Hello tastebuds

Newsflash!! It is possible to enjoy what I loosely term a “TV picnic” without the aid of wine, I was pleased to discover last night. For the uninitiated, this is a meal occasionally eaten on weekend evenings, consisting of various cheeses, cured meats, marinated, smoked and stuffed things, and fancy bread with random bits and bobs in. Oh, and dips. I usually fill at least two sidetables with this stuff, and then we nibble away until we’re unable to physically move without two weeks written notice, and we’re verging on a full-blown cheese-coma. I had falsely assumed that all this lovely nosh would taste of cardboard, if not accompanied by gallons of the red devil juice. What utter bollocks that turned out to be. I can actually taste more, and I also managed to stop eating just short of causing myself an internal injury. Result!

Yep, that’s yet another of my personal drinking myths exploded. It’s truly amazing what nonsense my addicted brain would throw up (pun not intended) when it was trying to convince me I needed alcohol in my life. Fancy thinking food wouldn’t be enjoyable!?! Really? Did I not enjoy eating for the first 17 years of my life? I lived to eat as a child, I was insatiable.

Next up to try, steak sans vino. Yes, I have a food list, and I’m damn well working through it!

And in other news, watch out for my next post, entitled “Where’s all my money, and why the hell aren’t I losing weight?”.

Red xx



Finding things that were lost

Once upon a time, I loved film. It started when I was a child, when VHS was a baby and my parents would excitedly let me watch films they’d rented from the video shop, the ones they’d really, really enjoyed (and pre-vetted for anything too violent or too sexy, bless ’em). It continued into my teens, when I would often drag friends to the cinema to see the same film over and over. By the time I was in my early twenties, I was a fully-fledged film geek. I had my subscription to Empire, and give me a film title, and I could tell you who directed it, who acted in it, which films they’d appeared in before, who’d done the set catering, I could bore you shitless. I mean, like Neo “knew” kung-fu in The Matrix,  I KNEW FILM.

But somehow, somewhere, in my late twenties and then slowly ever after, that was lost. I let go of the subscription. I was skint, and let’s face it, a magazine, or a bottle of wine? Pfft, no contest. I lost touch with all the new releases, what was in the pipeline. I carried on watching films, but I’d prefer to stick to ones I knew, I stopped wanting to Try New Things. I developed a love of the box set/series. Twin Peaks, Sopranos, Sons Of Anarchy, Breaking Bad, Walking Dead, Hannibal, etc etc. Hey, you could keep watching these as long as you could keep drinking and stay awake, in lovely, hour-long chunks. Feeling invincible, with a big supply of wine? Lets stay up till the wee small hours and watch 6 episodes back to back! Feeling jaded, hungover, tired? Hell,  let’s just watch a couple, while we drink till we feel ok again. Remember much of it? Nope, not really..

So I think, looking back, alcohol robbed me of one of my big loves. And it’s only today that I’ve realised it had gone, and how gradually it happened.

Because now I’m sober, it’s coming back. Tonight, after a spontaneous purchase, based on an online Empire film review, we had a movie night, and watched Max Max – Fury Road. And It F*cking Rocked!!! Not to everyone’s taste, I’m sure. But it ticked a lot of my boxes; post-apocalyptic theme, gorgeous cinematography, sweeping soundtrack, kick-ass female lead. Oh, and Tom Hardy, looking quite, erm, you know, acting well.

I enjoyed every minute, I was totally hooked and emotionally engaged, and these were things I’d convinced myself weren’t possible without a good bottle of red. And I didn’t fall asleep either.

Right. I’m now trying to come back down off the adrenaline rush so I can sleep, and fighting the urge to randomly kick some bad-guy butt. Bed and chocolate it is then! Tomorrow, I re-subscribe to Empire. (Cue celestial light, singing, etc etc).

I bid you goodnight, from a happy, sober, and still-slightly-pumped Red xx





Bloody Friday

Damn you, Friday. I must be feeling better, as I have a pesky craving this afternoon. I can almost taste an ice cold glass of… Nope. I’ll stop right there, for all our sakes.

