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I Don't Drink
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Two totally non-preachy books on how to stop drinking based on my own success after 40 years as an alcoholic
Two totally non-preachy books on how to stop drinking based on my own success after 40 years as an alcoholic

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Oh Oh Oh Santa

A quite surreal experience last night as my wife and I went to the carol concert at St. Martins in the fields. I have never seen so many Santas in one place - all having great fun and all up to no good, because they could get away with it. Many were sitting on the lions at Trafalgar square and what amused me most was the fact the police could do nothing. How can you try and arrest a Santa when he or she will instantly merge with thousands of others when pursued? It was great to watch and to see so many people enjoying themselves.

In the interval however, we popped out for a coffee and the sight was somewhat different. By that stage Santa was either lolling around drunk, leaning against a wall with a fag in his mouth and his hands in his pockets, or being sick. There were lots of broken beer bottles to be seen and some of the worst Santas reminded me of the Santa scene in 'Trading Places'. It was a joy to watch, especially from a completely sober perspective knowing that I wouldn't be suffering the agonies of a massive festive hangover the next day or worrying what pictures might materialise on social media Sunday morning! I love Christmas!
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10/12/2017
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Come and ask me what it's like five years after having quit alcohol forever. I will be at the amazing Clubsoda event in Spitalfields tomorrow at 4.00 p.m.
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A strange day today. It was very sad to learn that despite all our well wishes David Cassidy died after all. I expect he had got to the Jaundiced stage my brother got to before he died, when to be honest anyone could see it was too late for him. As I mentioned in my last post on the subject, 67 used to seem quite an age to me but now seems far too young to die, especially to a substance that can be so easily walked away from with the right attitude.
Also a day when the BBC put up a picture of two fingers with a glass of wine as part of the discussion on the new report that 'guess what' - different types of drink affect our moods in different ways. The male finger was supposed to be happily merry and the female finger depressed as a result of drinking. I think anyone who drinks knows that booze affects moods so why have a study! It is a shame that the Drinkaware spokesperson they mentioned didn't have more to say on the subject, just another inane comment from a body that is supposed to be providing serious advice! It's why my own finger people don't have a glass of wine with them, and because of that fact they are both happy! No alcohol equals happiness, it's a fact!
Finally, in the latest budget the tax on booze stays the same - at least in England. I can understand the government worrying about pubs going out of business but what about the NHS having to cope with the results of all that excess drinking!
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22/11/2017
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Walking past Harrods this afternoon (I didn't dare enter), I was enjoying the Christmas window displays when I noticed this one in particular. The drink these guys is holding reminded me of the cheap wine I used to end up drinking over the Christmas period, especially at other people's houses. That yellow colour always signified a splitting headache the next day, a horrible dry mouth and general dehydration, and a desire to never drink again. The three rather gallant looking chaps look a bit worse for wear themselves. By comparison, the much larger folk in the wider picture below look like they don't care what they have to drink, they are going to have fun regardless - just the attitude I suppose I had and probably why I kept coming back for more year after year. Thank goodness those days are gone. Yellow wine anyone?
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It is a shame to read today that David Cassidy (67) is extremely unwell and most likely because of alcohol. The report I read stated that he needs a new liver and perhaps kidneys as well.
I remember him when I was a teenager. I was always jealous of the fact the girls adored him and was wickedly delighted to read in one ‘pop’ article in the 60’s that he had bad acne. At least that was something I was luckily enough to avoid.
If I had been reading this article when I was still a drinker, I would have thought that age 67 was pretty good, and so even if he fails to sort himself out he has done pretty well for himself to get so far. You have to understand that I expected to be dead by age 57.
But now I am completely cured of the desire to ever drink again, if someone told me I only had six and a half more years to live I would be devastated. It really does go to show how dramatically your attitude to life can change when you start to care about yourself.
I wish David Cassidy well and I hope he pulls through. It sounds like he has had a problem with booze for a considerable time and has probably spent thousands on rehab and suchlike. If I knew how to, I would send him a free copy of my book. Quitting alcohol is a mindset. It has to be forever and it has to be a total commitment, but then that is why it becomes so easy once you make that mental commitment.
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I attended what turned out to be a very interesting debate at the London Science Museum last night between the famous Indian mystic, yogi and guru Sanghuru, and what turned out to be ‘the science community’. It wasn’t until he was introduced that it became clear how many in the science establishment had been vehemently against Sanghuru being invited to talk at their ‘temple of science’.
Sanghuru is well-known for his advocacy or mindfulness, homeopathic type remedies and the use of the mind to cure serious illnesses and to generally help make the world a better place for everyone. But because he doesn’t follow the ‘scientific method’ and so many of his ‘cures’ are statistically or evidentially hard to prove he is anathema.
It struck me that this same doctrine was imposed upon Galileo by the Pope in the sixteenth century, a brilliant scientist now viewed by that community as the father of modern physics, but who at the time was as heretical in his views as someone like Sanghuru is considered by some today.
I am a qualified scientist, but I am also a strong believer in the power of the mind and of the fact there is far far more to this existence we are aware of than we can ever know or even try to comprehend. To dismiss someone like Sanghuru as having no worth because his methods are not ‘scientific’ is in my mind therefore both ignorant and obscene, and something that took me by surprise.
Sanghuru, in his defence did make mention of the commercial and capitalistic bias of the scientific community, often unwilling to undertake research purely for the sake of discovery as opposed to financial reward, and to an extent I support that view. My own discovery in being able to quit a lifetime of drinking and having been an alcoholic without resource to medication, expensive therapy or indeed any help other than from my own mind is testament to the power of what you can achieve if you apply yourself. It wasn’t until I started receiving feedback from readers of my books on quitting alcohol, who had themselves been able to quit following my advice, that I truly appreciated what common sense and spending time to look within yourself can really achieve. Looking at the example set by the ‘establishment’ last night, it is no wonder that my offer of giving my book free to the various health authorities I have approached has fallen on deaf ears. There is no money for them in giving away free books, and that I turn means no jobs and no mega-industry focused on exploiting those in need.
In fairness, Sanghuru WAS eventually allowed to attend, so at least some people at the science museum are open-minded, and so thanks to them for a very interesting and thought-provoking evening. Isn’t that how science moves ever forward?
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Drinking stinks!
I have been spending some of the vast amounts of money saved by not drinking going to the theatre lately. I am surprised at how many now allow people to take alcoholic drinks to their seats even at the most salubrious venues.
Sitting next to a guy drinking beer by the bottle the other night the smell actually made me want to throw up. Not only did the beer smell but his breath smelt and he reeked of cigarettes as well.
From someone who used to both smoke and drink beer it is amazing how quickly the smell of both these habits has become a complete revulsion. I suppose it all helps to keep me well away from trying either again so perhaps it is my subconscious at work helping to suppress any latent desire.
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Avoid the booze bullies - some seasonal tips.
It’s that season again and the temptation to join your friends for a drink WILL be coming your way.
I have already been invited to numerous parties and events and although I am confident I will not be tempted to have anything alcoholic, there are some events I am not looking forward to.
One in particular involves the whole company I work for and is to be based at a hotel for the weekend. The daytime is supposed to be spent in various team building activities, but the evening is planned as a massive booze-up with Karaoke and the like until probably the early hours of the morning. I have already heard that people expect to be drunk by lunchtime on day one, so it really is going to be an environment I would rather miss altogether. If you are facing a similar trial I think all you can do is find some others who like you will be sober or at least mostly so and agree to stick together and so avoid the drunks who will be unhappy that you ‘don’t fit in’ and ‘don’t want to be a team player’. At least on the morning of day two I will be able to go for a swim or a run whilst the others are nursing dreadful hangovers, and the more cheerful I am that day the more that will infuriate them and make them wish they hadn’t indulged to such an extent.
For the other evening drinks events I have already planned on taking a small bottle of angostura bitters with me to spice up my lime and soda somewhat. Hopefully most places we go to will already have some but just in case, it will be nice to have something to drink that I don’t normally have. I would certainly recommend you planning your own chosen drink in advance so that when the beers and wines are glibly and readily passed around you already have an idea of what you would like instead. All this helps avoid those endless questions why you aren’t drinking. The more exotic your alcohol-free drink looks the better. You could of course drink alcohol free beer if it is available, but I certainly find that more than one or two of these makes me feel ready to explode!”
Another idea if you think the evening may go on late is to have something definite planned for later, perhaps a late showing at the cinema, or a late meal with a friend, or even the promise to drive and pick someone up. All this will help to ensure you don’t fall into someone’s trap and you have a drink just to go along with everyone else. You know it won’t and can’t stop at one!
Good luck and have fun! You don’t need to drink to enjoy yourself so don’t get bullied this Christmas!


