There's something to be said for Scottish weather, you find yourself with plan that instantly evaporate, we get use to it. We're use to rain and squall. Sober Sunday morning, how many of those have I ever had. If ever there was an excuse to drink its a Saturday night. Its like it's engrained. But, Saturday was sober, and Sunday morning whilst dull, wasn't throbbing with a hangover. Plans to head to the Isle of Skye scuppered by low cloud, relentless drizzle (the kind that ensures you have a fully clothed shower, its so penetrating and fine). We hunkered in a rather lovely walled garden cafe to ponder a change of plan as the Skye mountains were fully blanketed, no chance of even a remote peak of them so we retrenched.
|A wee dram? No thanks, not today.|
Eating breakfast sober without the paranoia and the hangover I find myself reflective of my inability to eat an enormous breakfast (was that just the booze needing it?) and the emptiness of my head. Well the head is still all consumed thinking about alcohol, but more avoidance than actual want at this time of day. We decide that we'll head over to the east coast and perhaps pop in on friends. My friend is a distiller for a large whisky company. One of those really lovely malts, they live near Speyside. Again the mind always over to booze, they've a well stocked shelf with lots of booze.
We contact them over coffee and they're happy to see us. 'Will you stay?' - my husband mouths the words I've dreaded. 'Will you stay with the large wine stash, the spirits and the several bottles of malt all opened on a shelf in the lounge? You know we like you to help yourselves......' its a generous household. The man doesn't drink, albeit occasionally, but his partner is a drinking buddy of mine. A really really lovely drinking buddy, so generous. She's a 'topper--upper' the kind of friend that's got your glass (and hers) refilled within the blink of an eye, when I'm in the mood, I love it, When I'm not, I really dislike not knowing how much I've drunk. And, as it turns out they're on holiday too, just at home.
My inner voice knows its not a good idea this soon to stay. I'd like to see them, I don't feel strong enough to stay. Its a help yourself household and whilst I know I shouldn't, I think given the offer, I might. Its booze central in my brain. No charge, come on in, pour yourself a large one.
'Just one night wouldn't hurt' says the wolf 'You're only cutting down, you've been so good, think about it, a wee dram, just one'.
We decide to see how it goes. Driving through some spectacular scenery, we talk about vices and drinking and smoking (my partner use to smoke). He's always up for anything, but seems to be able to stop drinking/smoking at the flick of a switch. I asked him how he did that, he told me it was a choice, me or the smoking (yes I'm that cruel, I don't smoke and I didn't want a smoker in my life (sorry smokers, very selfish I know)), as for the drinking and he was such a boozer, he just decided he couldn't anymore and enjoy his life outdoors. Like the Inn Keeper. So he stopped, just like that. He never drank in the house, but he rarely goes to pubs anymore. I asked why, he told me, its too tempting. So he changed his habits. Something to ponder. I've told him I am thinking of cutting down for a while, but I might stop. He says nothing nods, and holds my hand. 'You don't drink much, you never get drunk, just do what's best for you'. I'm ashamed and happy all at once. I'm drunk most nights he's ever known me, clearly I hide it well.
We did meet the lovely friends, we decide to go early and meet in the park and have a long lovely walk, returning home for hot chocolates and soup. Warmed through the bones, they ask us to stay and have some drams, chill out and watch a movie. I'm weak, I want to but I know I just can't Wolfie is in his best tux (?) and is polishing the crystal whisky tumblers in the corner of the room, I swear he's winking at me, in a tux, in my friends living room, right by the 8 bottles of malts, 1 bottle of gin, 3 bottles of red wine and two spirits I can't quite see. If you do an inventory of whats around to drink, surely that's bad. I'm happy there's more than 'enough' for us, I always check out the booze situation when we visit folks and generally have two bottles of wine with me (one for them and one for me, just in case). So, I know, I really need to leave, there's ample booze here and Wolfie is waking up.
We can't stay I didn't bring any wine Wolfie. 'They've got plenty, they always drink yours at home' says the wine wolf in my head.
They ask again the fire on, a dram, a movie, why not. So I lie (again), 'We'd love too, I'd just like to get home tonight, another time, if that's OK.' The real answer is that I just can't, I'll drink I know I will. We make a plan to meet up later in the year, perhaps at new year as is normal for us. But, they'll come to us this year. I'm nervous but want to see them, I'll figure something out. 'You didn't fancy it?' says the husband as we leave, 'Not tonight (I lie, I'm good at lying) be nice to get home.' (safer at home, run away quickly, just drive before I change my mind and drink them dry)
We head home through misty glens and mountains to our own house. Its late, but its good to be home. I feel oddly safe here. We do have alcohol, but its not mine. There are two bottles of red and three bottles of cider. None of these are mine Wolfie, just saying. I know its probably insane to have some in the house, but these are his. For now they stay, if they start that loud brash karaoke crap, singing from the cupboards, they might need to go, but for now, they're humming softly. Humming I can deal with, for now.
I heat up a non-alcoholic drink, and snuggle up by the fire, we both agree a lovely lovely weekend. My first ever sober one. I'm glad we didn't stay with the friends and the malts. Don't know if we will again, at least not yet. Easier to keep running away for now. Running works. Lying works.
Lying doesn't usually work like this, it usually ends up in a very happy satisfying drinking session. That's curious. Lying for now, helps me be sober.
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.