I have never been a clubber, beyond it being something I felt you did between your late teens and early 20s; after that I thought of it as being more of a choice and not one that ever appealed to me.  Once past the Saturday night highlights of television and/or sleepovers and trying to have a midnight snack session, it all became about alcohol and meeting boys.  Nowadays, I stay in on Saturday nights perhaps a little more than I would like, but the things that interest me have changed a lot.

At the risk of sounding a bit of a middle class bore, I like going to friends’ houses, having friends round and staying in.  I have written that and I am cringing, it really does sound dull.  How did that happen?   It just sort of crept up on me!  I would now rather go to a restaurant than a pub, but in part there are fewer traditional pubs around, which is what I like, and I baulk at the prices and too often of late I’ve heard myself saying, standing outside a pub, “Oh, shall we just get some beer/wine and drink it at home?”  I really am not liking how this is making me sound in terms of excitement levels!

However, last night Chris and I went out and had a fantastic night.  We went to another house gig.  You bring your own food and nibbles and everyone (c30+ people) sits around on all seats the hosts can rustle up.  We talked to a few people, which is more than I do when I go to a pub or restaurant, and we could take our shoes off and curl up on the armchair.  And we got to listen to two fantastic guitarists, one of whom was also the singer.  They sounded great and we had a lovely evening.  We were there from about 7.15 pm until shortly before 11.15 pm.  A night of good music, the company of people with similar interests (I would say people ranged in age from about 16 to 60s) and as you could bring whatever food and drinks you wanted, you could be as posh or cheap as you wanted.  We somehow ended up with me on decent wine, Chris on Pepsi Max and an array of crisps and a big bag of chocolate buttons.  In future, I will go for something more nourishing, substantial and tasty, say a cheese and ham selection.  Listen to me, I’m so middle class!

I guess in some respects, my interests and priorities have changed where spending my free time is concerned.  I want to be around friends, if there’s music it should be music I want to hear, I want food and drink of decent quality and I want to be in an environment I find comfortable in.  House gigs are so the way forward for me!  Sadly, I’m away for the next gig and then they won’t host one again until late autumn, in part because their house looks so good and creates such a great atmosphere when it’s dark outside.

Yes, I feel a bit boring, or at least that’s what I would have thought looking at me from my 18 year old eyes, but so what, I had a really good evening and I was out on a Saturday night, I was listening to music, I was socialising, I was with somebody I wanted to spend time with and I did have good wine and, ahem, good food (or at least I could have done had I made a proper effort – I bought crisps in a moment of “ooo, let’s have snacks” giddiness).


{19/07/2012}   Clubbing

In my rose-tinted heyday I went clubbing most Saturday nights and on a fair few Tuesdays and Thursdays while at university (student club nights with ludicrously cheap alcohol!).  Despite having had some fantastic nights out, it was at some point during the rose-tinted years that I realised I didn’t usually enjoy clubbing, it was just something you kind of did, a rite of passage if you like.  Now, seeing people going into or leaving clubs (the stuff of early morning airport runs!), I am reminded that I would have nothing to wear that wouldn’t make me lamby mutton or frump, I hate dance music and being out past midnight renders me defective for at least the duration of the following day.  Plus, I struggle with the price of drinks and am prone to disapproving looks at scantily clad girls.

I read an article recently about Ibiza and how it’s transformed (-ing?) from lager and alcopops to vintage champagne and classy cocktails.  That’s all fine.  Then I read a list of celebrities and millionaires who now partied in Ibiza and a load of them were older than me.  I am in danger of sounding like a fuddy duddy but for me clubbing was something I did up to my mid-20s before I realised I was no longer interested in a potential snog in an alleyway, getting staggery, slurred drunk, having your bum fondled and feeling rough the next day as you try to piece together what exactly happened the night before.  Or maybe I just went to the wrong clubs?!  I still drink and go out, I just prefer to go out places where I can chat to friends and have a decent meal rather than a belated, “Ooops, I didn’t have dinner.  Kebabs, anyone?”