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I went to the launch of Tim Peake's new book last night and to hear him talk about his incredible experiences. Two things stood out for me:
When asked whether he preferred space of Earth he said that everyone who has been to space talks about the spiritual aspect of being up there and looking down at our planet. He said it made him realises there is something more to it all. I would love to have the chance to explore this more with him.
Secondly a small boy of nine told Tim that his headteacher thought he was silly wanting to be astronaut and to think about a more sensible ambition. Naturally Tim told him the headteacher was wrong to decry the boy's ambition and stated categorically that everyone can achieve anything they want of they try hard enough and apply themselves. Sometimes luck helps too but if you don't give it a go it will never happen.
I wish I had been given the opportunity to talk to inspirational people like Tim when I was a kid. I am sure I would never had got involved with booze at such a young age. I am just lucky that I have not left things too late to launch new initiatives and ideas. Or at least I have woken up in time to change my life to something meaningful and worthwhile.
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This afternoon I have to give a presentation to an organisation. This involves talking for about one and a half hours to a very set script but without the use of any prompts, and so all from memory. The words are quite ancient and complex so it has been a struggle to memorise them. Not having trained for this as an actor or suchlike, there is absolutely no way I would have been capable of this when I was still drinking. I know I wouldn't have been able to even focus enough time let alone commit them to a memory that used to leak like a sieve. What a difference when you have a sober life. Yes I am nervous, but with my motto 'Think Army', I know I will thoroughly enjoy the experience.
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