Will I never learn?

By Jo Collinge

Will I never learn that too much wine, or any at all for that matter, is not good for me. It’s Sunday morning, ten to six, I’ve been up for the last 45 minutes feeling much better than this time yesterday. Friday night had been busier than usual – Tae Kwon Do (on my own this time without Antonia, she had a better offer for a night out playing Bingo of all things with Tim and Elise) followed by a very quick very cold shower at the sports centre and then round to Karen’s for the monthly book club get together.

The book under review this time was “One Day” by David Nicholls. If you haven’t read it, do. It really is very very good. (OK and that’s enough of the superlatives.) I hate to admit it, I cried at the end. I know when I’m on to a good read if I start dreaming about it, and when I’ve finished I can’t start another for at least a few days whilst I get thoughts of the former out of my head, which is what happened with this particular book. I didn’t get home too late, about an hour before midnight, but having been to Tae Kwon Do followed by book club my brain was buzzing even more than usual, partly due to the rush of endorphins from the exercise, but also from the fast paced talk that goes on at book club. My literary companions are extremely lively characters and seem to have the uncanny knack of switching from one topic to another very quickly. I’m one of the more quieter contributors – its not because I don’t like talking, I do, but I just can’t seem to get a word in edge-wise. When I do manage to add my four-pennorth I’m normally still about five topics behind, by which point I have well and truly lost the plot!

On getting home (I was driving so had stayed on the Shloer rather than the Chardonnay) I decided to crack open a bottle of wine rather than turn in even though I was feeling well and truly cream-crackered. That was my first mistake. My second mistake was to then flick through the tv channels until I found a film I wanted to watch – in this instance “The Green Mile” starring an actor for whom I have a great deal of respect, Tom Hanks. Having never seen this blockbuster, I decided to stay up, and watch instead of going to bed. Where have I been all my life? Why haven’t I seen this film before? It was, without wishing to go overboard on the old superlatives again, extremely moving, and totally and utterly brilliant. I’m not at all surprised it won so many awards. Having settled in to watch this until half past two in the morning, and being completely immersed, I also managed to pile my way through 80% of the bottle of wine before I realised. Tim had given up and gone to bed shortly after I got home, and our girls were tucked up in their respective beds, lost in their own dream worlds, snoring gently. Besides Benji the house rabbit, I was the only one up and about.

Staying up so late and drinking soooooo much wine on my own is definitely not good for the soul – not my soul anyway, or my liver for that matter…….. Why oh why oh why did I do it? If I really did need to stay up why didn’t I make myself a huge steaming mug of hot milky chocolate – that would have been much better for me. Instead yesterday morning I awoke at my customary half past five, having had about three hours sleep after such a late night, and justly so had the mother of all hangovers. I was, well and truly, a bear with a very sore head. Being in a complete and utter grump I spent most of the day playing Angry Birds and catching-up with my never-ending pile of ironing rather of going down to the farm to do some work – more on that one another time.

A day later I have, yet again, foresworn off the demon drink. It really does not mix well with my Parkinson’s meds or with me full stop. Will I never learn?