Dry January

wine & glass

For many years now that we have observed the above sacrifice, and this start to 2019 is going to be no exception, thus joining, albeit temporarily, the 20% of adult Britons who abstain from alcohol (according to a YouGov survey).

In addition, we are also making it a pescatarian event, and I suppose also what is known in the press as a DeTox. However, never before have I kept a day to day record of our progress, which has the added advantage of reinforcing the will power, as the publicity of failure will hopefully prevent the shame of a relapse.

It should be made clear straight away that Jean observes a much healthier lifestyle than I do, but in our own relative ways it will be interesting to record our journey in February!

First Week


Our New Year’s Day Annual Lunch BBQ for the family starts us off and with a glass of champagne, followed by a delicious meal of Tandoori Chicken, Cumberland sausages, Corn on the Cob, Jacket Potatoes, Pineapple dessert and Cheese & Biscuits, so it was difficult, as usual, to resist a glass or three of wine.  Not a great start, some would quite rightly say, but it was a one-off, and it adds to the determination to be applied on the following 30 days!


The reader will be pleased to hear that the 2nd & 3rd days went exactly to plan – no alcohol (it is of course safely locked away) – so far so good. Day 4 was a small test as I usually meet my mates at lunchtime in the Polgooth Inn, but as I always have 2 diet cokes in the middle of the day it was really no problem. I couldn’t help having a sideways glance along the bar as they took their first sip of St Austell Cornish draught and exhaled deeply, and with a smack of the lips saying something like ‘That’s better’! But they now accept my situation and gone are the days when they ask ‘Why’ or even ‘How’?

Now we’re on day 6 and safely on course: with no alcohol, 10,000+ steps each day, various fish dishes, vegetables and fruit, reasonably early nights and, in Jean’s case, yoga and meditation.

You may wonder why anyone does it each year. Well the reasons/excuses are well documented elsewhere, and make good, if slightly optimistic reading. ‘Save money, weight loss, brighter eyes, clear head, consistent moods, more energy, no wondering who will drive home’ etc. , or for the more serious contenders, ‘unexpected joy of being constantly sober’, ‘go to bed with great memories that one can remember the next morning’. With reference to the last one, do they take age into consideration?

We do it, I am sure, for health benefits, and for the mental satisfaction of being in control. After all it’s only 4 weeks and 3 days, or 744 hours, or even 44640 minutes….and thank goodness we don’t work as a wine taster or columnist, or a in a brewery!!


Well, now on day 10, and we don’t actually think about a glass of wine, even when confronted with Jean’s fabulous fish dishes. No more falling asleep in front of the TV in the evening either. In my case the belt is 1 notch tighter so that’s no bad thing, although I forgot to do the adjustment yesterday before going to Truro, and, on possibly the coldest day of the winter, I nearly lost control! in the main street!

Today is January 13th (day 12 owing to late start) and the novelty is starting to wear off a little – not enough to herald a relapse – but a time of reflection maybe. Of course we are well aware that January is not the best month to embark on a dramatic change, as the weather is not the best (although better than usual), the credit card bills for the Xmas period are arriving in the post (or computer depending on your scientific progress in this digital age), it’s still dark in the mornings, even if like us you don’t have to go to work…..I could go on, but we are where we are and will stick to it. After the excesses of the Christmas and New Year period, the need and my waistline are easily enough to psychologically drive us on. By us, I refer not only to Jean and I, but the thousands, or even millions, who have embarked on the same journey.

The fish dishes, healthy food, lots of exercise and the text book existence are all in free flow – unlike the New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc, tailor-made for Jean’s wonderful fish creations, which remains safely locked away in the cupboard.

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