Apparently, it costs about £55 to get into one of Ibiza’s posh clubs.  To get my money’s worth, I would feel a need to get there at opening time and leave at closing time.  To stay awake, I would need to keep up vigorous dancing for most of the night, which I am too unfit to do, and I would consequently dehydrate and end up drinking too much, feeling dreadful as a result.  I would then get alcohol-induced moroseness at all the rich, beautiful people dancing lithely without having broken out into a sweat, make-up intact.  At some point, I would probably piss off someone influential with my sweaty flailing and get myself chucked out.  I would at least, if I could remember much, have good material for a blog post/club review!

All that said, to dance like a maniac to poppy, sing/shout-along music is something I don’t often do enough these days and something which at times is just so, so much fun.  I find myself wondering what it’d be like to rub shoulders with the likes of Naomi Campbell in Ibiza … oh, hold on, that doesn’t solve my outfit issue!  Or the expense issue … maybe I should just officially retire from clubbing and save my windmill moves and shakes to weddings!

{11/07/2012}   A country pub revelation

               On Monday night, a friend and I met for dinner at a pub we spent our late teens and early 20s frequenting on Friday nights, The Ringlestone Inn.  It’s a largely unspoilt ye olde 16th century rural pub, complete with log fires (marshmallows to toast in winter) and oozing history through its beams, flooring and wood panelling (it was a hospice for monks along The Pilgrims’ Way and soon after became, and continues to be, an ale establishment).  The revelation was that country pubs I’ve been to of late (and I mean proper country pubs, ie not even in a village, just in the middle of nowhere) have served over-priced, sub-standard food and not been quite the idyll I had had in mind.

               Admittedly, we had unwittingly arranged to meet on Monday Steak Night and we both fancied steak.  The meat was very good and the chips and, what I had, the cubed herby roast potatoes were clearly hand cut and cooked to order.  It was a really tasty meal.  We didn’t look at starters, but we did check out desserts.  They were all £6 and, if you read the menu carefully, mostly frozen, seemingly along the Arctic Roll lines.  For example there was a Lemon Meringue Cake, boasting an ice cream filling or layer or some such.  There was a Tiramisu … Ice Cream Cake.  Wrong.  We decided against pudding, not that either of us were hungry.

So we thought we’d have a hot drink.  £3 (though I have just seen on the online menu that some drinks are £2.50, the espresso for example.  There were three types of coffee, no coffee machine in sight, including cappuccino.  There may have been a coffee machine, I just didn’t see it.  As my friend and I can no longer cope with the late night tea or coffee drinking sessions of sober times in our youth, my friend asked if they served decaffeinated coffee.  It was enthusiastically established they did indeed.  On further questioning, my friend having clocked the lack of coffee-making equipment, we discovered it was instant, “It is Nescafe though.”  Oh, that’s all right then, is it?  For £3 (but it might have been £2.50).  I know I’m a coffee snob but, really, it’s not that hard to make a filter coffee at least for that price.  So we ordered a cup of hot water with a teabag.  For £3.  I know I sound like angry old woman but I object to paying that much for tea, let alone a sachet of Bisto-tasting instant coffee.

Despite my moans, we had a lovely evening, it is a lovely pub and the main meal was very good.  Everything has become more expensive and pubs are closing at a distressing rate so have to do whatever they can.  I understand that.  But I don’t like feeling ripped off and it doesn’t make me want to go back, at least not to eat or drink anything other than beer or fruit wine.

