What a great word “pillock” is. And it describes me perfectly; yes, you guessed it, I’ve been quiet because I’ve been back on the sauce. It started fairly gradually, but predictably it’s snowballed in the last few days, and I’m very hungover and jaded today, after a head on collision with beer, then wine, then fizzy stuff last night.

I suppose at least I’m reflecting on what went wrong, instead of burying my head in the sand. At around 40 days, I was really starting to enjoy feeling so “together”. I felt like my brain was sparking back into life after the years of poisoning. I’d got pretty organised; I was much more on top of everything in my busy life. I’d even done some DIY, for goodness sake. Turns out I’m not too bad at it either. So on the one hand I was feeling good, but I also still felt very weary, lacking in energy, a bit “meh”.  And those thoughts started creeping back in; where’s the spark in life without wine? How do I really relax and have fun? Surely I should feel amazing, and I just don’t, so why not have a drink? And I knew damn well Mr Red was mostly thinking “jeez, life is boring with this sober woman who makes me actually do stuff at the weekend”.

So I had my “fuck it” thoughts, and now I’m back to feeling anxious and overwhelmed, and the house is back to being a tip. I look (and probably smell) like Stig of the Dump today, and I’ve been positively embarrassed to be seen out on the school run. Getting everyone up and ready for the day was an utter shambles this morning, and culminated in my eldest son nearly setting off for school with a pair of my lacy undergarments attached to the velcro on his school coat. They’d become entangled whilst in the tumble dryer, and in my half-blind hungover state I nearly failed to spot them. Close call.

I’m back to fighting the battle with the craving this evening. I caught myself thinking “oh today would be a crap day to stop; my soberversary would only come around once every four years! I’ll start tomorrow”. Shows the level of foolery my brain gets up to eh?

So I’ve been gathering strength from reading all of your blogs. I’m writing on here again in the hope that this will keep me accountable.

The list I wrote here just over a week ago obviously did not work. At All. Groundhog Girl was totally right in her comment, and lists are all well and good but seem to require tattooing on the inside of my eyelids in order to be effective. Maybe I do need to have a reminder tattooed on me; preferably on my drinking arm.. I already have a tattoo on that wrist anyway, which I was planning to expand. Perhaps I could have the words “Put It Down, Woman!!” inked onto the back of my hand. Or maybe “You Pillock”. Yes, that could work!

Anyway – tonight I wish all you lovely people from this amazing sober blogging community just lived down the road, and we could all meet up for tea and cake and lovely sober treats and just talk and understand each other. Thank goodness for the interwebby thingummy. I’ll try to keep blogging, in the hope it will keep me straight.

Red xx





Booting the witch

Friends – I wanted to thank you all for the fantastic support I received when I fessed up to my binge last weekend. It means a LOT. Every one of those kind comments is a big, iridescent green scale in the fabulous dragon-armour I’m building to protect me from the evil witch. I picture my witch looking like The Witch King of Angmar, from Return of the King. Scary fucker,  but Eowyn defeated him, and so can I.


So tonight, I’ve locked the doors, and I’m warding the bastard off with a rhubarb sparkling cordial in a fancy Villeroy & Boch glass, whilst cooking a Massaman curry and listening to some awesome music by an icelandic band on the Spotify. Of Monsters and Men; in case you’re interested. Beautiful stuff.

And just like Sober Mummy in her post on Sober Mornings, I’m really, really looking forward to waking up hangover -free and victorious tomorrow, to the sound of the little munchkins arriving in our bedroom to start their day. I may well be woken by being battered over the head with a stuffed elephant, but it’ll be a beautiful thing indeed.

Happy Friday night to you all, I wish you glorious victories over your own witches and demons.

Red xx


Remember this, Red!

