Sunday, 1 January 2012
So it’s on with the New Year and as usual I’ve gone and made my annual resolution – a resolution no one believes I’m capable of keeping and which I’m regretting like mad already. Yes, I’m giving up alcohol for January.
My four weeks of abstinence date back to the heady days when I worked as a reporter in Fleet Street. The 25-strong news team started work at dawn and by the time we’d seen the final edition to bed everyone piled out to the pub over the road for a drink. When a major story broke, the news editor would simply ring the landlord and order everyone back to the office.
Unless it was January, that is. On January 1st every year, most of us turned stone-cold sober for four weeks and could be found sitting quietly at our desks, munching sandwiches and drinking the canteen’s disgusting coffee.
So this year I’m doing it again – and I know I’ll find it embarrassingly difficult. Instead of pouring a glass of chilled Pinot Grigio after work every night I’ll be opting for a litre of mineral water or my eighth cup of Earl Grey. Neither of them quite do the trick so if anyone has got any more appealing drinks to try I’d love some suggestions.
The most annoying thing is that apart from making me feel virtuous, my annual alcohol detox doesn’t make me feel better. My skin doesn’t glow, the pounds don’t fall off and worst of all, being tee-total is just, well, plain boring.
PS. “What’s your favourite David Bowie track?” It’s not the usual question you get asked in a shop – but that’s what an assistant in In Spitalfields, a shop in Old Spitalfields Market, said to me yesterday. “Er, Changes,” I said, amazed that I could even remember the title. “Why?” “We’ve decided to have a David Bowie day,” he said, “so I’m asking every customer what their favourite track is and then playing it.” What a great retail idea in these tough economic times. I stayed in the shop a good ten minutes longer than I would have otherwise and ended up buying a card and a chic wastepaper bin for my study.