Winter cheer

Day 16 today. I’m ill; it feels like someone’s poured hot lava into my lungs, and my voice is coming out as a wheezy squeak. The twins are finding this utterly hilarious. Me, not so much. Where are you, damned immune system? You should be ready to fight dragons now that I’m not sapping your power with the blasted booze!

There’s a beautiful two-inch frost here in North Yorkshire, the sun is shining, and I feel like I should be outdoors getting fresh air into the children, and exhausting  exercising their little legs. What I want is a hot bath and my bed.

Anyway – my white roses are cheering me up. And for anyone in the UK with access to Marks & Spencer, I can thoroughly recommend this new beverage I’ve discovered.IMG_20161129_114630.jpg

Warmed up, with a sprinkle of cinnamon sugar on top, it’s a bloody fantastic alternative to mulled wine. I didn’t feel remotely hard done by while drinking a couple of mugs; uber-citrusy but nicely rich, and it made me feel very festive. It’ll go beautifully with a mince-pie. Or six.

Red xx

Edit: at the children’s bathtime,  I caught my little boy-twin looking at me askance. On asking if I sounded a bit funny, I was told “Yes Mummy. You’re..erm…croaking. It’s like you’re a frog. Ribbit ribbit!!”.

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39 thoughts on “Winter cheer”

  1. The same thing happened to my Mum last week! Two weeks into no drinking and she got a whacking dose of the flu! Don’t understand what that’s all about… That mulled thingy looks lovely! I am pretty sure I have maxed out my sugar quota for the next entire month already from all the cake I am eating. Hope you get your voice back soon! xx

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      1. Yes, we gave up together. I feel bad for her though because she has been to places where her good friends have really reeeaaally been pressing her to drink. But she hasn’t caved in! Legend. Oh crikey, the cake thing. It’s getting a bit silly now… Tesco do these little diddy cream and vanilla rolls in packs of 7 or something… they are like tiny mouthfuls of heaven (74cals per piece of heaven mind you). And ALSO, I ‘found’ out that I really like walnut cake with the double layer of buttercream in! Yikes! *Biting nails with shame*! How come we never get addicted to celery?? xxx

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      2. Oh walnut cake with buttercream – ahhhhh I could just..
        That’s just brilliant about you and your mum – must be fab to have each others support!
        Funny about cake, I’m not bothered for it when I’m drinking, but the minute I stop I go into cake overload. M&S do a victoria sponge muffin, with a huge blob of buttercream. Utterly divine, I’m addicted. I’ll tackle sugar at a later date, methinks.. Red xx

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      3. Same here!! I DO NOT TOUCH CAKE when I am drinking. It isn’t even on my radar. I can even watch those M&S adverts with the gooey chocolatey stuff oozing out of things and not even feel the tiniest pull. But now I’ve stopped…eek!! It’s like I’ve got my cake vision goggles on in shops. I am seeing types of cake I have never even seen before! Vicky sponge is my all time favourite…I am going to have to try those muffins now you have planted the seed 🙂 xxx

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      4. They’re in the bakery section, with the cookies etc, where you pick one of your own and pop it in a bag. Try them. And then whenever you think you’re missing out on a drink, tell yourself you can never have one again. That drink won’t seem so attractive then.. it’s an effective strategy for me so far 😉 Red xx

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  2. Get well soon Red! That mulled spicy thing looks worthy of a trip to M&S and whilst I’m there I will pick up some sponge cake! Is there such a thing as N/A mulled wine do you think or would it taste like hot ribeena?!

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    1. I think that’s what M&S are aiming for with this.. There’s another one which I think was more berries, I’m going to try that at the weekend. Have to say, M&S are the best at af drinks for me. They do a lovely sparkling range, in nice green bottles with a proper cork. Feels like a real treat. There’s a Normandy Pear and Apple one which they’ve done a spiced version of for winter.. I’ll be trying that soon too! I still feel like I need something a little out of the ordinary, in a posh glass at the weekend 😉 Red xx

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      1. Ps I’m not on commission – I swear!!! It’s just I have a nice M&S food hall 5 mins drive from my front door. Now I’m sober, I wander around the place treating myself to all sorts of nonsense as a displacement activity 😉 Red xx

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  3. Brilliant banter and a great post which gives me heart as usual. I am off into London tomorrow so will drool over the cake and pastry shops. I said no to a lovely looking homemade cheesecake at work today as I was spinning at lunchtime with our spinning instructor who trained under saddam Hussein. An hour of pure pain. Watched the BBC’s documentary about the last deep coal mine in Kellingley. Made me feel like a soft southerner – watch it if you can. Anyway, back to cake. I have a real soft spot for our local village deli’s chocolate brownies, 20 secs in the microwave makes the inside gooey, while the outside stays crisp. Mixed with some ice cream (vanilla) and clotted cream and a touch of white chocolate its enough to …. well think of something appropriate. I never really had a sweet tooth when drinking. Tomorrow is a posh dinner. I still haven’t mastered these events in sobriety so its going to be a trial – not the temptation to drink but just to stay the course while everyone else tucks into the endless fizz, wine, port and more drinks after dinner. I will try and cut away as soon as is decent after the main dinner finishes but colleagues are leaving including one of my staff and I really don’t want to be a spoil sport on their night. At least there is likely to be some great desserts.

    Who said any of this shit was easy?
    Catch up soon.