I have been to a few country pubs over the last year or two and all of them have disappointed on some scale, food being my main issue.  I guess there’s a lesson there: pubs are for drinking beer and snacking in (mmm, it’s only ever in a pub that I eat Scampi Fries!); hot drinks and fancy desserts are a no-no.  The other thing I’ve noticed is that all of them have seemed too quiet, except for Sunday lunch.  I guess people aren’t going out as much and, for those who do fancy a pub, it’s more likely to be one you can walk to or get to easily rather than one you need to drive to.  But if there were a really good one less than an hour from me to drive to, I’d go back.  Because there is something so wonderfully British and postcard-like about sitting in an old countryside pub, drinking a pint and chowing down on a doorstep sandwich, a ploughman’s lunch or, say, a nice pie, perhaps eaten in a large beer garden or inside with a coal fire burning.  Ahhh, yes, I might have to do some research, though I’m not entirely convinced they still exist or have been recreated.

                As soon as a friend (I am writing this about female friends) has a baby, I believe your friendship is changed forever.  I am a friend without children and I have a mixture of friends with and without children.  My relationship with those without is, inevitably, different to my relationship with friends with children.  I think it is difficult for withs and withouts to re-establish post-baby relationships but it can and should be possible.  But I find it sad that there are some friends who seem to fall by the wayside once a baby is added to the equation.

                It has been known for people with children to tell (or imply unsubtly) people without children that they can’t possibly understand their lives because they don’t understand what it is like to have children.  I can see that is true, though it doesn’t need to be said.  But I think it is less commonly accepted that those with children no longer know what it’s like to be without them.  I am occasionally told I’m a jet setter or I’m busy or I go out a lot, purely because I am without children.  That is not a reflection of my life; it is not one big party.  It never really has been.  But, yes, the odds are high that I will go out more and do more impulsive things, from having a quiet cup of coffee on my own in a café to going away with friends for the weekend on a last minute whim (though I am struggling to think of a recent example when this has happened!).

There are some people who have had children and who you continue to have a lovely friendship with.  Yes, it’s impossible you will see each other as often or be in touch as much, but there are compromises that, once all is a little settled, fall into place.  Fortunately for me, it is like that with all my good friends, though there is a big difference between friends.  But I have known and known of people you don’t see or keep in touch with once a baby is born.

I feel I am walking on eggshells by writing this because it is a very sensitive subject.  There are a few people I know of who, to an outsider’s eyes, have a baby and suddenly drop all their non-baby friends for those they meet at various baby and pre- and post-natal groups.  It is always good to have friends you can talk to about certain things, eg work or children, knowing they can empathise with you.  But to exclude or distance yourself from friends who have been part of your life up until that point is to abandon a part of you, almost to disown the person that friend grew up with, whether from childhood or more recently.  I believe that women have a variety of potential roles, mainly friend, mother, wife, sister, lover.  To devote yourself (as sometimes seems to be the case) to one, say, mother, is almost tantamount to disowning your friend self, for example.  I think it’s good for children to see their mum in all her potential roles, for knowing how to be a friend is a necessity for everyone, particularly as you’re growing up.

I hope none of my friends are reading this and think I am writing about them, I’m not, though there are some of you I would like to see more often, though that is also my fault and a tangent, largely to do with geography.

My point is that there should always be a place for friends in all phases of your life.  Those friendships have to change as we move away, have busier or quieter jobs, have relationships, have children, etc.  Sometimes a few fall by the wayside for good reason, but essentially ending a friendship because one of you has a baby is not a healthy or happy option.  It may take a while to get used to the changed situation/priorities/dynamic, from both sides, but it’s always worth working at.  And, yes, I am writing this as someone who has lost a friend or two for these reasons.  And, no, they’re not even Facebook friends.  I am also writing this having spent a lovely day yesterday with a good friend who has two young children.

                There are a lot of things I associate with being middle-aged (precise age range unknown, maybe 40s as that is mid way to 80-98- but in my 40s it will be 50s!).  At 37 I feel I am in the transitory age between being “young” and “middle-aged”.  I don’t think it’s too bad a place to be as I feel I can get away with both.  But while I snigger at a friend “doing something middle-aged”, in reality the odds are it’s something I too do or quietly aspire to!

