Well The Times did say that only 1 in 13 stick to their New Year’s resolutions, but failing on day three is pretty poor even by my standards.
Yet, this is exactly what I have done. I was one of the many who – following in the Telegraph’s Peter Oborne’s footsteps – decided to go dry in January. Indeed, after spending the majority of the 1st feeling like my body would never be the same again, the whole plan was going swimmingly. A healthy new start; no hangovers, no fear, no embarrassing drunken telephone calls, no foolish behaviour etc.
Now this was all going well until my father decided to treat me to lunch yesterday at EC4’s Refettorio. The start was fine and when both the menu and the wine list came over and I pushed the latter across the table with new-found disdain. ‘Ha,’ I thought, ‘not going to tempt me that easily.’
I absorbed myself in deciding which of the non-chip, non-bread, non-carboload food to pick. Father asked if I’d like a glass of wine, ‘oh no,’ I guffawed – not going to lure me that easily, I have will power don’t you know.
I settled on scallops served with cannellini bean puree, parsley and white wine sauce (if in food it does not count) followed by lemon sole, stewed cannellini beans, miniature capers finished with lemon sauce and a side of spinach. And to drink I had fizzy water with a slice of lime – perfectly acceptable and everything was going rather well I thought, however what I didn’t know was that something equally fizzy was being prepared and in a few seconds would invade our tee-total table. Not one but two glasses of prossecco – it gets worse – COMPLIMENTARY prossecco.
What, what could I have done? You can’t reject complimentary goods – it’s just plain rude. So I bit the bullet and just 57 1/2 hours after giving up the sauce, I succumbed back to it. Ashamed? Slightly but this was short-lived, I mean there’s no point ‘crying over spilt milk’ is there? In fact, seeing as I’d already flunked I decided that the lemon sole would be much better with a glass of Pinot Grigio.
The meal came to an end and as I savoured the last of my wilted spinach and thanked my father for a lovely lunch, my emotions reverted and I felt slightly sad about my failure. The 3rd of January I mean that’s weak isn’t it?
Alas, I put it behind me, said farewell to my dining companion and his Brompton and ventured West to Shepherd’s Bush, the Westfield centre and a screening of the Impossible (which I’ll blog about separately). After that beautiful and horrifically sad film any alcohol in my system had been well and truly cried out.
But the night was yet young and I had been invited to friend Sophie C’s house, who likes her white wine, likes her white wine a lot. It was naive of me to think I could venture through the threshold of this individual’s house without consuming some of the newly banned substance. I was right. Yes, what awaited me were two bottles of crisp Sauvingnon Blanc, one thirsty Sophie and even more worryingly one Tilly Coles. There was no hope.
I’d already failed anyway…
So my new New Year’s January resolution is – I will not buy alcohol, I will not purposefully hunt it down or seek it out – no, I will only drink alcohol that is bought for me.
I’ll keep you updated on how that works out…until then, I leave you with some snaps from yesterday’s lunch and supper and wish you all the luck with sticking to your own resolutions.