Thursday, 2 October 2014


I am currently tucking into my first beers (first alcoholic beverages in fact) for over a month.

Man drink beer

I had my last drink on Sunday 31st August.

We were up in Yorkshire for Mrs P's auntie's wedding. which was on Saturday 30th.

I'd enjoy several pints during the celebrations, but somehow on the morning after, I had managed to put my back out when I placed one of youngest daughter's nappies in the bin(!).

So, while everyone was enjoying the post-nuptial celebrations, I sipped on two glasses of red wine in between back spasms and paracetamol.

I didn't have any plans to take part in Stoptober, as its the same month as the Falmouth Beer Festival; Bryher's birthday is in November, so there will be celebrations; Christmas in December; and my 40th in January.

I'm not really sure why I put being dry for a month on the #40before40 list, so it seemed to be a case that September was now or never.

I enjoy beer and wine and I've even brewed my own beer (Beardstroker) as part of this challenge.


I drink a lot less than I used to in my 20s, especially since having children, and I like to think I am fairly responsible.....

Perhaps it was the test to see if I could do it.

I was slightly aided by my bad back.

As soon as we got back from Yorkshire on Monday 1st September I booked into see the doctor.

He prescribed me with some pretty hardcore painkillers (Codydramol) - well, they were pretty hardcore for me as I rarely take medicine.

The PIL (patient information leaflet) advised me not to drink alcohol with the medicine, so I didn't.

After four days, despite the drugs feeling great when they were working, I was still getting painful spasms in my back. Being woken up at 5.30am by three spasms is not a good experience people.

So, I went back to the doctors and got some more pills. I was also recommended to take ibuprofen.
I'd always avoided them as technically I have asthma.

But due to doing loads of running and exercise I've not had to take an inhaler for several years, so the doctor said to give them a try.

The drug taking carried on for another week.

The drugs do work

By the time I was finished the course of drugs, it was halfway through the month, so I thought I might as well carry on being dry.

Due to our hectic work and family life, the last two weeks of September flew by and I didn't miss having a drink.

One possible issue was that we were due to go to a fancy dress party in Penzance last weekend, but Liv was poorly, so we gave it a miss. I'd also decided to drive to help me in this quest.

However, I'm not sure if not drinking has made a massive difference.

There are days when I have felt really good for going a few weeks without imbibing in booze, but there are days when I feel absolutely shattered. This is mainly due to parenthood and having two little girls who like to wake up before 6am, as well as having to work late to catch up on my to do list.

What I have noticed is that, as the time went on, the smell of alcohol seemed to get stronger.

If Mrs P had a glass or two of wine I could really notice the aroma, or if I was near a drink, it smelt really strong.

On Wednesday 1st October, after completing 30 days off drink, I went to the Bottle Bank (a most excellent establishment) in Falmouth (following an event at the National Maritime Museum Cornwall) and treated myself to four beers.

Beer from the Bottle Bank

I was planning on drinking one, some or all of them in the evening, but I'd been on a team building event with a client, and by the time I got home at 10pm, I was tired and had a headache (not aided by the fact Liv and Bryher had both woken up at 5.15am that morning).

In fact I was feeling quite tired tonight, but with Mrs P out at a meeting and the girls fast asleep in bed, I decided to crack open one of the beers - The Mayan produced by Ilkley Brewey - a very dark chocolate, chipotle stout, and enjoy it while I wrote this blog.

This was quickly followed by another stout - produced by The Kernel and coming in at 7.1%.

So, would I do another month off? Well, yes. It was fairly easy. There was only the odd occasion, when the girls were in meltdown, that I thought I really could do with a drink, but other than that, the last month and a day have been fairly straight forward.

But, after coming back to beer, I think I may sleep well tonight!


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