Tonight I need to record how I’ve been feeling over the last 3 to 4 days, so I can re-read it when I get the urge to open a bottle of wine and inhale it. Here’s a little list, for Future-Red to review in times of temptation. I have mostly been:

  • Feeling fuzzy and achy around the eyes.
  • Feeling queasy. Very, very queasy on Monday morning…
  • Had a raging headache (Sunday, most of Monday, part of Tuesday.
  • Lethargic. I have all the verve and sparkle of a three-toed sloth.
  • Anxious; about nothing specific, just vague low-level buzz of impending doom.
  • In a low, snippy mood. Not much has amused me today. I’ve been patient with the kids, but distinctly grumpy with Mr Red.
  • Wet-brained. By this, I mean if I’m asked random simple questions, I’m struggling. Being asked my date of birth by health professionals was causing me to pause for an unnaturally long time yesterday.
  • Unable to multitask! I’m a woman, I should be able to multitask in my sleep for chrissakes.
  • Making some truly dire food choices.  If it’s not deep fried, salt-encrusted meat or carbs,  it’s sugar coated chocolate with extra jam. And PB.
  • Low on confidence. And I look like shit. The sight of my eyes in the mirror this morning horrified me. I looked about 20 years older, and grey. Oh and one eyelid was randomly puffy, and looked like it had slipped downwards about an inch.  Sexy, no?
  • Sleeping badly. I had horrendous night sweats last night; I woke about 4 or 5 times, drenched all down my front. Yeuch.
  • Unable to concentrate. I was driving all 3 children back from their grandparents this evening, through very wet conditions on the motorway, in the dark. Way too many lorries, far too much surface water on the road. Now add into the mix a small boy who’s just discovered the sheer joy of arithmetic, and has developed a tendency to bark random maths questions at me from the backseat: “Mummy, Mummy, what’s 2 plus 7? What’s 23 minus 4? What’s 1,000,010 plus 2? (I kid you not, he actually asked me that). I nearly had to pull over in a panic and phone someone for help. Carol Vorderman might have been useful.

But only last week, I was taking situations like that completely in my stride. I was On Fire. Better than I’ve been for years. I need to get back there fast and then not take it for granted for a second.

I’ve briefly looked back over my earlier blog posts this evening. I seem to have been on some sort of roller coaster of hysteria,  verging from happy to (mostly child-provoked) near-lunacy. I think on reflection,  I need to focus on the positives a little more, whine a HELL of a lot less, and remember why I’m doing it, time.

Thanks for all the support yesterday & today folks. You’re all awesome!

Red xx



Red’s new experiment in stupidity

Well folks, after 40 or so days of abstinence, the memory of how bad I felt when drinking had faded sufficiently to let the idiot-gene kick in, and I decided that drinking would be a Good Idea. I’d left my phone at my in-laws by accident, and I felt weirdly off the grid and away from you all, and I somehow thought I could get away with it. So I conciously decided to conduct an experiment, with myself as the subject.

It was Saturday night, and out of left field, I got a craving for wine, so I just bloody opened a bottle. Mr Red suggested that I just drank one glass. I suspect that he thinks that I’m now “fixed” and I can drink normally. I am under no such illusions, and pointed out that if I opened a bottle,  I’d damn well drink it. And I did. And predictably, I felt invincible and just wanted to carry on drinking, so I convinced Mr Red to share another bottle with me. And then it was Valentine’s day, and the floodgates had been opened, so why the hell not share a bottle of champagne with Mr Red whilst I’m cooking the steak? And why not share not one but two more bottles of red wine with him… And then crack another bottle of champers? And last night? Hell,  I had a hangover, so I needed deep fried Chinese takeaway food, and a bottle of NZ Sauvignon Blanc, stat!! After that was done, I suggested sharing a bottle of fizz whilst we watched Vikings killing each other. Your classic Monday night in.

Annnnd today. Here I am. Feeling fuzzy headed, with the low level anxious dread, crushingly tired, incapable of focusing properly on any thought, and craving yes, you guessed it, more wine. Oh and I look like utter shit. I’ve been so ditzy and shambolic all day. My head just isn’t functioning, and messages from the ear to the brain processing unit are taking longer than they should and often becoming scrambled;  at one point today my eldest son ran into the kitchen shouting “Mummy, he’s just hit me with the big green strap-on”. WE HAVE A WHAT NOW??? Oh, you meant the jigsaw box with the green strap on it. Oky doke.

