A few muscle twitches and headaches convinced me that I needed a week of detox, meaning no caffeine, no nicotine, no ‘herbal supplements’, no red meat, and no alcohol.
I chose the wrong week to abstain from drinking.
My company celebrated the launch of a new enterprise today with beers in the office, and as I write these words, most of my colleagues are beginning a company-card-behind-the-bar drinking session that will undoubtedly prove to be the stuff of legends tomorrow morning.
I stuck to my resolve, and cycled home via Tescos. All was going to plan as I filled my basket with avocados, beetroot, cucumber, tomatoes, pumpkin seeds and peppermint – foodstuffs befitting a man who is calling a cessation of hostilities on his body after a prolonged bombardment of artillery fire.
Then I arrived at the booze aisles. Budvar – the proper Czech stuff that tastes as if it’s brewed from God’s tears – is being offered at a price that would tempt an elderly Methodist preacher into a well-lubricated life of bonhomie. The boundaries between vivid imagination and hallucination were blurred as I heard a lascivious voice whisper ‘I’m two for one, take me home. Drink me deep, Richard.’
My immense strength of character, amply illustrated by my panicked, wide-eyed, sweating sprint towards the checkout, was tested a final time by the Pimms & Lemonade sample stall outside Surrey Quays shopping centre. Ordinarily, I would step over my Grandmother for a fine glass of Pimms on a summer’s day, but I achieved a perfect 3/3 record for temptation resistance.
Two days gone, five to go until I can mark Germany’s victory in the Euro football championship with a Weissbeer or two.