Welcome back ‘The Dryathlon’

It’s January and after a month of decadence many people are on new diets, off to the gym and off off off the booze. It’s a good time for the NHS to issue new guidance on drinking, then. And for everyone to moan about it, while I feel smug (I’m not teetotal but I don’t drink much).


And then there are those being sponsored not to drink.

I mean, I know that the charities are a great cause. But there is the option to donate monthly (by direct debit should you wish) or periodically when you can afford. I just can’t see a reason to celebrate people who think that a month of not drinking deserves any kind of pat on the back, sponsored or otherwise.

Remember when being sponsored meant doing something hard or out of your comfort zone?
Like a marathon or a swim or a 24 hour games playing marathon with your local youth group starting with energetic team sports like Short Cricket and Rounders and ending the following evening after some 30 odd hours awake (taking in the Friday spent at school) with a fraught game of snakes and ladders? The last one might just have been me. 

Well not anymore. 

Now we’re expected to sponsor the people that are known for getting themselves into bother, snoozing away their weekends dehydrated with their head next to last night’s donner kebab with sore feet from bad heels and even sorer heads, for not getting themselves into that kind of state. For a whole month. 

Welcome back, the Dryathlon. 

That’s right all of January. 31 whole days and nights. 

We really should give these modern day saints a break and let them carry on. But really, what’s next? ‘Get your quids out ladies and Gents, dig deep, give generously. Dave from accounts is doing Amphetamine Free April for a local horse sanctuary.‘ Give me a break.

I mean, first off, if we really can’t abstain from drinking for a month there’s a problem. And I honestly think medical help should be sought (this isn’t me being funny or zany. I think that’s the start of addiction).

Pair this with the constant social media updates of said “Sober Heros” and how they can’t go out this weekend because they’re not drinking this month. FYI it is possible to go out and not drink. Wacky idea but just because everyone else seems to be, you don’t have to. As your mum might say ‘if they all jumped from a cliff, would you?’ 

Not drinking doesn’t render you a hermit and- newsflash- it is possible to have fun without drinking (and vice versa, which is another reason to give not drinking a try without being sponsored for the pleasure). 


Rant over. Now, let’s just look forward to the 1 February when we have to see social media flooded with photos of that ‘well earned’ first drink, the congratulations and the tales of the struggle. But unlike marathon runners there will be no blisters or sore nipples. There’ll be no injuries. There will be no personal best. 

What there will be is someone expecting me to congratulate them for managing to do nothing. Literally.



  1. Here, here! Really great post, very funny 🙂 Agreed, dry January has gone mad but also sadly, represents a nation in the grip of addiction. I don’t think the new guidelines will help us to curb our dependence however, there needs to be a total shift in the way we perceive alcohol (much in the same way as there has been for cigarettes over the past 10/15 years). I’ve been writing about why the guidelines wont work this week on my blog and would love to hear your thoughts if you’re interested? http://lucypasharobinson.com/2016/01/10/going-cold-turkey-can-britain-quit-the-booze/


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