Monday, 20 October 2014

Day 14 - The Sober Inn

So today we celebrate 11 and a half years of togetherness and one year of marriage. I am 16 days sober today and have been sober for less than probably a whole month in the last year, actually 29 days, yes I counted. That's some start to a marriage. 

Anyway armed with chocolate and as it transpired no road map, we took ourselves off for a night away over on the remote west coast of Scotland. There's a tiny village, a pocket of around 10 houses and an Inn. The Inn does the most amazing seafood and Scottish produce you'd ever care to eat. You see whilst I love to guzzle wine, my food belly always wins over. I hardly ever drink and eat. Seems counter productive somehow. I'm not saying wine doesn't go beautifully with food, its just its not what I drink wine for, as an accompaniment, I drink it to get drunk. So whilst I enjoy my food, if I've a choice, I'll normally pick a glass of water. The wine, I save for 'afters'.

So we've driven over hours and hours to reach this idyllic wee Inn to have dinner to celebrate our anniversary weekend. I persuaded himself that a 'camping hut' would be more of an adventure than staying at the actual Inn. I don't trust myself not to drink if faced with a wee tip toe up the stairs to bed in the Inn, rather than a 'schlump' up the hill back to the campsite. Not that I've never camped drunk, in fact I've always camped drunk, but there comes a time when its quite nice not to feel crap and not in control when you're off having fun. So sober camping it was and a sober dinner at the Inn.

My husband knows me well enough never to question water with my dinner. But, no drink beforehand, I'd actually got myself in quite a tizz and a mood about it all. I wanted a glass of wine before dinner, I always have one, but today I'm trying not to. He never drinks. Never normally, He drinks tonight and man do I resent it. Why tonight. Why when I'm giving up do you drink now. Just have one says the Wolf on the next table. Just have one says my husband. 

The man who owns the Inn sits down at our table. 'Drinks/Food?' a beaming smile. My husband orders a Guiness, asks if I'll have wine. 'I'm not sure I'm in the mood, maybe just water just now' a small voice inside my head sneaks out of my lips. [Husbands eyebrows go up]. 'Well you know me if I have a glass I'll likely drink a bottle and I'm cutting down!' (why this voice inside my head is speaking I do not know.) The Innkeeper smiles. 'I gave up' he says, '10 years ago, enough was enough, I prefer to be on my bike and living above all this beer, not good for your biking'.  

So I spend the start of my anniversary dinner with the sober Innkeeper and my husband comparing bike stories and injuries. What is it with middle aged men and extreme sport war wounds?

A large jug of water arrives and the moment of wanting finally passes. My husband sooks in his beer, I'm happy for him, genuinely. I really dislike beer, no temptation there. Equisite seafood and fish devoured, happily with water. 'Will we have a drink before we go up the hill?', we thought about it and decided actually we were happy enough to leave with no more, just the bill.

We plod up the muddy hill in the dark, torchlit. Thank god I didn't drink, its a very slippery slope. Who says romance is dead.

As we're settled down, crying wakes our slumber, drunk loud inconsolable crying. For once it isn't me. Whilst I can't sleep easily, I thank the Innkeeper for his arrival and his honesty. And that large jug of water.

Did he throw the wolf out or did I. Maybe he saw him and threw him out for me. I certainly didn't feel strong enough, but I'm glad he did.

I do waffle on, so thank you for getting this far! If you've something kind or helpful to add or just want to say hello. Please drop a line below. I'd appreciate that. Thank you.


  1. The inn-keeper was your sober angel for the night :) As Belle would say - it was a sign xx

    1. I tell you its just so wierd, you really couldn't make this stuff up. Here he is hosting and jovially making everyone feel so welcome. Was my radar just tuned into his words for once? He certainly saved me from a Pinot ........and the food always tastes better with water, I don't care what any wine guru tells you.

  2. I agree with Lucy. Beautiful.

    1. A - thank you, the remoteness of this place is breathtaking, views out to Skye, surely at least one of every party in there was not drinking I tell myself. That's half the room. It might even be the majority. The bar staff were sober too. So perhaps over half the room were not drinking.........something to focus on in future. Thanks for stopping by.

    2. I'm forever fascinated by the fact lots of people are not drinking at restaurants. I assumed everyone was. And they aren't!

      I agree. Food does taste best with water.