Monday, 14 March 2016

Holiday Drinking

Isn't it funny how we justify daily drinking as a way of de-stressing at the end of the day - a result of our hectic, modern lives - then we go away on holiday, where there's no stress at all, and drink twice as much?

I'm typing this on my balcony at 6.30am. It's a perfect Jamaican morning, and I'm watching the beach boys raking the sand, and removing any pesky, unsightly strands of seaweed which had the temerity to wash up overnight.

Jamaica Inn is a beautiful old colonial style hotel. Mr SM was sold when he discovered that it was a favourite of his hero, Winston Churchill.

The typical guests are American and British couples in their forties, fifties and sixties, not rowdy young singles on the pull. I've not seen a single drunk guest, it's just not that kind of place.

BUT, everyone is drinking pretty much all the time.

At eleven am, on the dot, they serve a complimentary drink to anyone who's on the beach. There's a choice of a yummy fruit punch or - the much more popular - Planter's cocktail. Made with plenty of rum. At eleven in the morning!

In the Old Days I'd have been in heaven!

Then, at lunch time, the terrace is littered with large glasses of rose and cold Red Stripe beers.

(They also serve Becks Blue! Oh joy.)

By four in the afternoon the bar staff are busy serving wine and cocktails on the beach. Then there are the obligatory sundowners, and wine with dinner.

Most people are drinking more than the government recommended weekly limits every single day.

And it's just not necessary.

I honestly couldn't be more relaxed than I am right now. I can't see how I'd be enjoying myself any more. And, as I'm not drinking, I wake up early - feeling amazing - and can make the most of every beautiful day.

But there's one thing I'm feeling bad about.

Yesterday, Mr SM got wind of a local, public beach where every Sunday night they have live reggae bands playing. He wanted to go.

I said no.

I argued that we'd already booked a nearby restaurant for jerk fish and rice'n'peas. But the real issue was that I just couldn't imagine spending the evening with a load of dancing, smoking ganja, drinking Jamaicans completely sober.

I didn't want to spoil my holiday by feeling like a fish out of water (cooked in jerk spices and served with a mango salsa).

And now I'm really cross with myself. I was a wimp. I do not want to start missing out on experiences just because I'm not drinking. Outside the comfort zone is where the magic happens...

(See my post: The Comfort Zone).

Bad SM.

Anyhow, whether you're looking for somewhere to celebrate a soberversary, or whether you're still drinking and want to legitimately drink rum at eleven am, I can't recommend this place highly enough.

Love to you all,

SM x


  1. Sounds like such a lovely holiday! I just want to say I'm really glad you said "No" to the concert. Not that you couldn't go. But it's so important to know your limits and respect them, even if at the same time you wish they were otherwise. I agree with what you say about the comfort zone. But sometimes comfort is OK, too. You can dance on the beach with drunk people some other time, and it might even the a ton of fun when you do. For now, acknowledging that it might be awful and you don't want to do it is a marvellous way to treat yourself. I'm so glad to hear what a great trip you're having! xo

  2. Once you start noticing how much people drink it is quite a surprise. As you say - not necessary. Does not really add anything. Enjoy the hols sounds great

  3. Holidays are tricky for me. but hopefully your experience will provide the necessary inspiration!

  4. What a wonderful holiday!. Don't feel bad about saying no, it might actually be your psyche saying you need peace and quiet (after the year you have had and the life you lead) and be quite separate from issues of drunk dancing! Just enjoy the stillness and let if fill you up with restorative energy (and whatever the heck jerk spices are!). Your senses are obviously pretty keen at the moment so indulge that.

  5. That sounds like such a lovely (and well-deserved) break. I love how you watch the constant drinking and see what the others are missing, not what you are missing. It is funny how I went, in early sobriety, from envying people drinking their way through all the things I used to drink my way through (holidays, parties, theater, sporting events, you name it) to pitying them now. So nice not to fall asleep during the second half of a movie or show, the ride home from Christmas Eve dinner, etc. etc. etc.

  6. Dear SM - so glad you're having such a wonderful time. And agree with all the above comments about the concert.
    Also so glad that you're posting - I think we'd all feel like our life line has been cut off if we didn't hear from you for a week!! Gosh I make you sound like a new addiction. Day 71 for me - and you're making me positively look forward to my holiday (AF stylie) in a few months. Lots of love SFM xxx

  7. I've never been on an all inclusive type holiday largely as I feel there's too much danger to me and my sobriety - kudos to you but I doubt I could really be around that kind of thing more than half a day without having to take my leave. I doubt I'd drink but I'd just feel so out of place and feel like I'm the fly in the ointment of everyone else's fun