Dry in parts

We are now about half way through “Dry January” (having started a bit late we really should run into February) and things are going swimmingly. We have had but two lapses (though in both cases I decided I’d rather be hung for a sheep as a lamb). A third is scheduled for tomorrow and I can confidently predict that the fourth will take place on my next sleepover at mum’s (which cannot be delayed for long as I have run out of blue wool with 2 inches of sleeve still to do – she has spare). So really, considered in the round, that’s almost perfect compliance….

Indeed it was only smart thinking on my part that kept lapse one as a single infraction. You see, I had been tasked to drive over to Norham on a rather dreich day to pick up supplies at the butchers. I added a couple of steaks to the mix thinking that steak and salad was an easy dinner to knock up at the weekend (when much gardening was planned, the forecast being better) and would count as healthy (focussing hard on the salad angle). Lyra and I then trotted off to take our usual walk along the river towards Horncliffe only to find it impassable, with a tree fallen across the steps up to the track. No joy in the other direction either as it had flooded over the path. We mooched around the back streets (Norham is deceptive, there are fascinating layers behind the main drag), poking in to peer at St Cuthberts and generally having a good old nose before coming home, walk box duly ticked. I handed over the shopping and Keith gave me The Look (the one that declares in upper case bold text YOU ARE A MORON). “We can’t have steak without red wine” he declared. My protestations were halted with The Look again and I wandered off to potter in the garden. Anne next door then pootled over and invited us both for a pre dinner snifter (Anne does not hold with Dry January). I therefore resolved to limit the damage by serving up the offending steaks the very same day. Keith huffed and puffed and showed his moral superiority by ostentatiously having a cup of tea before he hit Anne’s wine, but succumb he did. Later, our own bottle over dinner slipped down a treat.

After that we were really very good. Lyra and I were off on ever lengthening walks, whatever the weather (we found two new, especially long ones). Keith redoubled his efforts in the gym and, standing at the kitchen window with a coffee of a morning, I could see his little knees going like billyo. With clear heads we were bearing down hard on the Storm Arwen detritus, Keith shredding and me lugging away the chippings and finding them a home. We would not have looked amiss on a Soviet Propaganda poster, “Comrades mulching for the Party”. Then Lachlan came back for a night, and so we essentially had a party. There was so much merriment it might have passed for a No. 10 Work Event. Thankfully, the bold boy had to return to Uni the next day and we have been back on the wagon ever since. Keith has shredded himself practically to a standstill (he had a break today to submit his tax return) and I have been plugging away steadily with the weeding and mulching. (It’s a desperate race in the garden to get the weeds cleared from around the hellebores and early bulbs and some mulch down so that they can be enjoyed free of guilt when they flower). The long and short of it is that Keith declares that he is now thinner than when he met me and I am pretty much back to pre Christmas levels, completely justifying the last few sale purchases.

So we are off to the pub tomorrow with Judy and I shall be having both chips and wine in abundance.

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