It’s the “I need a treat” mentality, I know it. I’ve tried a luxurious bath. In fact I’m sitting in it now as I type; I thought I’d combine blogging with a little risk-taking, just to feel alive. It’s not sodding working though.

So I’m going to play it forward:

I’d hop out of the bath and go downstairs, and crack open a nice bottle of ‘X’. Whilst waiting for my OH to arrive home with the twins, I’d consume most of it. In about an hour. I’d then be in full on party mode when he gets home, at which point he’d nip out to the shop, to get me another emergency bottle, and one for him. The rest of the night would proceed something like this.

But! I’d wake up tomorrow feeling guilty, queasy, useless, incredibly tired, and I would not have the energy to take the twins swimming. Which is something we’re always meaning to do, but don’t because we feel utterly pants. 

So I’m going to enjoy some nice food, try a non-alcoholic Sea Breeze, and watch a film, of which I will actually see the end! And I’ll wake up tomorrow happy, and so, so glad. There. That’s starting to work.

Happy Friday,

Red xx


Keep on running..

I’m really looking forward to the pink cloud phase of my early sobriety. I’m not entirely sure when it will hit though, as it definitely hasn’t yet.

I think this might in part be due to the health problems I had with my “little friend” last week (see my post on Distractions). I finished my course of antibiotics on Monday, which (I think) were making me quite tired. And now I’ve been hit by some kind of revolting stomach bug from hell. I won’t go into too much detail,  but work was pretty tricky yesterday, and I’m fairly sure I’d have given Mr Usain Bolt a run for his money trying to reach the loos on the other side of the office. I was a blur of motion.

This morning I got up to get the children ready, and realised that overnight my limbs had mostly been replaced with cotton wool. And my head appears to be made of the heaviest substance known to man. This is making moving around or doing anything a tad tricky.

Thankfully my lovely OH took the kids to school. I phoned in sick to work. This is quite unusual; and I think it signifies me realising I need to look after myself. Which I’ve not been doing for YEARS!  I’ve always run around after everyone else, buried my head in the sand and just kept on going. But finally I’m listening to my body. And it’s saying “whoa there, Missy Red,  just you darned well slow down for one cotton-pickin’minute”. (I don’t know quite why the “voice” of my body sounds like Rooster Cogburn out of True Grit, but we won’t worry about that right now).

So I’ve cranked up the woodburner, I’m lying on the sofa, and I may even watch a film. Cruicially, I will not be doing any housework, or eating, but that’s another matter.

I think that self realisation is progress of sorts, however I will be most grateful when I start feeling bloody perkier, thankyou very much, Mr Sobriety. Humph.

Wishing you all much energy,

Red xx



I had my first “drinking dream” last night. It was only a brief flash during what felt like an epic dream. I was sitting at an outside table at a bar, in a foreign climate, opposite my husband.  I think we were younger, and we were talking ten to the dozen. I distractedly opened a bottle of craft beer, poured it into an ice cold glass and downed it. And then remembered that I don’t drink. I was devastated – what an utter nobber! I felt as if I’d ruined everything, and the bottom fell out of my stomach…

Anyway, the dream flitted swiftly on to other strange events, and the drink was forgotten and lost. When I woke up I remembered   – and I suddenly realised just how important it is for me to stay sober.

I wonder if alcohol will continue to pop up in my dreams for the rest of my days, rather like people who are long lost to me still occasionally appear at random? Like a grieving process, where you wake up sad, and remember, and then let go again.

I’m really rather pleased though, I feel like I’ve passed a little test which my brain set for me. Drinking in the dream hasn’t left me racing to the nearest bottleshop, slavering and burbling like Slimer in Ghostbusters.  (The resemblance would be uncanny). Instead, if anything, it’s strengthened my resolve.

Day 12. I’m now two days past my previous count before the NYE debacle. And nearly half way to my previous record. Bring it on!

Red xx



I’m late! I’m late!

