Monday, 1 February 2010

The Drunk Diary Round Up

Well the drunk diary is over, I'll probably do it again next year to see if there have been any changes to my drinking patterns.
So, why did I start the drunk diary? Firstly I wanted to know how many units of alcohol I was having each week. Partly because I had to change doctors recently and when they said how many units of alcohol do you have a week sir? I didn't have the first clue.

Here's how many units I've had this month.

January Total Unit Intake : 272.55
Daily Average : 8.79

That was the reason for starting this. As I went on during January and kept the diary (which is 99.9% accurate, I may have missed a half at the twissup) I became quite aware that I was worrying about my intake, even for a bar manager I drink a lot as those of you who have read the diary will have noticed(God I hope there's no doctors reading it!).

OK so the weekly average is nearly three times the recommended intake and well above what is 'considered harmful'.
Bearing that in mind, I have only been drunk or tipsy 4 times this month, and looking at the average alcoholic unit intake I am apparently 'at risk' of many health problems - this is according to the government do-gooders who make it their point to meddle in as many parts of our lives as possible(robbing us for taxes not being enough n'all).
So what am I 'at risk' of? Diabetes(type 2 being the main threat), chronic pancreatitis, liver disease and cirrhosis(although this is mainly in middle aged people, I am getting toward THAT age and these sorts of problems are occurring in younger people too nowadays).
For a while now I have been aware that I am thirsty, a lot, and tired, a lot. Now I'm not sure if these symptoms are related to diabetes but I intend to find out.
What else did I learn from doing the drunk diary? Well, in The Rake it's insanely easy to get pissed without even trying, before you know it you've had two or three drinks which can take you close to your recommended weekly alcohol unit intake, now most people will only go out and drink maybe once or twice a week but when you run a pub with so much fantastic beer on sale I have found out that it was all too easy to go over your recommended intake.
Lets deal with this first though, one, I have a choice to say yes or no to another drink and it has been my choice to have another. Secondly, most of the times this month when I have stuck around after work to have a beer, I have been quite sober when I left the bar, as are a lot of people who go into bars everywhere.
What else? lemme see... I have learnt, certainly in the last week, that you can have a 'hop overload' yes I know, it's out there, I said it, I can't take it back but there it is, I had it yesterday. It's depressing, I love hops so when I don't feel like drinking a hoppy beer it makes me sad.
I need to take more days off, not work wise, I love my job and I frequently work from home but I do need days off the sauce. I know quite a few people who have taken a month off drinking for whatever reason, they might want to prove to themselves that they can do it, they might want to detox after Christmas. I think if I start by taking one day off the booze a week then it's a step in the right direction. Don't get me wrong, I'm not going to give up drinking, I enjoy it too much, I'll probably cut down a bit now I know how much I drink. I have also felt recently that my life has revolved around booze far too much, there IS more to life than beer and drinking. For example in the last month, I have celebrated the birthdays of three people I know, heard about the birth of a baby of a friend, paid the rent, watched the news, rediscovered the sitcom M*A*S*H, thought about what I'm going to get my niece for her 16th birthday and continued with wedding preparations for May. It's not all beer, sometimes though it's good to have a beery time, on the 23rd January I attended the '#twissup' a meet up of beer bloggers and tweeters from all over the country. We went to Sheffield, have lots of beer to drink, visited three brewery's in one day, I made some new friends and we all had a very social, very nice time. Yes at the time I had way more than the recommended daily intake but it was a one-off. I had a mild hangover on the way home, one of only two this month and that really only proves nothing other than I know how to stave off a headache but still beer, pubs and bars are not the enemy of the state even if some neo-prohibitionist halfwits think they are. Pubs and beer are social things, society's problems around alcohol are not actively coming straight from the pub and I would challenge anyone to prove me wrong with actual facts and figures.
As someone who drinks nearly three times what he should a week I am qualified to tell you that beer and pubs do not make people go out and fight, if people want to fight they'll do it whether or not they've had a beer.
Pubs and bars do not cause alcoholism(although they should sometimes look at who they're serving, how much and at what price).
Beer and pubs do not cause under age drinking, if kids want to go out and get hammered they will find a way, most of the time (certainly in London) it's too expensive for them to go to the pub of an evening and get shit-faced, plus their little taste buds aren't developed enough to enjoy the beer(bless em!). Usually they will start drinking at home under the total indifference of their parents who are usually setting the example. But even the best parents will know that if a teenager wants to get pissed they'll find a way (not that I'm a parent).
I'm not deluded enough to think that this blog will make any sort of dent on the half-wit neo-pros out there but I wanted to write it none-the-less.
The really worrying thing about this is that I now feel like I want a pint of something cold and hoppy, am I bad?
I hope that you didn't get too bored of the Drunk Diary, I'd quite like your opinions if you feel like giving them.
Here's to Beer! Here's to Pubs! Here's to a great 2010!


Tania said...

Definitely 'days off' I think are a good strategy - gives your liver some time to recover after working hard when you do drink alcohol - I normally have two, three, or four nights off each week. I also find being more 'mindful' of when, where and what I'm drinking helps avoid those odd halfs or pints that really don't add anything to my drinking life but are just had for the sake of it or to fill in half an hour while waiting for the train. If there's nothing quality, then I'll do without. Of course there are nights when that doesn't happen and you have to go with the flow - but I'm finding just thinking about making an active choice when to drink and when not to has helped reign in my consumption, without being ridiculously restrictive, so I think your 'drunk diary' is a good thing if it helps you work out exactly what you've been up to drinks/units wise.

I appreciate it's a bit of a 'problem' that you run such a well-stocked bar, and part of the job is to stay informed about new stock coming in, quality of your draught ales, etc. - I'd be interested to hear how other landlords, pub and brewery owners manage to keep themselves in check while fulfiling this part of the job, and their own time off as well.

My viewpoint is that I want to be enjoying damn fine beers till the day I die, so I've gotta preserve some health reserves to allow me to do so - better some moderation now than having to give it up altogether *cries*

I know one landlord who drinks 10 pints of ale (at least) every day with no days off - but I can't help but think that health-wise, they're probably a lot worse off than I am (or if not now, then as time goes on it will eventually catch up with them)

DemonBrewer said...

Consumption Vs Variety - I know they aren't that popular yet, but shouldn't you lead from the front ?;
If you crave variety, then drink in thirds!
While hard -core full on consumption will undoubtably lead to a "Poterhouse Blue" or a "Mort Subite" (yes in France it is a Death Style, Belgium , a Beer and a Bar)- there is still much darkness about the level beyond which death and Gimp FoiGras occour - it is interesting to look up the fact that the "limits" were/are complete guesswork depending on a plethora of factors (including consumption of paracetamol and possibly artificial colourings and sweeteners - neither of which are there in decent beer).
All things in moderation, one of them will probably kill you eventually, but no-one actually really knows which - do they?
So moderately similar daily intake? - I'll drink to that!

UnfriendlyGhost said...

My dad always tells me "An alcoholic is a man who drinks more than his doctor"...

Rabidbarfly said...

Your dad sounds like a clever man casper