to contemplate the matter and say a temporary goodbye.

Alas they did not work fully and a second weeks dose of tablets were prescribed, having done a fortnight it seemed like a good idea to have a dry month and prepare my body for the Christmas excesses ahead. I then got very busy at work so needed the car early every morning and had to avoid drinking, by the time Christmas actually came around I didn't fancy the seasonal hassle that tends to be once a year drinkers and works parties so talked myself into waiting until my birthday (January) before going out again.

By then I'd noticed that my health seemed to be a lot better, very specifically a leg ulcer which I have had for several years (dressed at the doctors every week) was starting to heal, this could be coincidence but maybe not so I stuck with it and it is now very close to being fully healed and I have finally been 'discharged from outpatients' (that expression makes no sense to me).

In the meantime I'd started to realise the benefits I was gaining in time and money and ordered the ebike I'd been thinking of for some time, I also realised that my work contract would probably be ending at the end of the financial year so decided to keep off the beer until then as it would be a milestone worth celebrating.

My work contract finished and the coronavirus lockdown started straight away, the ebike was delivered and I started to get fitter. By the time lockdown finished I had no reason not to go out but also no desire to do so and so it has remained. I guess the routine is broken.

Strangely I did quite fancy marking the year milestone with a 'good session', but in came the second coronavirus lockdown so it is not possible.

Will I ever go out again? Yes, of course but my 'local' has never reopened after the lockdown. I've always been a one pub sort of guy and can't be arsed to start afresh somewhere else so I think I'll wait until live music is permitted again. I do miss having a crack with my friends but can't see it ever becoming a daily habit again, I've got too many other things to do now. Those days have gone and my life, habits and interests have changed. If I was going to go out now there would need to be a reason or event.

I think my desire not to suffer a hangover now far outweighs my desire to get one in the first place. It has also been a bit of an eye-opener seeing how much less I'm spending, the ebike has already paid for itself several times over. Must be getting old.

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