While I don't wish to create an impression of having any form of alcoholic dependency, may I just say - LOUDLY and CATEGORICALLY - that after 30 days of not drinking, I am never EVER giving up booze again.
I don’t know what I was thinking. No. Let me rephrase that: I don’t know what PAUL was thinking. It was his stupid idea. Let’s do Dry July, he said! It’ll be fun, he said! We’ll lose weight, he said! Well the joke’s on HIM, because for the last 30 days I have been the worst possible human imaginable. A megabitch, if you will. A moody, greedy, bad-tempered sugar fiend. Have we lost weight? Have we fuck. Have I now got a weird carbo-loaded sugar paunch and a twitch in my right eye? Damn right I do.
To all those humans who don’t drink booze, I salute you. I bow to your pure livers and sharp minds. Because I simply can’t do it. I have a boss, and an under 10s football team of which I am the reluctant manager, and a house for sale, and deadlines, and three children who want dinner EVERY SINGLE NIGHT. I need something to soften the blow.
Let me clarify: I don’t drink a lot. I don’t drink at all on weekdays. On Friday evenings, yeah, I’ll have a beer or a glass of wine. Same on Saturday. And maybe Sunday. But never more than half a bottle of wine and a Baileys. Honest, guv’nor. Well let me tell you something: come August, I won’t be imposing such restrictions. I’ll drink every single night, if I need to.
Here’s the thing: I’m really, really highly strung. I’m oversensitive, borderline OCD and short tempered. I can’t chill out. BOOZE TURNS ME INTO A DECENT HUMAN. It also makes the kids less annoying. Fact.
Exercise does the same thing, to a certain extent, but exercise is a fickle mistress, and sometimes lets me down. Take Saturday morning, for instance. I always - ALWAYS - go to the 8.15am body attack class. It’s my thing. On the Saturday morning just gone, the class was full. Never mind, I’ll just sneak in, I thought smugly, because I am a REGULAR and I OWN this class. But no! The fuckers had put a door bitch at the entrance to the studio. A door bitch! I was all, like, oh, can I just go in, and she didn’t even speak, just slowly shook her head. And I thought FUCK YOU, but didn’t say it, for I am British and repressed, so went on the treadmill instead, thinking I’d just sneak in when she got bored and went back to being reception bitch. But she was on to me, the door bitch, and we ended up in what can only be described as a Mexican stand-off: her glaring at me and me glaring at her (from the treadmill, over my shoulder, on a 15-degree gradient) until I gave up and went home, whereupon I kicked the washing machine and swore at some children (my own). Exercise let me down. Booze never lets me down.
So why, then, have I stuck at this whole not-drinking thing? For a WHOLE month? Well, for all my foibles (washing machine kicker, child swearer atter, door bitch glarer) I have some serious willpower. So does Paul. We’re kind of superhuman in that respect. I was reminded of this when my friend from round the corner, who shall remain nameless (Sharon), only managed, like, 10 days dry in July, or something. Piss. Weak. Oh, she kept up the pretence, sending texts saying how much she was looking forward to a drink, with wine glass emojis and EVERYTHING, until I bumped into a mutual friend, who said: Sharon? Sharon’s been drinking since the Ashes started. And I laughed long and I laughed hard, and sent her a very smug message - with smug face emojis - and knew then that I could never give up, not ever (or at least not until the Blur gig on Thursday night).
Paul - in his infinite wisdom - has decided that we should give up something every single month from here on in, just to kind of reaffirm our superhuman willpower over lesser humans, I think. In August, it’s sugar. I’m cool with that, now that I know that the sugar in beer and wine doesn’t count, and I can drink these with gay abandon. He’s also scheduled in a carb-free month, and a meat-free month, and a vegan-uary, and other such nonsense, all of which raised only one question: can I still drink? If the answer’s yes, then I’m in. Because - and on this you have my word - I’m never not drinking again. I’m just not that kind of gal.