Wednesday, 2 February 2011

Ha'porth of tar, ship, etc.

Here's how it happens.

You start with the best of intentions. Christmas- with all its excesses- has been and gone, you've had all the wassail of New Year... That's why I always insist on a 'dry January'. I like the discipline of it. I don't do it for health, or for losing weight, or even for smugness. I live an indulgent enough life- it's good to exert a bit of will power, even if only for a month.

The problem is, wagon day. The day that the first drink happens. After a month, it tends to hit one like a juggernaut. I am rather, perversely, proud of the tolerance for alcohol I've built up over my 37 years. Every Feb 1st, though, I become a mewling, drunk-on-one-pint heap. Every Feb 1st, I do something stupid.

This year's is a doozy. Other Feb 1st achievements have included retaking-up-smoking after a month's easy abstinence (and, as a result, finding myself painfully wedgied on a London street), groping- and, alas, I mean groping a dear friend on a crowded tube train, and... well. Too many to mention.

This year's, though, is a doozy. I think it was the successful achievement of my tax return- submitted yesterday, pre-back-off-the-wagon, which led me into this mess. 'I've submitted my tax return' went my thoughts. Because my thoughts are evil, they continued with 'I've been good about money. I should spend some money'.

A couple of years ago, some lovely friends of mine responded to my craving for New York by buying me some Virgin Atlantic vouchers. That way, I could book a flight whenever I found myself at a loose end; I was free to plan my holiday around my availability.

I have a small amount of available income at the moment (well, I don't any more, as you're about to see). Because it's Feb 1- wagon day- I thought it would be a great idea to do for myself what my pals did for me, so I bought myself some Virgin vouchers. That's still just about acceptable- I can more or less afford a wee break in New York, and it's probably a good idea to buy the flight now, so I can use it to cheer myself up when I'm a little skinter. So, I did. I bought some Virgin vouchers, to use at, literally, my leisure. Wow... have I actually been sensible? Have I used my Feb 1 blurriness to do something reckless but wise, brave in its impulsiveness?

Well, no. Not so much. It didn't stop there. I went on to choose a weekend, and buy a ticket for the Met opera and for a Broadway show. I went through all the pages and pages and pages of online booking for both. It was only when they were both safely purchased that I realised I had, in my off-the-wagon giddiness, booked my New York theatre and opera tickets for a weekend when I absolutely, totally, unequivocally have to be in London. Maybe the most important weekend of my whole entire year.

So what I guess I'm saying is- does anyone want to see Orfeo ed Euridice at the Met on 29 April? Or How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying on May 1? Because I need to sell my tickets.

What I'm also saying is that I should probably stay away from my laptop on wagon day. Sigh.

1 comment:

David said...

Oh dear - poor you: I know the feeling.

But frankly the only thing less appropriate than seeing Gluck in the Metropolitan Barn-Museum is seeing Strauss's Capriccio there. Which I planned to do, since our friend Peter is singing and so is the divine Sarah Connolly, then realised it made more sense to stay at home and watch the live broadcast, since at least the closeups would give some illusion of intimacy...