Well what a pillock I am. Took my eye off the ball there, felt invincible, and slipped straight back into the deep end of my dirty habit.

This was an entirely stupid thing to do, but at least I’ve proved to myself that I cannot moderate my alcohol intake. At all. And the way I’ve been feeling today has been a sharp and pointy reminder of just how amazing I’d been feeling sober; I’d utterly failed to appreciate that.

I think a lot of newly sober people get about a month under their belt, and start feeling as if they might have “reset” their drinking habits, and that perhaps they can moderate now, you know, drink “normally”. Well if that describes how you’re feeling right now, please take a lesson from my Book of Stupid. Allow me to be Red, the fluffy idiotic guinea pig, on your behalf. I thought those thoughts too, and I was so very wrong.

Getting through wine-o’clock was actually quite easy today; I spent it shuttling around in hospital having a mammogram & ultrasound, as I’ve been having strange pain in my left “boomer” recently. (Boomer – my children often mis-hear the names we use for bits of our anatomy, and we don’t correct them for purely comedy reasons. My daughter persists in calling her “ladybits” her “ladybird”. I should enlighten her, but it’s just too damn cute).

I’m very (very, very) pleased to say that I got a nice resounding all-clear from the boomer clinic after about two hours, and came away with a leaflet and prescription for diclofenac gel. As far as I’m concerned, that’s a most excellent result, especially as I’d started to feel the dread that they might just find something horrible. I can’t help thinking about the other ladies sat in the waiting room today, going through the same thing. I really, really hope they all got good news too. And I’m going to remember the advice of  the Chief Medical Officer here in the UK, Dame Sally Davies, who advised us all recently to “think about cancer before you have a glass of wine”. That’s a good deterrent, if ever I heard one.

So, my friends, it’s back to Day 1 for silly old Red. Please stick with me.

Red xx


Seasonal Anger

Last week was not the best. I think my own personal bank of Patience and Giving was dangerously low on reserves. In fact I’d go so far as to say it had sustained a pretty violent armed robbery, carried out mercilessly by 3 midgets with spudguns.

On Wednesday, I reached the point where I couldn’t take any more complaints, or whining, or arguing, or refusals to cooperate, and I lost it big style. I was grumpy, shouty, miserable Mummy. The kids spent a lot of time bursting into tears, and I got told on one occasion that they wanted Happy Mummy. (I could bloody cry just typing that). I did manage to snap out of it by the end of the week, and apologised to them all. I just felt like I had nothing, nothing left to give, and I kept feeling really quite angry. Mr Red had a minor disaster at work one day, which meant he was very late home and I missed a coveted appointment. I was disproportionately pissed off, and fell out with the poor guy for 24 hours. Really, it was nothing,  but it was just the pooey brown icing on the shit-cake that had been baking all week.

The problem is, I’ve started to feel as if I have absolutely zero control over my life, not a shred of free-will; it’s just an amalgam of relentless caretaking and having to constantly be places on a never ending schedule and Not One Bit of it’s for me.

And I don’t have wine to escape into anymore. I’m facing up soberly to the fact that life’s a bit of a dull grind. I also expected to feel amazingly bouncy and full of energy after not drinking for over a month and I just bloody well don’t. But I have to remember that this is February in the UK. Possibly the greyest time and place on Earth. I usually feel pretty pissed off and weary during Jan and Feb, but at least I don’t have a hangover this year…

So here’s something good about not drinking – when shit happens, I’m actually reflecting on how things have gone wrong and trying to work out ways to improve or change the negative situation. This is a vast improvement to drinking Red, who would ignore all the problems and just drink until they became utterly compounded.

