For the benefit of my American friends, the Cotswolds is the go to part of the country for London A List celebrities and Hollywood location scouts.
You know the picture of the archetypal perfect English village, all honey coloured stone and patchwork fields, on the 1000 piece puzzle that Great Aunt Edna brings out every Thanksgiving? That's the Cotswolds. So is the picture on the English biscuit tin.
It may look sleepy and peaceful, all chirpy birdsong and the distant drone of the combine harvester, but it's actually party central.
This county is the home/second home of some serious imbibers, like Kate Moss and Jeremy Clarkson, both of whom have featured in this blog (see Drinking and Sexism, and Alcohol Induced Rage).
More vino will be drunk at the house party this weekend than could fill a Cotswold swimming pool (tastefully tucked away in the walled garden). There are three families staying over, and three or four more couples coming for dinner.
And today I have a big case of the deja vues.
I've been thinking back to the last time I went to stay with these friends. It was just over a year ago, about a month before I quit for good (the timing is not entirely co-incidental).
We arrived at around 5pm. I expect our hostess offered tea or wine, but the question was academic. We got stuck in. Obviously. It was a Saturday, and we'd been on the motorway for two hours. We'd earned it.
One of the couples joining us for dinner that evening were running late, so we didn't sit down to eat until around 9pm, by which point I'd drunk at least a bottle of wine, on an empty stomach.
I cringe now thinking of the poor man who sat next to me (the fat, incoherent lush) at dinner. I remember struggling hugely to think of anything to say that wasn't a terrible cliché. What do you do? How old are your children?
I told a joke that was so bad they were still teasing me about it the next morning.
Then, at about 11pm I took myself off the bed, as I could barely stay awake/upright by that point.
The following morning I remember counting down the minutes until midday, when I could legitimately accept a glass of wine to take the edge off my headache.
This, for me, was one of the signs that my drinking was becoming a problem.
You see, 'normal drinkers' can't bear the idea of any alcohol on a hangover. Problem drinkers can't bear the idea of not having a drink on a hangover. (See my post: 5 Signs You're a Problem Drinker).
Needless to say, this weekend is going to be different.
And, you know what? I'm really looking forward to it. Because doing a weekend like this sober can be hard at times, but not half as hard as doing it rip roaringly drunk!
Have a fabulous Friday, my friends,