There, that got your attention now didn't it? Then the advice I was given a few weeks ago worked! I am a virtual tee totaller and have always been amazed at how many people respond with complete shock and amazement when I tell them that I don't DRINK!! I mentioned this to someone in conversation a couple of weeks ago and they said I should respond by saying I'm a recovering alcoholic! This seems to be quite an extreme measure to take in order to explain why I have made a personal choice. For the record I am not, nor have I ever been an alcoholic! I have made a decision not to drink. I am not a complete tee-totaller as I very, very occasionally will have an alcoholic drink. My reasons for not drinking are that I usual drive a lot of places, plus I am in the position where I can take it, I am able to have a good time without it. Plus a lot more of my friends like to have a drink when we're out so I'd rather be the driver in the group.
I don't often write about topics such as this on my blog, as I try an keep it technically based, until I can set up an additional personal blog for my personal thoughts - although should I add my thoughts to this blog - what do you think? However I was reading a piece in todays Sunday Times by India Knight - Put Shame Back Into Boozing which stirred up a lot of my opinions on the subject. In todays society it would appear that it is perfectly acceptable, and now considered the norm for a night out on the town to have to result in an individual getting absolutely bladdered, not able to remember what happened during the night, in order to have a good time. Alarmingly this appears to be the opinion of many age groups, not just those younger than me (I'm 27) but also those older!! I am not against people having a good time and enjoying a drink. I am not preaching about the demons of drink all I am saying is that I agree with the article's sentiments and believe that no longer should it be accepted that binge drinking is a norm. We should look to the examples on the continent, for example Spain, whereby 24 hour drinking is normal but moderated. I worry that complacency and acceptance of extremes is setting a bad example for our youth, this coupled with the glorification of what I consider to be bad social examples in the media such as the antics of music stars such as Pete Docherty and more recently Amy Winehouse are having a detrimental affect.
One other gripe I have is the exhorbitant cost of soft drinks in pubs! Why does it cost more for a pint of coke etc than for a pint of lager! Yes this can be the case! I believe the mark up on soft drinks is massive and that publicans and owners make massive profits on the often vile and incorrectly mixed soft drinks, personally I stick to fruit based drinks. I can go to a local supermarket and buy a 2 litre bottle of soft drink for anything from 40p to £1.50 yet I can expect to pay £1.50 for half a pint of soft drink in many pubs and clubs! Some towns and pubs have a scheme for drivers to get their first drink at a bar for free on production of car keys, but not many and even when it is present it's not well publicised. How about a fair deal for those who chose to drive for their group or who chose not to drink.
My friends accept that I don't drink and I wish I lived in a society whereby others accepted it and didn't react in amazement when I explain my position. I have very good nights out with friends, I will dance and ride bucking broncos etc and generally have a good time out with friends without a drink and I get to laugh at what they get up to when they're half cut! :-). Remember myself and other people who choose not to drink can be great to have along in any party as they make sure you get home safe and stop the temptation to potentially drink drive.