                Recently, a lot of friends have moved out of London, me included.  Ignoring marriage and children, there seem to be a lot of “middle-aged” things that go with leaving London, for example.  For the past few years, I have collected elderflowers and made cordial and/or alcoholic lemonade.  This is not something my much younger self would have considered acceptable.  But boo hoo to my younger self, you were missing out!

Along with baking, cooking and foraging (sloes, elderflowers, blackberries … actually I think that’s as far reaching as my foraging has gone), I have also discovered gardening.  This to me, showing my age here, was all a bit Percy Thrower, something parents and “oldies” did.  But now, not that I have a garden (though I have had a terrace with lots of pots and an allotment), I really enjoy gardening, particularly vegetables and herbs.  It is enormously satisfying to go from seed to plant to plate.

I now also have a pet, a cat called Izzy.  It took me years to decide to get a cat.  I’d really wanted a cat for years but the thought of not being able to go away for impromptu weekends, etc, and the general responsibility were huge issues.  I got her about four years ago, can’t imagine not having her, but do feel a tie.  But the reality is that I am more responsible and I enjoy being at home more than I ever used to.  But maybe the latter is also because I’m more settled than I ever used to be and I have furniture and other proper grown up stuff.  I even have a car, though for some reason I still think of that as being a luxury, something I’m far too young to have.  I don’t know where that thought came from because, on and off, I’ve had a car since I was 17, I just feel incredibly grown up to have a car, especially now I have a vaguely sporty BMW!

I earn more, eat out more, have more clothes, shoes, bags, accessories – materialistic, I know – but I also have more friends, more importantly more good, long-term friends, and my social life is much more about spending time with them than in pursuit of meeting new people.  For quite some years I felt boring for not really wanting to go out to clubs or even clubby pubs.  Now I feel happy about preferring a quieter pub or going to friends’ houses or a nice restaurant.

I have also joined the National Trust and, a few years back, English Heritage.  And, do you know what, I’ve had some really cool days out as a result!  I definitely day trip and picnic a lot more, and those are things I would no longer turn my nose up at.  I am much more open to suggestions and willing to do new things now.  Well, not in the more reckless, carefree sense but in a more open minded and less obviously mind broadening way, ie traveling and living abroad without much planning, packing or sorting out defined my younger interpretation of broadening the mind!

The biggest downside other than the steady decline in my memory and physique (but that’s a whole different issue, worthy of its own misery post!), in some respects, is that I am a lot less tolerant of other people and poor service.  Maybe this is a good thing but I do rant and moan about such things with a little more enthusiasm and repetition than is perhaps necessary.  I put that down to being more confident about my sense of self, more appreciative of money, ie that I worked for every penny of the money I spend, and to having had time, years of adulthood now, to gain experience.

So in conclusion, my “youth” was fun and experimental but my years of being between young and middle-aged are all about getting to know myself and abandoning hang ups about what I should and shouldn’t do, enjoy and behave like.  It is also about accepting that in your 20s, for example, you knew sweet F A about pretty much everything, but probably had a great time not caring about that!

                I often catch trains from St Pancras and sometimes meet friends in that area.  There are loads of places to eat, but I hadn’t found anywhere you could get good food and somewhere to sit as long as you wanted.  Last night, three of us met up at a perfect place, somewhere one of my friends had been to drink before.  It is a pub that does “British Tapas”, Somers Town Coffee House on Chalton Street, north off Euston Road, nearer Euston station than King’s Cross St Pancras.

                When arranging to meet people in areas you’re not that familiar with for eating out, it’s hard to find somewhere that allows you to have good food and the kind of environment where you can sit and chat for as long as you want.  A pub is your best option but around stations and in central London, it’s hard to know where to go that will ensure you a seat.  The Somers Town Coffee House pub was perfect.  It’s a large pub, recently refurbished, with good pub features, no is-it-a-night-club-or-pub-pumping-music and plenty of tables.  It is also on a quiet road and even has an outdoors area.

