Flying sober…

According to my French husband us Brits like to have a beer in hand as it helps us to “balance” – in picture above was dealing with severe hangover so he could have a point.

Temperatures in Cape Town have plummeted to an icy 16 degrees so must switch hemispheres without delay as do not function well in cold weather.  Brrrr!

Flight to Nice booked for Monday.  Flight will be interesting as it will be my first sober flight in many years.  My usual routine for travel as follows:-

  • Arrive (sober) at airport – check in – head straight to lounge for free drinks
  • On plane – take off – whisky before dinner
  • Dinner plus wine
  • Drink after dinner – more wine
  • Swallow sleeping pill
  • Wake up thirsty at 3am – find water & orange juice
  • Wait for breakfast and coffee
  • Arrive – feeling surprisingly OK

Was obviously aware that altitude causes alcohol to be more potent but always saw that as a good thing.

Monday’s flight will be very different – am planning to bury head in highly recommended South African novel


Have enrolled in “How to Quit Drinking” seminar in London on July 4th as may need “reinforcement” by then.  In any event will be able to write it up “for the blog” – that’s the funny thing about blogging – ideally blog should reflect life but one starts to wonder “maybe I should do that so that I can blog about it?” – a variation on “life imitating art”?  Was amused to see that the seminar is followed by drinks in a pub – some kind of test perhaps?

Will be meeting Son for dinner in evening who says he is looking forward to celebrating Independence Day with my independence from alcohol – very droll.

Was fascinated to see that there is now a “dry bar”in London – fabulously named “Redemption” – they may be onto a winner as apparently 32% of Londoners do not drink.  I was amazed by this statistic – London has always felt like party central to me but perhaps I was the only one partying – worrying.  Am busy trying to persuade sober-buddy Charles who is in restaurant business that he must open a “dry bar” in Capetown.

I now wander round supermarkets picking up random soft drinks – looking for “the one” – a bit like internet dating I suppose.  Most of these drinks are disgusting but have found one with potential – Kombucha.  It is fermented tea (sounds horrible but it’s not) – it’s a golden colour and slightly fizzy and tastes quite delicious.  When I googled it I found a request for “crowdfunding” from some guys in Bristol who want to brew it so perhaps have stumbled on the next big thing.

Took myself and chihuahua June to favourite sushi bar yesterday.  Young lady approached us brandishing two bottles of wine.  She asked me if I would like to taste the wines.

“No thank you sweetie, I don’t drink”.  She smiled and wandered off leaving me feeling a bit stunned.  Did I really say that?  Well I guess its true after 34 AF days and still going strong.

Will close with one of my favourite quotes from Robert Downey Jr.

“I don’t drink these days.  I am allergic to alcohol and narcotics. I break out in handcuffs”

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8 thoughts on “Flying sober…

  1. herbyolschewski

    Well done Janet. It’s all worth it. I have been dry now for just over two years. Never felt better. More focused and productive. Yes, that is scary to some, but you do get used to the crisp colours. Also, many people not so pretty any more, but just bite your lip before passing comment. In my case a quick look in the mirror prevents any outburst of hypocrisy 🙂 Stay strong! Herby

    1. janetgourand

      thanks Herby – and how nice to hear from you – we must meet up for a non-drink when I am back in SA!

      1. herbyolschewski

        Sure thing. Keep it up and rest assured others are watching…. and judging 🙂 So, your success is guaranteed!

  2. Victoria

    Kicking myself that I’ve never heard of this class you’re going to do on 4 July. Would very much have liked to have done it too. I am coming to London but not until 7 July. If you are around would love to meet up. I find what you talk about very interesting. Let me know if that appeals to you!

    1. janetgourand

      Hi Victoria
      Thanks for following blog – have you taken the big step yet or are you still waiting until after your break..?
      Would love to meet up but will be back in France on the 7th – will be in London again on 15th July and could meet up in afternoon
      for tea at 4ish if you are still in town – where do you live?

  3. Victoria

    Thanks for reply. Was worried that you might think I was a bit ‘odd’ and wouldn’t reply! Actually I live in Brussels so depending on what part of France you live in we may be nearer one another then me going to London, where my parents live, but I only visit a few times a year. Perhaps you should email me. I’m so impressed with your efforts and, no, I haven’t started. I did try In early June and managed about five days effortlessly and felt very pleased with myself. However then one of my children was unwell and I had to rush to visit him in hospital in the UK and I just lost my drive. I can’t say that my distress was an excuse. I just thought that since I was on my own in a hotel room each evening while he was in hospital that it was what I knew. it was comforting to do and I just slipped very comfortably back into it. Something I struggle with is trying to feel really proud of myself when I don’t drink or feeling angry with myself when I do. Victoria

  4. Brenda

    Hi Janet I love the way you approach things, you just get stuck in and find amazing possibilities in a situation that could be quite miserable. I salute you, you are my hero/heroine whichever you like. Maybe I will join you one day, maybe after my holiday on the Midi. xxxx

    1. janetgourand

      Thanks Brenda – your support means a lot to me 😘😘😘

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