    Justonemore

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    1. Hahaaaa – the spinning instructor bit made me guffaw! And those brownies sound divine. Don’t get me started on clotted cream. I remember holidays in Cornwall as a child, going past dairies which had giant pans of the stuff in the shop window, all golden-crusted. I was in heaven. It’s worth the 6 to 8-hour drive for that alone..
      Good luck at the dinner!! Report back please? Red xx

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      1. SShhhh!!!!! Don’t encourage people to come to Devon/Cornwall – its bad enough with SM advertising the place. The M4/M5/A30 are quite bad enough every weekend. How about Barnsley, Hull, Chester – all great places and no doubt they have some sort of popular foodstuff – can’t all be whelks and chips.

        J

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      2. Got through the Dinner, but it was fucking tough to put it bluntly. The urge to drink was strong and it was depressing not being able to join in – I wasn’t good company and left after the main event.

        Hey ho!! Shouldn’t have kicked the arse out of it for the last 30 odd years.

        Justonemore

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      3. Oh crap – that sounds truly dire. I would find that testing. It seems the whole point of events like that is the drinking. No place for those who decide not to poison themselves. At least you won’t feel like shit all day tomorrow! Sorry, that’s the best I can think of.. We need to start a movement of sober-socialising. I’ll take a trip to London – and I’m sure Ginger would be delighted to battle up the M4 again 😉 At least it’s done now, and it’s the home-straight to the weekend. Red xx

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      4. Ok let’s make a plan for London after Christmas. I will bring a vat of clotted cream, Red you can bring whatever comes from your area. Coal? Ha ha sorry 😜 We can meet for afternoon tea (not the Ritz, I can’t afford it) or Dim Sum in Chinatown. We could have a blog meet. Doesn’t just have to be us 3, we could open it to anyone who has 100+ days – Super Sober Sisters Social, 4S.
        Maybe I am delirious from the infection but I am excited by the idea.

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  4. Barnsley??? Hull????? Are you tripping?? Have you ever been to either of those places??? Chester, however, is a place of beauty and grace and all things delightful. Oh, and I was born there too.

    I do have York and Harrogate nearby, but they don’t have clotted cream, dammit!!
    Red xx

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  5. While I’m sure it is not nearly as delicious as cake and faux mulled wine maybe try knocking back some apple cider vinegar with warm water… It’s the shiz for germ obliteration! Hope you feel better soon

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      1. As bizarre as this sounds it has to have the ‘mother’ so its cloudy. Its really strong so a tablespoon in a cup of hot water is good. I was quite ill for about the first month sober (50 weeks for me tomorrow) and a friend who is a nutritionist recommended – and my sister and i have become weird little ACV devotees, it is the business:) I use a brand called Brags and have a shot (the only time I ever do anymore) every morning

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      2. Oh wow congrats on 50 weeks – nearly a year, that’s awesome. Thanks so much for the advice – the Brags vinegar is now in my Amazon basket, awaiting the rest of an order. I’ve wanted to try for a while but was a bit lost about what sort of vinegar! I’m hoping (and theorising wildly here) that my body is still busy healing all the damage, so the immune system is a bit depressed at the mo 🙂 Red xx

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      3. I finally have the braggs vinegar – I’m hoping it’ll kill the chest infection I have now!! Had some in warm water this morning, it was weirdly nice! Hope you’re good – is it your soberversary yet? Red xx

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      4. Oh hurrah!! I really hope it helps. I had a chest infection a while ago they are awful and just so exhausting. Soberversary on Friday, oddly enough I had the first panic attack in nearly a year yesterday (in h&m… Majorly embarrassed) I think I have perhaps built it up too much. I thought after a year I would be sober but also look like Claudia Schiffer & not fantasize about decking my mates when they slosh their pints under my nose. Its been a great year and I wouldn’t drink for quid’s but I guess changing your life is a slow process… Or maybe I’m just grouchy af cause its time for holidays
        Hope your feeling much better soon x

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      5. Hmm – very sorry to hear about the panic attack – not fun.. This time of year is a pressure-cooker anyway, never mind handling not drinking in the face of the relentless marketing. I am hoping to look like Claudia Schiffer too. Perhaps that’s after two years 😉 All I know is that the sugar/chocolate displacement activities are stopping any weight loss, and I still look bloody grey in the face! And I think I’ll always want to deck anyone who sloshes a pint near me. Sending you soberversary hugs and fist-bumps for Friday, plan something nice for yourself if you can!! Red xx

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  6. I hear you when questioning where your immunity is, I have been plagued with viral infections for 2 months and have had enough blood drawn to fill a swimming pool. Vitamin D, hot soup and rest (which I gather is impossible for you) Remember last time you quit you also had one thing after another go wrong, must be part of the detox. Hope you turn the corner soon.

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  7. Yeah, much better today and REALLY glad I didn’t drink given the hangovers this am. My boss is away up the M1 but you wouldn’t want to stand anywhere close. Predictably, a few spare rooms and sofas saw some action as people didn’t make it to bed. So I have smugly been to the gym and am off to do battle with the motorways in a couple of hours – working from home (ahem!!).

    Have a great Friday.
    Justonemore

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    1. Christ, those hangover-free mornings are just glorious aren’t they? Especially when there’s an opportunity to be smug thrown in for good measure. I revel in it at the moment! Have a safe journey home – enjoy your wfh day 🙂 Red xx

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