The menu is genius.  There’s quite a long tapas style menu, with emphasis on the food being cooked in the oven (ie not microwave) and sourced from Kent, Sussex and (if I remember correctly) Surrey.  Small plate food in a pub really is genius, and really nice that it was British-inspired.  It is recommended you order three to four plates per person with a view to sharing.  We ordered three each, shared and were all full by the end, not quite finishing everything (well, chunks of scrapings rather than whole portions!).  For example, we ordered a chicken, leek and ham pie, which was delicious.  Actually, it all was good: fishfingers (along the goujon lines), potted crab and shrimp (exceptional), Pork lollies (off-putting name but the other two said they were lovely, especially as they come with crackling!), potatoes with black pudding and a tomato sauce, corn on the cob, sweet potato, spinach and another vegetable filo parcel … and I forget the others (this obviously isn’t a restaurant review!).  Ooo, and lovely mussel popcorn.  Oh, yes, and garlic butter button mushrooms.  It was lovely.  I really enjoyed the nibbling aspect and it is more sociable than your head facing your plate as you shovel in your dinner.

I do always find it difficult to meet people in such areas, places I wouldn’t usually go to eat and where the likelihood is you’ll end up in a conveyor belt chain or somewhere fit for tourists, ie over-priced, microwaved and dreadful.  It was a joy to find somewhere with such a nice atmosphere where we could all relax and just enjoy eating, drinking and chatting to each other.  A very, very enjoyable, relaxed evening.

So if you ever want to meet friends around that area, give it a go:

{15/06/2012}   Pub or bar?

                I am a pub person rather than a bar person.  But I fear that a lot of pubs are crossing into bar territory, not that I’m sure what “officially” defines the two.  But if someone says, “Shall we go to the pub”, I immediately conjure up an image of what I expect from a pub, and a pub should merely have a bar, not be a bar.

                I think a pub should have a drink-stained wooden bar, ideally with a brass rail (to support yourself while lurching for your drink, balancing precariously from a wooden bar stool),  a large array of beers on tap, large glass sized bottles of dreadful wine, memorabilia of some sort around the pub, old, stained wooden tables and chairs, carpet, cold loos, a short but obvious menu (scampi and chips, burger and chips, perhaps a shepherd’s pie, and puddings with custard), there shouldn’t be music or an abundance of natural light, carpets should be patterned and sticky, there should be a lingering smell of tobacco smoke, no televisions and a few elderly male regulars propping up the bar.  That to me is pub.

I can appreciate that pubs are struggling in our challenging economic times so need to reinvent themselves, etc, but I do find it sad that pubs are resorting to becoming bars.  There seems to be an abundance of poshed up pubs, ie bars.  To me, bars have wine lists, a large selection of bottled beers, there is a distinctly Ikea “blonde” look to the woodwork/décor, from floor to ceiling, no carpet in sight, music playing, over-priced snacks, a fancy menu, matching tables and chairs, bar staff will serve you at your table and the loos will be pleasant.

I went to Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese on Fleet Street last night, a pub I hadn’t been to for a few years.  Despite the smoking ban having been in place some years now, I could still detect that distinctly stale, smoky smell.  The place screams character, history, atmosphere … and changing times, for it used to be cheap, Samuel Smith’s.  Two pints cost about £2 more than I expected at around the £8.50 mark.  That to me is bar prices.

As for food in pubs, there is definitely a need for food.  But I’m not comfortable with pubs that are more restaurant than pub.  Tables should be available for anyone.  To me, pubs and restaurants are separate establishments, one for drinking with a bit of tucker to absorb at least some of the alcohol, the other for food, accompanied by a drink.  But don’t get me wrong, crap food isn’t acceptable.  Pub menus should be simple and dependable, emphasis on stodge and comfort, but the food should be good.

