Party, party, party!


The party season is upon us, dear readers and for those who are attempting to be sober curious this is a challenge. What the hell is ‘sober curious’? This question came from a new writer friend when I was explaining my memoir to her this past weekend. Well, it’s a term taken from Ruby Warrington’s book, Sober Curious and it basically means taking a good, long look at your drinking and generally going “oh dear god, do I really drink that much, let me attend to this immediately.”


Attending to it means either *giving up completely or cutting down. I personally have no difficulty not drinking during the week or drinking a glass or two of wine if I go to the pub with the husband. It’s the all-day dos that are a challenge because it’s more difficult to keep track of what you’ve drunk until you are drunk.  

Also, if you count up how many drinks you’ve had, it’s usually a pretty horrific tally of 6-8 and I know you are all saying “but that’s okay you were drinking a glass of wine every hour,” Dear reader, no it is not okay because drinks and units are not equal (this was a real shocker to me) so I may have had 6 drinks but that could’ve added up to 10 or 12 units and the recommended maximum of units per week is 14 and I think the recommended max per sitting is 2-3 drinks which can feel pretty damn measly if you’re at a party for 8 hours.

Tips I do find useful in terms of keeping one’s drinking under control include:

  1. Not drinking at all if I’m worried I can’t stick to my limit. The de-alc’d champers is great if you want to try this.
  2. Eating before I go out and making sure I’ve had enough water. This makes a huge difference to me.
  3. Putting off having an alcoholic drink until later and starting off with water/a soft drink. If you’re being pressured to drink, walk around with sparkling water in a champagne glass.
  4. Setting myself a limit. Saying ‘I am only having two drinks’ and sticking to it. In his fantastic book Drink? The New Science of Alcohol and Your Health, Professor David Nutt talks about drinking the least amount of alcohol to get the most pleasurable effect (no, this is not your cue to say you need ten tequilas to get the best effect).
  5. Drinking water/sparkling water/soft drinks in between alcoholic drinks.
  6. Not letting people top up my glass – this is a sure fire of way of getting completely shitfaced, behaving like a tit, and feeling horrible the next day.
  7. Staying away from port/liqueurs – for me these are headaches in a glass.
  8. Staying away from shooters – unless I really want to dance (and possibly sing) like nobody’s watching (except they all will be watching). Also, as an added bonus I will spend the next day worshipping at the great white toilet bowl.
  9. Getting my mind right (this is obvs relative) – practising mindful drinking ie. not affixing my mouth to the tap of some cheapo box wine and glugging it until it’s empty but only drinking a really gorgeous glass of champers or red wine. Try the headspace app if you want to get into mindfulness .
  10. This is a difficult one in party season – but make sure you have a few alcohol-free days every week.
  11. Self-hypnosis – try Ailsa Frank’s tracks to help you cut down on the grog.
  12. And if all this seems like too much PT, you may just decide to quit altogether.
Inside Man
The Good Nurse

TV recommendations: Inside Man with Stanley Tucci and David Tennant. I was discussing this series with the husband and dear friends, Kate and Boykey Sidley, yes at our favourite pub, The Blind Tiger and we decided that the Stanley-Tucci-guy-on-death-row-solving-crimes bits although intriguing were a bit stagey as if they belonged in a play and the David Tennant bits were v good but had plot holes so large you could drive a truck through them. Still an intriguing premise. It’s on Netflix.

Also on Netflix, a rather fab movie called The Good Nurse with the gorg, Jessica Chastain and Eddie Redmayne. Based on a true story about a nurse that kept offing patients at the various hospitals he worked at, this has no overt violence but is filled to the brim with suspense and boasts really fantastic performances from Jessica and Eddie.

Book recommendations: I read Matthew Perry’s memoir Friends, Lovers and The Big Terrible Thing and although, being a huge Friends’ fan, I gobbled it up, I found it both sad and disappointing. He comes across as whiny and thoroughly unlikeable and treats women like disposable objects and as for his comments about Keanu – well! He basically questions why Keanu is still alive while super-talented people like River Phoenix and Heath Ledger are dead.

Of course, I can’t help wondering if that was the publisher’s objective, to create lots of controversy around the book to up sales. Although, for a celeb of his stature I wouldn’t think that was necessary. Perhaps the poor old editor was gently saying, “Well, Matty, you sound like a complete tool here, mate, maybe tone it down – especially the comments about Keanu?” But Matthew thought every word was a precious pearl and didn’t need to be cut or altered in any way. We will never know, dear reader.

Matthew Perry

Note to self: listen to your editor if you don’t want to sound like a total asshole.

It is six weeks to Christmas, dear Reader. My lovely friend, Qarnita Loxton gave me permission to start putting up Christmas decorations which gave me a great deal of joy. I also spotted Advent Calendars for cats at the vet.

  • Me: I have to have those.
  • Husband: No, just no.
  • Lastborn: Could you possibly buy us Advent Calendars before you buy ones for the cats?

I pretended I wasn’t buying them, dear Reader but when the receptionist phoned me, I quickly ordered three.

I will go and buy some for the children this week. Happy reading! xxx

*cutting down is only an option if you don’t suffer from alcohol use disorder. If you are physically dependent on alcohol, you will need to quit completely. CLICK HERE for help.

Sober Curious