• Jon Matthews

Dry January (part two)

Pub landlords across the country today breathe a sigh of relief, for their nemesis is defeated and Dry January has come to an end. Tonight the bars of Britain will be filled with revellers, kidneys braced for the end of the annual fast. Fear not beer makers of the United Kingdom, your time is not yet over! Amber nectar will once more poor forth and our streets be strewn with vomit again. For, at long last, February is upon us. All hail Ninkasi!

Ninkasi, Sumerian goddess of beer.

In the end I didn't find Dry January particularly difficult. The most tempting times were probably at gigs, when it was impossible to avoid being in a bar, but I'd planned on having water or lemonade and in the end it was easy to follow through on those plans. When out and about with Liz, during times we would normally pop in for a pint, we popped in for a hot chocolate instead and that was extremely satisfactory, though a much harder challenge to stick to than avoiding the after comedy drink. At one stage, at a comedy competition, I was even given a bottle of cider, but instead of opening it I've squirrelled it away for February.

I know not everyone finds a time without alcohol easy, as it is extremely addictive and my heart goes out to those who struggle. Conversely, I also feel for the pub industry, which may well suffer during these fad months. The pub industry is an important one in this country as it underpins independent live music and comedy and without it we would be culturally poorer. For this reason, this weekend I will be heading to a local pub to give them a bit of support.

The Old Mill Inn, Holbury

Dry January is over and it's been good for me and I've learnt a lot. I will be more inclined to avoid drinking at comedy events in future, for example. However, I do not intend on giving up cider anytime soon.

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