Thursday, January 20, 2011

Showing Restraint

There's lots of these in Dubai...
Every year I have a tradition in January.  I never make resolutions - if you know me personally, you'll know that I love objectives and lists and always have plenty on the go, so no need to make any just because it's a new year (hello, control freak did someone shout?!).  This tradition is all about alcohol.  Abstaining from.  I used to do this with religious vigour when I lived in Manchester. No, really!

December was always debauched in the extreme, what with entertaining clients/journalists, enjoying the gifts from clients/journalists, celebrating the actual festive days, all culminating in New Year's Eve.  This usually meant that by January 1st, I'd struggle to imbibe even a glass of Vintage Dom Pom.  Served by the Clooney.  (Ok, I'd have to be dead to resist him.)

Now, call me old-fashioned, call the AA, but this usually meant that I didn't venture out much socially in January.  Whilst I can deal with sitting on the sofa drinking herbal tea, it's not my tipple of choice when on licensed premises with drunken friends.  That was no hardship really - have you been to Manchester in January?  It's dark, dreary and depressing.  The sofa and a slanket is really the best place for you.

Fast-forward three years and I remembered this yearly tradition.  December, whilst not spent in Manchester and instead in a Muslim country, was still pretty heavy-going.  I decided it would be good to give it a go, partly to allow my liver to regenerate and partly just to prove that I could do it.  I'm not going to lie, it hasn't been easy.  And the part which I've struggled with the most hasn't been outside the house, but in it.  Yes, I do regularly storm drunkenly round dancefloors here, but to be honest it's the simple chilled glass on the sofa or balcony at the end of another hellish day dealing with retards that I missed the most.

So how have I done?  Well, I started well.  Then there was THAT weekend in Egypt.  Climbed back on wagon.  Then there was the boy's family to entertain (lovely, but who does that sober - you get me?).  Climbed back on wagon. Then there was a significant date to celebrate.  Climbed back on wagon.  And now there's a weekend away ahead of me.  Followed by dinner at the world's tallest restaurant, and dinner at The Riv.  It's not easy having willpower!

Overall I've managed to refrain for exactly 50% of the month so far.  This is good going in Dubai, let me tell you.  It's the city where people (especially twenty something Brits) spend their Fridays drinking free-flowing wine, having sex on the beach, and projectile vomiting all over tables in very nice restaurants (true story and happened only yesterday. Hideous.)  I think I've proved a point, although which one I'm not exactly sure.  I'm going to continue trying to show restraint, as here are benefits: I sleep better, go down a notch on my belt, and generally have an aura of smugness which comes from feeling, well, grown-up.  It also makes sure I don't fall into the category of "drunken girl" which so many Dubai residents do.  God forbid.

I'll update you at the end of the month.  Tonight I shall be mostly drinking herbal tea...

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