I believe that drinkers, and ex-drinkers, have not just a thirst for alcohol, but a thirst for life. We are 'all or nothing' people - everything we do, we do with enthusiasm and gusto (see Why Ex-Drinkers Rock!).
Sadly, we eventually come to realise that, having done the 'all' bit of drinking, it's now time to do the 'nothing'.
In one of my general browses I came across this quote from Abraham Lincoln who seemed to agree with me.
In his famous 'Temperance Address' in 1842 he said "I believe, if we take habitual drunkards as a class, their heads and their hearts will bear an advantageous comparison with those of any other class. There seems ever to have been a proneness in the brilliant, and warm-blooded to fall into this vice. The demon of intemperance ever seems to have delighted in sucking the blood of genius and of generosity. What one of us but can call to mind some dear relative, more promising in youth than all his fellows, who has fallen a sacrifice to his rapacity? He ever seems to have gone forth, like the Egyptian angel of death, commissioned to slay if not the first, the fairest born of every family."
So, according to Lincoln, we - dear friends - are the most 'brilliant, warm blooded and fairest born.' Stick that in your small sized wine glass and sip on it slowly, all you holier-than-thou moderate drinkers!
Since I was, by now, on a roll with world leaders, I thought I'd look up my all time favourite: Sir Winston Churchill.
Sir Winnie was the originator of the best put down of all time. When a grand dame at a party said to him imperiously: "You sir are drunk!" he replied "Bessie, you are ugly. But tomorrow I will be sober, and you will still be ugly." Anyone who can come up with that line after a few jars deserves our never ending admiration.
It is unlikely, however, that - despite his response to Bessie - Sir Winston was ever sober for long (if at all) in the mornings.
Winston, allegedly, drank 42,000 bottles of Pol Roger champagne in his lifetime. He started his day with a (weak) whisky and soda at 9am, and drank a couple more before lunch time. He'd drink a (small) bottle of champagne at lunch, followed by cognac. He'd then (no surprise!) have an hour long siesta.
The afternoon would see a few more whisky and sodas, then a sherry before dinner, another bottle of champagne during dinner, and brandy before bed. Check out this great video 'The day I tired to match Churchill drink for drink' by the wonderfully named Harry Wallop.
Needless to say, Sir Winne wasn't sticking to the recommended guidelines. Nor was he any good at moderation. However, by the time he was my age he had fought in the Boer war, escaped from prison camp, written 11 books and served as Home Secretary. Think what he could have done if he'd been sober!
We spend an awful lot of time berating ourselves and feeling rather ashamed of our grandiose appetites, so it's about time that we gave ourselves, and each other, a little love. Not only are we 'brilliant and warm blooded', but we have enough self knowledge and strength of character to stop the 'Egyptian angel of death' (that's the wine witch to you and me), before she sucks any more of our 'blood of genius and generosity.'
So, yet again lovely readers, I urge to remember that EX DRINKERS ROCK!
The sun is shining here in London. The Kids are back at school. And I have done 45 days sober.
Love SM x