Saturday 14 January 2012

Dry Days

This week, the government said that we should have two dry days a week. This means no booze.

I always have a few dry days a week. I try to get three dry days between Sunday and Thursday, if I can. I will get home on time and then also do some exercise. It’s for balance. It’s easy to drink too much, to do damaging things to precious parts of the body. Dry days also make me feel better – I don’t wake up with a foggy head and I don’t go to bed late or have a restless sleep which means I can get up early and do stuff, like write this or go for a run. It’s like having days when I’ll have green food from the fridge instead of orange food from the freezer. Balance.

However, by having the booze-free days the drinking days seem to get heavier to make up for it. I won’t have one bottle while watching TV, I’ll have three or four or five, notebook open by my side ready to write anything which the beer stirs in me. The after work pint turns into three. The glass of wine becomes a bottle. The balance tips too far. It’s not a deliberate or spiteful ‘I’d better make up for the dry days’ decision to drink more, it just happens that way. This is Friday and Saturday drinking. So two dry days and two drunk days. The others will be a bottle of beer, rarely more. So for a couple of days I’m doing good, but for another couple I’m bingeing, which is less good.

I need the dry days to feel balance. If I drink every day of the week then I feel rough.

Are dry days part of your week or do you drink right through? When you do drink, is one beer where you start and finish or do you have a few (or a few too many)? 


  1. Mondays and Tuesdays are usually booze free. Wednesdays we often go out to eat so it's nice to have a pint or three with the meal. Thursdays I like to indulge in a 'New Brew' but it's rarely more than one and doesn't happen every week. Fridays & Saturdays are the usual days to enjoy a few (though last night despite having beer in the house I didn't bother drinking any). Sundays I'll usually mop up the few that I didn't get through the previous two days, which often means Sunday is also dry

    I also think it's good to have a semi-regular break of a week or so as it helps to recharge the tastebuds


  2. I mange two minimum per week - although that obviously went by the wayside over xmas, where it got to one. If I've got something coming up- such as a stag do, all-dayer, or twissup, then I'll go for 2/3 days either side and 'save up' the beers ,so to speak. I also try to eat as best I can and always back up with the likes of Milk Thistle etc etc. I am conscious of excessive drinking - I certainly don't need any help expanding my waistline, and wouldn't want something I enjoy (drinking and enjoying beer) to become detrimental to my health.
    There was a interesting article a while ago (a few years) on BA where one blogger basically admitted he was a fully-functioning alcholic - albeit drinking rare and craft ales. He was basically crying out for help, and stopping writing about beer as a result. Judging from what I see on Twitter, I'd say there are definately some folk out there who drink waaay too much. But that's just me. When you work in the industry, it's tough to avoid, I guess. I'll try and track down that article, you'll find it interesting).

  3. I have two pints every night, if the beers are stronger than 6% I'll scale it down accordingly. I don't have any dry days. Friday and Saturday evenings I'll have more than two - I rarely drink until I'm drunk but I usually get a little 'tipsy'.

    I think this year I'll be cutting down dramatically. I'm coming to realise I won't be young and invincible forever and my waistline is starting to suffer..

    I'm very interested to hear everyone's replies. Talking to people in person I find it's hard to get an idea of how much everyone's drinking and what's normal without them either understating or turning it into the proverbial 'pissing contest'.

  4. Ideally, it's no drinks on Sunday, Monday and Tuesday as well as Thursday. Got to treat the guts well. I also am a big believer in milk thistle and salmon oil. The blood tests for this large person nearing 50 back that strategy. Third principle? Naps. Granted, not a young man's game but happy was I when I realized that it was OK for me to nap again.

  5. For a long time I took every opportunity to get to the pub; as I'm a father of two with a non-drinking spouse, this didn't mean very much in practice. More recently, opportunities to go out have started to open up, & I realised before Christmas that with one thing and another I was starting to have a drink every night. It was only one or two, but I didn't like the feeling & resolved to cut down.

    From Sunday to Wednesday I'll have one at most, and usually fit in a couple of dry days. I generally go out either Wednesday or Thursday and have two or three pints (very occasionally four, and I usually regret it). Friday, one or two; Saturday, two or three. I only go over four on special occasions.

    According to surveys, people of my age and above (50+) are more likely to drink little and often; people in their 20s are more likely to go crazy at the weekend and have three or four dry days to recover.

  6. I get 4 hours a week to drink with malice aforethought in a hostelry, so commitments compel dry days. I will drink the odd bottle at home but I've never been much of a home drinker, even when I have a nice stash of stuff to work through. I prefer to share it. Having said that, I'm not sure I have the stamina these days, so all this dry stuff is probably for the best...

  7. Amongst some people "dry days" becomes a bit of a pissing contest - "I have at least three dry days from Sunday to Thursday but go out and get absolutely wrecked at the weekend".

    It also panders to the British disease of seeing occasional gross drunkenness as preferable to regular moderation. I'm not at all convinced that having seven pints on Friday and Saturday nights and nothing else is better for your health or general wellbeing than having two pints every day.

    As Phil suggests, as you get older your ability to recover quickly from heavy drinking sessions diminishes, and therefore older people tend to settle into more of a habitual pattern of light-to-moderate drinking.

  8. I only drink at weekends, basically between Friday night and Sunday night. Given that I usually have to drive home from the pub I will have a couple of pints out and then bring a growler home.

  9. I have beer with dinner pretty much every night. I don't have deliberate dry days, and accidental ones have been few and far between...

  10. On an average week, Sunday to Thursday are all dry. Friday and Saturday it's drinking until I pass out (though I'll usually get to that stage at home rather than be a public nuisance or endanger my safety). So probably around 40-50 units twice a week. Not that I count - sometimes 25 is enough depending on how well I have slept.

    This is probably a touch unhealthy! But during the week I lift weights twice a week. Once a week I'll run around 7 miles. Lunchtime walks & healthy food etc.

    The problems come around Bank Holidays which turn into a 3-day session or the week off work, which can turn into a week-long bender. I pretty much earmark all of my annual leave as hangover days..

  11. landells - I like the recharge idea! I usually do a refresh with wine, so I end up drinking a lot more!

    Leigh - That is interesting, and a little sad. Sometimes it is hard to avoid but I quite like the stubbornness of willpower - when there's lots of beer available next to my desk and I don't have any, then go and have a run, I feel better then if I'd have had a pint.

    brewingup - It is interesting to see how others approach it, hence this post. It seems a couple of days off are standard among many.

    Alan - Naps ruin me! They make me feel really rough, like drinking two pints at lunch and then aching head that comes three hours later.

    Phil - The survey results are accurate for me! I wonder why that is?

    Mudgie - I'm sure 2 pints a night is better than 5 dry days and 2 7-pinters!

    Velky Al - And how long does the growler last?!

    Michael - A bottle a day seems good to me!

    Pingo - All my annual leave tends to go on either getting drunk or recovering from being drunk...

  12. Interesting post, I limit myself to one bottle a night from Sunday-Thursday but probably have around 4-6 pints or bottles per night on Friday and Saturday. I don't seem to notice any adverse effect on health but do play football one evening a week and mountain bike at least once on a weekend.

    I think exercise of some description is a must if your hobbie revolves around beer!

  13. I generally only drink about 2 days out of the week. Depending on what I'm doing or where I am, the quantity could range from a single bottle at home to a hefty session at a pub or bar. Like most of the country my drinking escalates in the hot weather and around Christmas. I rarely booze on anything other than beer.