A few days ago I was on Facebook looking for bad grammar to correct, and other things to feel smug about (what of it??) when a picture popped up, posted by a mate who was sat on a train in Manchester. The picture was innocent enough – I think he was waiting for it to leave the station and take him to a faraway rock gig or whatever – but the thing that caught my eye, even caused a sudden jolt to pass through my body, was the open can of Boddingtons Bitter sat on the table at the bottom of the picture.
There was a point, around 20 years ago, when I’d just turned 18 and I did the whole ‘rite of passage’ thing where you go out with your parents for your first ‘legal’ drink in a pub. Obviously it was a long time ago, and I’ve spent a lot of time in the 20 years since pickling my brain with all sorts of interesting beverages, but from what I can remember it was a local pub (oop narth) with my mum and my stepdad, and after a few pints and some scran we ended up back at home. At this point I’d usually disappear out of the door to meet my current lady-friend, or up to my bedroom to blast some loud sweary music, but my lovely mum – ever pleasant and encouraging, even when faced with a pretentious little pube of a son – invited me to join them downstairs for a post-pub drink and a bit of Saturday night telly.
I fucking love this little quote, which famously fell from the lips of legendary ice hockey superstar Wayne Gretzky. Or maybe it was his trainer who uttered it? The details are sketchy, but either way – when used in the context of sports – it’s a cool little line to throw out. In fact, it works pretty well outside of sports too. All it means, in the most basic terms, is that you’ll never achieve without trying. Even if your only aspiration is to win the lottery (you fat lazy money-grabber) then that suddenly becomes a lot less realistic if you don’t buy a ticket. Gotta be in it to win it.
Last year, just before New Years Eve, I wrote a blog post called How To Grab 2017 By The Balls which talked about getting the best out of the new year by STOPPING DRINKING and STARTING RUNNING. This year, based on my experiences over 2017, my flaky advice for making 2018 your bitch is as follows:
- Find something new to be passionate about
- Do stuff that scares you
This will be my 3rd sober Xmas, which seems bonkers when I think about it. Time flies eh?
I was going to do the usual ‘how to survive Xmas without booze’ type of blog post today, but then I thought NAH. There are already a ton of those floating about on the Googles. Plus, the one I wrote last year still seems fully relevant. Read it HERE.
I’ve got a half-marathon coming up in a couple of weeks, my third ‘official’ half marathon where you get a medal and a t-shirt and a bag of wanky snacks at the end. It means I’ve had to put a bit of effort in to training but it’s no biggie these days. Whether it’s pissing down, or blowing a gale, I’ll be out there. 10 kilometers, three times a week, forever and ever and ever until I DIE. Continue reading
Before moving to Milton Keynes I spent around 5 years working in Manchester city centre, which – despite the long travelling times – I really enjoyed. It was the buzz of the whole place which I liked to get caught up in, and even my daily walk down Whitworth Street from Piccadilly Train Station felt like a stroll through the centre of the universe. I still think Manchester pips London as my favourite UK city, and we even went back up there for our joint stag/hen do earlier this year. Continue reading
A few years ago – quite a lot of years ago in fact – I carried out a spate of petrol station robberies.
Picture the scene: It’s night-time, lashing with rain, and a twenty-something lad sits in his car on a petrol station forecourt. He whispers to himself as he intently watches the customers come and go. “One out. Two in. One in. One out. Two out”. He sucks on a Marlboro to help him concentrate as he counts. He has intensely blue eyes, which flicker left and right as he closely observes the scene through the drenched windscreen, his focus interrupted every few seconds by the wipers as they squeal back and forth. He has short scruffy stubble, and the jawline of an Adonis. His phone rings and he flips it open with one hand, cooly bringing it to his ear.
To keep me on the straight-and-narrow, especially in my first year of sobriety, I did a LOT of reading. Books, blogs, news articles… anything that would help me better understand alcoholism and the ways to win the battle. I often got in touch with the authors to say thanks for the inspiration or whatever, and it’s through that act of connecting with other people that I realised the importance of sharing and support in tackling booze issues. This is also what spurred me on to start writing, which is why I created SoberPunks, and it’s in the spirit of connecting with other people, with booze addiction as common ground, that I ended up chatting online to Dylan Kerr. Continue reading
Okay, that was probably an irresponsible choice of title for the blog. I’m just trying to reel readers in with SHOCK and sensationalism. I’d sell my granny for 1000 page clicks (nb: she’s dead).
Actually, bad as it sounds, I think once upon a time I did quite enjoy drink driving. It’s not something I’m proud of. One particular incident stands out for me, waaaay back around Y2K (I’m so TREND that it hurts). I was at a party in Dewsbury, fully intending to sleep over at the hosts gaff, when a huge venomous argument erupted. I was over half a bottle of vodka into my night already, and so I don’t even remember what we argued about, but it ended with me throwing my toys out of the pram and marching out towards my little red Fiesta, 70cl Smirnoff bottle still in-hand. I slammed on my Pantera cassette (Vulgar Display Of Power for you rock fans), and squealed off into the night.