There are fewer traditional pubs around these days, I’ve even sought out rural pubs for that Sunday afternoon beer garden idyll, and been disappointed, usually owing to overemphasis on gastro rather than pub, an increasing bug bear of mine, and distressing prices.  But of course there are a fair few still left, probably struggling, one of which I’m going to tonight: The Boot & Flogger, around London Bridge, which to me epitomises pub eccentricity.  It even shuts at “around 8.30 to 9” and isn’t open on weekends.  Oh, but it doesn’t really serve beer, it’s more sherry and Madeira!

               A lot of my closest, bestest, loveliest friends are single.  Unfortunately, they are all heterosexual women so no chance of match-making within those friends.  I have often talked to friends about how and where people meet each other based on our friends’ stories.  That doesn’t seem to help.  So how on earth do single women (for the purposes of this post) meet equally lovely men?

                I would love to be able to match-make friends, but it seems I don’t know any single men.  Most annoying.  And it seems that none of the friends I have recently asked have any single male friends either, though the odd inappropriate one was dismissed (philanderer types).  I am sorry for anyone reading this hoping for suggestions or enlightenment, I have none.  Well, you never know.

Thinking about people I know, a few have met on public transport, believe it or not (a plane, two bus stories and I vaguely recall a train story somewhere), next door neighbour, quite a few through internet dating, through friends, through school or university, through work and through sport clubs.  I get the general impression that nobody is particularly keen to “resort to” the internet option, but I can think of at least three couples, all happy, who I know met via online dating.

I really don’t understand why my single female friends are single.  They are all exceptional people, intelligent and witty.  But maybe part of it is that they are generally independent, have good social lives and lots of close friends.  I also fear there’s an age thing.  Working on the assumption that my friends are around my age, ie mid-30s to 40s, I fear there are men older than them who are conscious that if they want children from their next relationship, a younger “model” would be better.  One friend recently said that she’d found a fair few men on a dating site older than her but requesting women quite a bit younger than her.  This pisses me off, but I guess that’s another issue.

I really want to find suitable men to match-make with friends and sometimes I encounter men I think would be good with X, but I haven’t (yet!) had the balls to ask them if they’re single and would they like to go on a blind date!  A couple I know met after a blind date set up by another couple, one of whom was friends with the now-husband and the other with the now-wife.  Equally, such blind date scenarios have been disastrous, as I can personally attest!

Why does it seem that all the good ones are taken or are divorced/divorcing and/or with children from a previous relationship?  These are difficult things to grapple with.  But surely if there are single women out there who have never been married and don’t have children, why can there not be men at that same level of singledom?  Or maybe they are, I just don’t know any.

So if you are reading this and know of some single men, please let me know and surely we could set up some blind dates?  This may be a bit too Jane Austen’s Emma, but if it could make two people happy to have met and two people happy to have sorted those two to meet, surely it’d be worth it.

{17/05/2012}   Celebrating birthdays

It is my birthday in a matter of days.  While this does not fill me with dread, it does make me feel a little nervous, like when you were young and went to school with a new haircut; you know your friends are going to say something and you kind of want them to but don’t because you don’t want to be the centre of attention.

This year, and a few previous years, Chris has organised something for me.  This is good, though a surprise is like going into class at school and everyone noticing you’ve had your hair cut without your realising it’s been cut!  It’s ok once the dust has settled!

To be completely honest, the best things about birthdays is when friends you’re not in touch with that often write you a card, ideally accompanied by a letter, and/or text or email and contact is made.  I am also always touched by the effort good friends go to when it comes to presents or meeting up plans.  Of course I love presents, and the older you get the more thoughtful and appropriate presents seem to be, but in an ideal world – well, a semi-ideal world as opening presents is fun – I would love to see each good friend for some quality one-to-one catch up time.  The older I get, the more I appreciate my and friends’ time and time is indeed a special gift.