So after last week, I’m going to:

  • Read some parenting books a friend has loaned me, and see if anything in them strikes a chord or could be used to bamboozle my miniature emotion-bank robbers.
  • Try to make my life easier on the tough days where I work and wrangle kids alone. Pizza for tea anyone? Peanut butter – that’s a food group, right?
  • Start using the two hours free time I get on a Monday while all the children are at school/nursery for me-stuff. For reading, or haircuts, or exercise, and/or cake, or all those things at once. Not for cleaning!
  • Ask some friends for advice. (Hint: that’s you guys). Is this raging anger and emotional upheaval normal? Is it usual to still feel totally knackered over a month into sobriety?
  • For years, I’ve threatened to book a holiday in Jan or Feb. The one year I can particularly remember not hating the start of the year was when I went to Spain for a week in February with a friend. Conversely, possibly the worst January ever was the one when I’d just returned from 6 weeks bumbling round the glory that is New Zealand.. try a rainy UK after that one! I barely spoke for about a month.

It seems that something to look forward to is pretty key for a happy start to the New Year for me. So next year, after a year of not drinking, maybe I’ll be able to afford to take the 3 little felons and their lovely Daddy on holiday somewhere sunny in the half term break. And if not, I reckon between us we have the combined skills to knock off a Securicor truck and head for South America..

Red xx

Ps coming soon – a list of things that I’m happy about. And less navel-gazing. Honestly!!





Retirement (oh, yes please ).

Tuesday evening seems to find me rather tired at the moment. I think this might be due to the fact I work Weds -Friday, but on Monday and Tuesday I’m full-time Mummy. And tonight, after two days of that, I’m so darned tired I can barely think straight.

This may in part be due to one of my small people, who I swear had Beelzebub in him today. There were (amongst other things) toilet issues. “Mummy – I need a pooh. Mummy it’s out of my bottom. Ooh look Mummy, it’s in my pajama leg!!”. This last bit was said with delight and enthusiasm, as if he’d just seen a rainbow, or a baby lamb or something to wonder at. I just could not move fast enough. And we won’t mention the mealtime where he tried to eat ketchup and scrambled egg with his hands. Or, indeed, what’s now known as “The Great Yoghurt Disaster of 2016”. Lets just say I will be finding deposits of it for years to come.

Anyway, now I’m finally flat on my back relaxing, I find my thoughts (unsurprisingly) turning to my retirement. It’s a strange one, as I am realising now I’d basically built my entire retirement plan around booze.

So. The Plan: Firstly, Mr Red and I would head for California, purchase a 1970’s Ford Mustang (or more realistically a campervan) and then gently bum around from vineyard to vineyard, and craft brewery to craft brewery, taking in the odd national park, sleeping under the stars, and probably running from bears. We’d eventually settle in a cabin by the sea, or a lake, with a big veranda and stereo, and drink wine in various sunset scenarios for the rest of our days.

However. The use of the word “plan” here is slightly misleading, as it indicates there’s been some sort of financial element to this. Sadly no, I’ve got as far as daydreaming, and then thinking “Shit I must sort out a pension. Oh balls, I’m 42, not 22, wtf happened???”. Also, Mr Red is younger than my good self, by nearly *$%*bleepitybleep years. Naturally, I won’t be inclined to sit in limbo waiting until he’s of an age; no, he’ll just have to bloody well retire when I do. So this plan was all going to require some cash, which is currently of the imaginary sort.

On reflecting this evening, I’m pleased to say that finally now I’ve stopped drinking, there’s a slim chance we’ll have the finances to fulfil this dream one day. (The Living Sober website counter tells me I’ve saved about £142.15p already. I’m expecting my cheque in the post shortly; that’s how it works, right??).

The trouble is, the dream will have to change, as the booze-soaked option, well it’s just not an option now.

My question is, what the hell will we do instead?? And the joy of it is, I’m really quite excited to find out.

Red xx

Ps – any retirement plan suggestions most welcome! Please, no bingo.