Dryathlon Part 1

For those who live in lofty caves, a Dryathlon is a concept created by Cancer Research UK, whereby Dryathletes refrain from drinking any alcohol at all during the month of January. Not a drop. Not even a little snifter.

Whatever, to say I have gained a bit of a tummy during December is like saying Antarctica is a bit cold. Besides, I can’t afford to drink the kind of wine I enjoy after the Spendathon that is December, and frankly I’ve drunk so much in the last few weeks I’ve become sick of the stuff.

Casting aside my distain for all things mainstream, I decide to give it a go. The thought of asking for sponsorship not to drink, however, makes me feel somewhat icky. So – although inspired by Cancer Research I decide to make a private donation and keep my detox on the down low.

Presumably, the concept for the Dryathlon is a dual one. Primarily to raise funds for Cancer Research UK, but also to help habitual drinkers kill some of those pesky neural pathways that keep them reaching for the vino every day at 6.00pm on the dot. And by them I do mean us. I’ve not touched a drop for 14 days, which is the longest I have gone without alcohol for the best part of my adult life.

Alcohol is insidious, especially wine. It creeps into your habits and routines, masquerading as a little treat you’ve earned because you’ve had a bad day. Or a great day. Because you need to relax. Or be more lively.

The marketing used to promote alcohol is equally insidious. Big-name wineries’ ads are filled with scenes of friends dropping by unannounced for dinner; It doesn’t matter that I’ve not got any food in. We’ve got lots of lovely wine and a baguette so it’s not a piss up, it’s an impromptu dinner party. How European we are!

The myth that you can drink a shed load of wine and it’s not really drinking is one that sucks in most middle class wannabe 30-somethings. Remember the term wino? Not very sophisticated when you think of it like that, is it?

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