Over the last few days I have;
A) Chatted with my hairdresser, who told me she doesn’t think she has had an alcoholic drink so far this year, before remembering that she’d had a single glass of champagne back in February on her wedding day – this stunned me, as I can’t imagine EVER not being able to recall whether or not I’d consumed any booze over a length of time. My hairdresser reminded me that life doesn’t always revolve around alcohol for everyone – even if it always did for me (and still does, even though I don’t drink, because of Soberistas.com!).
B) Flicked through an old copy of Coast magazine, an innocent-enough publication which is full of all things related to the coast, funnily enough. The first page that fell open was a feature on the best coastal walks around the UK – an accolade which was only afforded to those routes ending at a great pub where one can neck a pint of ale. Hhhmmm, back to the land of booze-obsessed Brits.
C) Missed watching the Tour De France as it passed through Sheffield, South Yorkshire, where I live. I did catch snippets on the TV and it looked amazing, but as the cyclists were powering through High Bradfield cheered on by half of Sheffield, all of whom looked like they were having a great time in the sunshine, I was chasing my toddler around an empty park and laughing with her as she threw a whole slice of bread at a duck’s head before I could stop her. Hey ho, I missed the biggest sporting event to hit Yorkshire this year, but I had a lovely time with Lily.
D) Visited the House of Commons for the APPG (All Party Parliamentary Group on Alcohol Misuse) meeting on treatment issues. I was asked to speak at the meeting by the charity, Alcohol Concern, and was thrilled to have been there. I talked about what would have helped me address my drinking issues earlier – namely, gender and age specific treatment options being available to me, and a GP who had drilled down beneath my frequent presentations of anxiety and depression and asked the simple questions, ‘Do you regularly have 6 drinks or more in one sitting?’ (er, yes, doesn’t everyone?), and ‘Have you, during the last year, felt embarrassment or shame as a result of how you acted when under the influence of alcohol? (er, how about 3 times this week alone?). These are the questions which emerged from a recent study by the University of Leicester as optimal for a GP to determine whether or not a patient is in trouble with booze. I thoroughly enjoyed my day, and David Blunkett walked past me with his dog, Cosby, which I found very exciting.
E) Finally completed my latest book, A Soberista’s Guide to Life, which I have been writing for what seems like for ever. I’m delighted to have finished it, and can’t wait to see it published in a few months’ time. I can now carve out the odd hour here and there for running, something I have seriously neglected in recent weeks due to the aforementioned book.
Now that I’ve finished my book, I’ll also be able to return to writing more frequent blogs here – in the meantime, thank you for sticking with me in my frequent absence!