I’ve had a White Rabbit kind of a day today. I got up at 7.45am, and have found myself trotting round the house all day in a semi-agitated fashion, doing an endless cycle of chores and keeping small children happy. I sat down once, for about 10 minutes, and ate a sandwich. Which was nice. I also found myself popping a “clean” jumper straight back into the washer again for the next cycle, as in the intervening 5 minutes between me getting it out and coming back to deal with it, the cat had actually hopped into the washbasket and widdled on it. I kid ye not.

It got to the children’s bedtime, and I was beginning to feel extremely stressed. As if I’ve a mountain of housework and chores to do, and I’m wading through mud backwards.

I’m not quite sure what to make of feeling overwhelmed and out of control. I thought I was going to feel more “sorted” and in control, what with the whole not drinking thing. I thought I’d have oodles of time literally coming out of my ears. I’ve been thinking about it briefly (since I properly sat down, at about 9pm). It’s possible that the feeling of having SO much to do is a consequence of having done so little over the last few years. When I say little, I’ve still been running round like a headless chicken during the day, but in a disorganised, hungover way, and then burying my head in a bucket of wine in the evening to cope with the fact I’d too much on my plate. This was not a very effective strategy, it turns out.

So, I think my panicky feelings today are due to the dawning realisation that I have an awful lot to do. Clearing out, cleaning, organising, cleansing my life. However, I am now reminding myself, I have time. Plenty of time, and energy, and I will climb that mountain.

On another note, the stress level I was experiencing at about 7pm would usually have resulted in my opening and glugging down a bottle of wine. Tonight, I used a combination of the following instead:

  • Hot chocolate with a (rather large) dash of cayenne pepper. Kapowwwww!!!!!
  • An episode of Dave Gorman’s Modern Life is Goodish.
  • Working as a team with the hubby to get the biggest log EVER into the woodburner, and watching it go up in glorious flames.

I’m pleased to report that this combo worked very well. I’m now relaxed, I can still type (just), and I won’t feel rough and panic-stricken tomorrow morning on the school run.

Try it!

Red xx


Raw – in a good way

My sober trip to the cinema last night was amazing. It helped that we went to see Star Wars, which has been a joy to me since early childhood. (Well, not so much Episodes 1 – 3. Let’s just not go there, ok?).

It was so brilliant, even more so than I’d hoped. It felt a bit like JJ Abrams had ripped the plaster off the last 30 years of my life, leaving me raw and pink and exposed, but in a good way. I actually shed a few tears – all the emotions in the film were just hitting me like a ton of bricks. I was even crying about ruddy droids, for goodness sake!

As we left the cinema and got out onto the cold quiet streets, my hubby asked me what I thought (he’d seen it once already). I actually couldn’t speak for a second, I was so choked up. And sad. But happy!

I can only think this was down to two things:

  • Yesterday would have been my Dad’s 65th birthday, if he hadn’t died suddenly in 2014. He took me to see my first Star Wars film as a child, something I will never forget. He would have been there with us last night, and he would have LOVED IT. I missed turning to him and seeing the excitement which would have been running through us both.
  • I’ve stopped drinking, and I’ve started really feeling. REALLY feeling things, but with nowhere to go and hide, which is what I’ve been doing for the last 25 years.

If I think about it, there are a lot of things I’ve been ignoring, and squashing down, and just bloody well getting on with (because I’m resilient,  and I’m British,  dammit. We’re terribly good at denial). I’m a bit scared at what’s coming, if I’m honest.

On a less maudlin, introspective note my first sober child-free night off has been amazing. I lay in bed last night, so cosy, so tired, and I absolutely luxuriated in the fact that I was bound for a long sleep, and a hangover free morning. I have enjoyed every minute of our lazy, cosy morning, with a delightful croissanty, fresh-coffee breakfast, and Not Felt Rough!

And for that, I shout you a big Hurrah, Hurrah, Hurrah! I wish anyone reading this a happy Saturday. Or Sunday, if you’re down under!!

Red xx