As for sociable birthdays, it’s lovely to see a group of friends and to be made to feel special.  It’s unusual for me to go out with groups of friends and I always get a bit of a kick out of seeing friends who don’t know each other getting on well.  But, oh, how hideous when you have a big group and you realise that either no one is talking , small groups are talking and some people are looking left out or, what I have been known to do, my becoming a blatherer, holding court!  Dreadful!

Another cool thing about birthdays is that there is usually a social/going out element to the celebration of your making it to another year and these are usually memorable.  I have had a complete surprise dinner with a load of friends, a treasure hunt, a long weekend away with a group of really good friends, dinner for two at NoPi, favourite places revisited with my mum, drunken parties, karaoke, Ethiopian food (that nearly lost me my tastebuds!) in San Francisco, friends round for Eurovision and themed food and drinks, a retro party … and there emerges the key theme: being with people you have chosen to be with, who you want to spend your precious time with.  Roll on Sunday and my surprise-but-not-really birthday party!  Oh, and how could I forget:  CAKE!  The cake completeth the birthday!  I hope my mum doesn’t think I won’t want my annual Battenberg cake anymore!

{30/04/2012}   Hangovers

There can never be a hangover day when you don’t consider how much better life would be without alcohol.  I wasted my Sunday because of a good night out on Saturday.  Saturday night would have been just as good if I’d drunk half as much, spent half as much and felt like going out for the day on Sunday, as was the plan.

I awoke yesterday feeling unexpectedly fine but I just knew that a hangover was imminent.  Sure enough, by about 11.30 I felt wretched and tired.  No nausea and no headache (though I had taken a couple of paracetamol in anticipation) though.  Bar a walk to a local café for lunch and a walk later, I stayed in and felt the weight of a sad face and the knowledge that I was frittering away a precious day off.

I was alcohol chirpy after half a bottle of bubbly before going out.  If I’d just topped up the bubbles in moderation, maybe another glass or two, all would have been great today.  I wasn’t even dreadfully drunk, I just drank too much.

Anyway, enough with the melancholy.  I think the worst part of having a hangover is knowing that you’ve wasted a day, though if you feel really rough, that’s probably the worst part of it on the day.  On day two, the wasted day element is more pronounced perhaps.  I think I felt so sorry for myself yesterday because it’s the first hangover day I’ve had in ages and I felt an overriding feeling of disappointment in myself for having knocked back the prosecco and cocktails with such enthusiasm when at least a pint of water in between would have done me wonders.

I know it can be fun being a bit tipsy and it’s great how you lose your inhibitions and gain confidence (though there is a fine line before you cross into over-confidence annoyance!) but really, as I’ve ranted before, one good night at the price of one whole day is just too much.

For me, and probably most others who went to university or worked straight after school, these were the drinking years.  In a bizarre way, I suppose the socialising and experimenting with excess are a way of rebelling against the more regimented lifestyle associated with school, the beginning of freedom, of adulthood.  I nursed many a hangover and I didn’t usually care about weekend daytime spent flopped out after a heroic night of drinking/recharging the liver for the next night of excessive alcohol consumption.  But once you start working five days a week and suddenly you’re paying your own way for things, perspectives change.  And fortunately, your body slowly starts to be less forgiving and hangovers get worse and tolerance reduces.

I suppose I am writing this having felt sorry for myself yesterday.  There’s no point saying I am not going to drink again because I will.  I wish I didn’t enjoy both the taste and the buzz of alcohol because I would love to want to give up.  I have given up trying hangover cures – though I have a vague recollection that boiling banana skins and drinking the water, despite tasting foul (punishment, as I saw it), worked quite well – I now believe I should just ride the storm with misery/a headache/post-booze tiredness as the price to pay for my excess.  I guess this being my first hangover day for a while will be enough to warn me off the “oh, just one more” drink next time I’m out, and maybe for another few months.  It was probably the Lemon Meringue Pie cocktail that did me in on Saturday night!  Next weekend, I shall be unhungover and do lots of lively and exciting things to make up for yesterday!

et cetera