A couple of weeks ago we put our flat on the market. The place is lovely but it’s tiny, and after three years squeezed in alongside a plethora of furry animals we’ve decided it’s time to upsize to a normal person sized house – a decision accelerated in no small part by the fact that our upstairs neighbour is a proper noisy chav twat. His girlfriend is perpetually angry, and sounds like a foghorn whenever she gets peeved (which is always). It’s just not a nice situation, and the golden-boy at the Housing Association, who promised us he could use our complaints and recordings as evidence to begin eviction proceedings, has turned out to be more of a gold-spray-painted boy. A cheap knockoff. All mouth and no trousers. Fucking useless.
A couple of weeks ago I managed to fulfill a lifelong ambition: to visit New York City; touristic centre of the universe, setting for some of the worlds greatest love stories, backdrop to arguably the best movies ever made, subject of a thousand songs, and home to some of the most friendly and colorful characters ever to be squeezed into existence.
Until recently I knew very little of Mark EG:
- He’s a DJ that makes ferociously POUNDING tunes
- He’s from Leeds (oi oi! Up the northerners! Etc…)
- Looks like a fucking possessed nutter behind the decks
In years gone by I’ve occasionally found myself, in various states of inebriation, staggering around dancefloors at his shows whilst dribbling into my pint. This has definitely happened in Leeds, definitely in London, and potentially at a club in Liverpool. I’m not sure why I’ve only seen him in places that start with L. Continue reading
About five years ago, when I was still gigging with my turbo-messy techno punk band Petrol Bastard, we scored a gig at some big freezing-cold warehouse in Liverpool (I think it was Liverpool anyway. Dunno. Was drunk). From hazy memory I recall it being a total washout; maybe ten people in attendance, all rattling around in a room the size of an aircraft hanger. And most of them were probably only there because they were DJs or bar-staff, so in actual fact there were probably only two or three paying punters there, but fuck it – what did I care? We were getting paid, I was wankered on lovely cheap booze and nothing else mattered. Begone, peasants. I’ll make my own fun. It was a standard shit gig for us, which seemed to account for about 70% of all gigs, so nothing exceptional or exciting. Until, that was, I spotted a familiar-looking guy with piercings and a short spiky mohawk, unpacking a load of t-shirts and CDs onto a table by the back wall. Continue reading
I drank my last drink, a huge plastic bottle of cheap French red wine, three years ago. Over the last 1000+ days since then I’ve learned a lot about getting sober, both from my own experiences, and also by squidgy osmosis through other people’s experiences – absorbed from the many books and blogs I’ve read on the subject, and conversations I’ve held with other ex-fuckheads. Continue reading
A couple of weeks ago I received a lovely email from one of my readers, a Spanish lady who has proudly reached her six month sobriety milestone after a few false starts. And proud she should be! Those first six months are probably the toughest, but also the most rewarding to get through, with the mad nightmares and beer cravings finally starting to subside, and the fog of a brain battered by perpetual hangovers beginning to lift.
Keen to mark this occasion she asked if she could write a guest blog for SoberPunks, and share her story with all of you fellow sweaty man-babies.
I said NO, but she threatened to come round and kick the fuck out of me – so here it is, completely unedited for full Spanish effect:
A couple of weeks ago I was walking alone around Willen Lake, which is a lovely big lake in Milton Keynes famed for it’s wakeboarding circuit and abundance of swans and geese and other wildlife. The weather was sweltering, and I was looking for a patch of lakeside grass to plonk myself on for an hour or two where I could enjoy the cool breeze off the water, whilst flicking through a knitting mag and listening to some rousing oompah music on my Spotify. Continue reading
When I was a drinker I was liable, occasionally, to be a bit of an animal. I’d think nothing of smashing down a load of beer and shots and then clawing and swearing at the people around me like a loved-up drunken Tasmanian Devil. It was never an anger thing, you understand. I became a hugger and a playfighter. Booze always impassioned me. It made me want to grasp life with gusto, and squeeze it until I could feel the soft bits oozing out between my fingers. It made me want to laugh loudly, eat bloody raw steaks, and get the people I cared about in headlocks. Everything done with fire in the belly, and a fist waving at the sky. A fury and zeal that it’s near on impossible to maintain in sober life, apart from in short controlled bursts (which is a bit of a contradiction really).
It’s now been a month since I had my balls mangled, and everything is pretty much back to normal down there. I’ve got a couple of empty cups at home that need spunking in and emptying into a post box for a doctor to taste (“mmm yes that tastes lovely, and I’m glad to report it’s sperm free”), but that’s not due until September.
The first sobriety milestone most problem drinkers hit is 1 day. Then you hit 1 week, then 1 month, then 100 days, and then the first real biggie is 1 year. After that they lose a bit of meaning as the novelty falls away, and you’re left in a weird sort of booze-free purgatory; a strange coffee-scented realm which exists between the pink clouds of your new exciting sobriety, and your inevitable grey, sober, lonely DEATH. Slowly it dawns on you; the acceptance that this is your life now. I’ve got no facts or figures to back it up (fuck pie charts and proper research, right?) but I’d imagine this 1 year mark to be the point at which a lot of people start jumping off the wagon.