The way I see it


I CAME across a great blog at the weekend. It's called ‘ The Sober Jour­nal­ist’. I hadn’t fin­ished the first para­graph when I was to­tally en­thralled, cap­ti­vated with the writ­ing. Bril­liant. It just read so well. Clear, sim­ple and wise. It’s that sort of writ­ing that would in­spire any­one to sit down and write. Pos­i­tive too.

No, I’m fairly sure I am not an al­co­holic though there is a drink is­sue that runs through the DNA of one side of my fam­ily.

It will be four years in July since I last took a drink of al­co­hol. It hap­pened in a sort of mud­dled way, maybe even an­noy­ance but these days I sim­ply don’t drink al­co­hol. And yes, it is great.

Over the years I would give it up dur­ing Lent or Ad­vent but as soon as Easter or Christ­mas came I was back im­bib­ing and en­joy­ing that glass of whiskey or wine or beer. It was al­most like wait­ing to get to the fin­ish­ing line and be­ing back drink­ing again.

I drank more in my 20s than in my teens, more in my 30s than in my 20s, more in my 40s than in my 30s and more in my 50s than in my 40s. That’s all changed now. The graph line has fallen to zero.

And as soon as I say that it does strike me that an aw­ful lot of young people are drink­ing these days and con­sum­ing large quan­ti­ties of al­co­hol. Just last week walk­ing through a pub­lic park early in the morn­ing I spotted over 30 empty cans of beer. They were at a spot in the park where young people tend to hang out.

Imag­ine Ir­ish Rail does not al­low the sale of al­co­hol on some of its ser­vices at week­ends dur­ing col­lege term be­cause of in­ci­dents that have hap­pened on its trains.

I’m not for a mo­ment sug­gest­ing some sort of zero al­co­hol tol­er­ance and I cer­tainly do not want to be a killjoy but if this col­umn this week made one per­son think about their drink­ing habit then I would con­sider it a great suc­cess.

I rec­om­mend read­ing the March 17 post on ‘ The Sober Jour­nal­ist’ blog. He tells a sim­ple story of sit­ting be­side some­one on a morn­ing train, who stinks of drink. It seems as if the drink is ooz­ing from ev­ery pore of the man.

Along with the blog I men­tioned, I rec­om­mend you also log on to ‘Say Good­bye to Hang­overs - and Hello to Sun­day Morn­ing’.

Spring is here, the days are get­ting longer. It’s a great time to get out and about. It’s a great time to climb moun­tains and walk along rivers and canals. Drink slows us down.

Think about it. What­ever you do, read that blog, ‘ The Sober Jour­nal­ist’.

In the Chris­tian churches next week is Holy Week fol­lowed by Easter Sun­day, so I wish all Chris­tians, who read this col­umn prayer­ful and thought­ful days ahead.

It's only ev­ery few years that the western and Ortho­dox churches cel­e­brate Easter on the same day. In the west East Sun­day is the first Sun­day af­ter the first full moon af­ter the spring equinox. Al­though, ec­cle­si­as­ti­cal purists might dis­agree. And no need at all to drink on Easter Sun­day.

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