January Detox has never been my thing. It always seemed pointless to steam through Christmas and New Year eating and drinking with impunity to then arbitrarily stop on January 1st or 2nd for a month. With a feeling of entitlement you then look forward to a February 1st blowout. Added to which January is, in the UK at least, a bit depressing. It’s dark and cold, the lights of Christmas have been stripped away and the corpses of dead Christmas trees litter the pavements. To deny yourself that slender enjoyment of an odd pint just did not make sense.
That was until Decembergeddon. I spent last month in a perpetual cycle of consumption. It started on the 1st of December with a trip to the States. At 11am it started with a Full English Breakfast and a pint of Bass at Heathrow. What followed was 10 days of Breakfast Burrito’s, Burgers, French Dips, the odd Reubens and more Beer (craft and otherwise) than you can drunkenly wave a stick at. On returning to the UK it was straight into Christmas party week with all that entails (minus storeroom cupboard and photocopier antics). Christmas in Cornwall would have been easier if I just stuck an I.V. in my arm and sat by the fridge. You get the idea. The predictable result was a bloated, lethargic version of the 30th November Me. Something had to be done and so I resolved to cutback. No meat. Less drink (well you didn’t think i’d completely abstain did you?) and no pub until the second week of January. In just a matter of days the scales were edging in the right direction and the trip to the tailor was off the cards. Hardly laudable but I was chipping away at the French Dip induced poundage.
Then came a much tweeted BBC article suggesting that abstinence was indeed futile. If Auntie says it so then who am I to disagree? What then followed was much “pint related workplace daydreaming”. Within a matter of minutes I find myself sending that email. You know the one. It’s the one that has no content and merely a subject line that says Beer. No question mark, as you aren’t taking no for an answer. There’s a flurry of communication and a few hours later you find yourself stood at Liverpool Street with your trusty sidekick (yes, that’s you [English] that is) debating whether the Central Line is quicker to Craft Beer Co. (English’s assertion) or the Farringdon option of the Circle, Hammersmith & City or Metropolitan (my assertion). Any normal person wouldn’t give it a second thought but i’ve been starved of Bacon and Beer and so we go our separate ways to test the assertions.
As I sit quaffing (one only quafs when feeling smug) my half of Magic Rock, High Wire I watch the clock. With each minute I feel more and more vindicated. Without this premature breaking of my resolve we wouldn’t have answered this most important of questions. On this lone trial it is in fact 5min and a whole 38 seconds quicker via Farringdon. We will of course have to carry out further iterations of the trial over the coming year to provide a definitive answer. Selfless, I know.
Halves of Southern Tier Farmers Tan and Mikkeller Ris ala Male follow. We declared 2012 the Year of the Half (or was that half measures), before the sidekick leaves and the sidekick understudy, Silvio continues to test my resolve. With a move to The Gunmakers for dinner it’s back to the pint, a Trinity by Redemption. A perfect January beer. At 3% ABV you can convince yourself that it’s a sensible choice! An then there’s the food. The Gunmakers is rightly known for the jovial atmosphere thanks to Jeff and the team and great beer, but I think it’s equally becoming known for the food. As I look over the chalkboard I keep coming back to Oxtail or Steak. There are fish options, or plain veggie options but my mind is already working out excuses for ordering steak. I came up with, no meat at home or prepared lunches, but eating out is fine. It’s weak sub clause to the original resolution but just strong enough to justify a ribeye. Needless to say I devoured it in all its medium rare, buttery goodness.
By this morning the self loathing had set in and much cursing of my weak will. I couldn’t even last 4 poxey days. To compound the woe I pull out the scales, step on and look through one eye at the result. Down on the previous weigh in. I step off and back on again. Same result. I repeat to check that despite my indulgence I have in fact proven that complete abstinence is not necessarily the way forward in January.
I perhaps kid myself but for the time being the resolution is re-resolved, if that makes sense… Carry on regardless.