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Some sober thoughts

March 5, 2011

Consider this notice that until the evening (possibly afternoon, but almost certainly not morning) of 17 April, I’m off the booze. Tea, coffee and squash will be my weapon of choice. Looking for a designated driver? Look no further.

An Imperial pint of beer.

Never £2 a pint, but still a sight cheaper than the alternative. Image via Wikipedia

With the Virgin London Marathon steadily approaching, I’d decided to take the opportunity to purge my body and (temporarily) give up alcohol. Not that I was a big drinker, you see. Just someone who enjoyed a glass of wine with a nice meal, or a pint of real ale down the pub. Going without will – based on my experience of the Paris Marathon, where I did the same – help with the longest of the long runs during the critical monster month.

And, I thought, cutting out booze is bound to be a way of beating the steep London bar prices. So, a couple of days into the new regime, I turned up at the pub for book group (discussing Muriel Spark‘s The Driver’s Seat, which managed to pack a formidable amount of gloom into its 107 pages).

‘A pint of your finest lemonade barkeep,’ quoth I.

Apparently, lemonade now comes in bottles. To be precise, three little bottles. And costs more than beer. So, some sugar (well, quite a lot of sugar), some flavouring and some carbon dioxide costs more than a pint of ale, which has been loving brewed from toasted hops, fermented and barreled.

So, for the next month and a half I will be grouchy and particularly prone to lemonade-based rants. I will, however, be remarkably lucid late in the evening, and spending some spare time looking up pubs that open relatively early on a Sunday in Westminster. While other runners might visualise themselves crossing the finish line, I’ll be imaging the froth settling on a freshly pulled pint of Pride.

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