Booze-less Mondays

I used to think that Russell Brand was a bit of a prat. But last night we watched his documentary (Russell Brand: from Addiction to Recovery) about kicking drink and drug addiction on BBC Three and were both impressed. He came across very well indeed. He also had strong views about Methadone versus abstinence – and made a very convincing case for the latter. No, it was an excellent documentary.

I can’t say I’ve ever been particularly drawn to drink/drugs in mega-excess, although, like most field archaeologists from time to time, I’ve woken-up in the dewy long grass or, worse, in the wrong tent . But these days I’m positively abstemious: that’s not because I’ve ‘seen the error of my ways’ or anything so worthy. No, it’s simply that I get terrible two- or even three-day hangovers, which I’d do almost anything to avoid.

I’ve also got a friend who knows about livers – largely, I suspect, because he’s a doctor. He also enjoys a drink or three. But somehow he remains very fit and attributes his rude good health to ‘Booze-less Mondays’. He maintains, and who am I to argue with him, that the liver needs a regular break from alcohol at least once a week. So he takes his last drink on Sunday night, then has nothing until six o’clock on Tuesday – that’s about 44 hours free of booze. Maisie and I have been adopting this pattern for the past two years and I have to say we feel the better for it. It’s also very much easier to do if you’re both doing it at precisely the same time. That way the agony and the zero-alcohol lager can be shared. Our friendly doctor also suggested keeping consumption down for the remaining week-days, which we do. THEN (and this is the best part of the entire wheeze) you can let yourself go over the weekend. And, of course, being less tolerant or used to drink, you get tiddly just that little bit quicker…

But we’re not absolutely rigid about our booze-less Mondays. If I’m doing a Time Team,  the day can slip, or if it’s a Bank Holiday it can be deferred till Tuesday. We don’t apply it over Christmas (which is grim enough as it is).

This morning we were discussing the week ahead. Maisie was thumbing through her diary.

‘Oh,’ she said, looking up: ‘you’re going to the Peterborough Beer Festival at five-thirty on Tuesday. You want me to drive you there and collect you… ‘ She paused. ‘When?’

‘Half-nine or tennish?’ I suggested. I didn’t think it fair to ask her to drive almost 50 miles any later.

‘Yes, that’s fine…’ she muttered

Then without thinking she added:

‘Look, as there’s so much driving, why don’t we make it our booze-free day?’

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