Love this image presented to us by Louise Rowlinson during her excellent “How to Quit Drinking Workshop” in London last Saturday.  Louise is a health care professional who (like me) tried to moderate her drinking for years and eventually decided that it was just easier to stop altogether.  Her blog is if you would like to follow her journey.  She will be running regular workshops so check out her website on if you want to sign up.  BTW thank you to Soberistas following me on – I like to reply to all comments but sadly cannot work out how to respond on soberistas site – perhaps someone can enlighten me – otherwise go into to comment as it is easy for me to respond from there..

After barely touching the ground in Marseille was off to London for workshop and catch-up with family & friends.   Thankfully knees down to sensible size and full mobility restored. The one and a half hour flight passed in an instant compared with epic 11 hour flight from SA so not too much temptation to drink on board.  Easyjet flight insist on payment for refreshments so too much trouble even to get a soft drink!  Not sure how Kate Moss managed to get quite so hammered on recent Easyjet flight if she had to dig out her purse everytime she wanted a drink.  Still puzzled by Kate travelling on Easyjet when she can afford a private jet.


Landed in London and went straight to GNO (Girls Night Out) with lovely London girlfriends.  Was expecting pressure to join them on the vino (we have a long tradition of partying together) but they were sweet and convinced charming young barman to produce steady stream of mocktails.  Have so many lovely memories of nights out with friends knocking back the vino but in fact it is the company of friends more than the vino which makes those evenings special.  Certainly the first two hours were great although felt slightly adrift towards end of evening – as though I was not really connecting or contributing to the fun.

shiraz & elderflower

Always stay with close pal Barbs (aka Binky) when in London.  She had thoughtfully found me a non-alcoholic drink cunningly masquerading as a bottle of wine – see it in pic above posing with bad boy Shiraz.  Amazingly I have managed to find this drink in Galleries Lafayette in Marseille so will be stocking up – definitely helps to have something that vaguely resembles a “proper” drink – same method as e-cigarettes I guess..

 AF existence has definitely had an impact on my “joie de vivre” which used to be sky high after a couple of large glasses of Sauvignon Blanc – still struggle to believe alcohol is a “depressant” as I feel a bit “flat” without it and wonder if I may just be a rather miserable and boring person – quelle horreur :-0

curve 3

In fact I think I must brace myself for downward slide according to this diagram Louise showed us in the workshop.  Since quitting have been residing pleasantly on my “pink cloud” – or honeymoon as it is called here.  Am now almost two months in but projection of emotions seems to be all downhill from here so must brace myself for “uncertainty/loss of confidence/confusion/depression and crisis” – hopefully not all on the same day!  According to this diagram it’s going to take a full 8 months until “recovery” complete.

Another topic we covered on the workshop was “PAWS”.  Perked up when I saw this on programme as got excited at thought of involving dog in AF strategy and began to envisage training chihuahua June to attack if I picked up a glass of wine.  In fact PAWS stands for Post Acute Withdrawal Symptoms and Louise gave us a whole list of things to look out for – apparently drinking numbs emotions and one must be ready for lots of intense feelings to emerge.  Eish! – better warn Husband.  We learned about the value of a “Sober First Aid Kit” and that we should write a “Goodbye Letter to Alcohol”.  We had a look at tiny drop of liquid which constitutes one “unit” of alcohol and learned that a bottle of wine represents 12 units.  When I was trying to “moderate” I would log half a bottle of wine with lunch as 2 units as it represented 2 (admittedly huge) glasses.  My rationale was always “if it fits into one glass then it must be one unit”  Even allowing for this clever strategy could never quite manage that elusive “14 units a week” safe drinking guideline.

One of my favourite slides at the workshop was the “alcohol calorie catastrophe”.  Apparently the body burns off alcohol before fat as it is poison.  Just one bottle of wine a day represents 6000 extra calories a week – and that’s without the well known hangover remedy of massive fry up breakfast.

On that positive note will close and sit back quietly to wait for supermodel figure to emerge.

To follow the blog - click here
To make a comment - click here
To register for a workshop - click here

13 thoughts on “London

  1. vickyunwin

    It was wonderful to see you Janet, looking glam and NOT AT ALL boring, despite the cocktails consumed while we downed the rose! We are all humbled and impressed and secretly jealous…

    1. janetgourand

      thanks for the encouragement Vicky – much needed xxxx

  2. Valerie

    I loved your blog. I look forward to hearing more. This is very inspiring. . So glad you are doing this 🙂

    1. janetgourand

      Thanks Valerie! Blogging helps me to stay strong so it’s lovely to know that people
      are enjoying it – off to London again tomorrow so there may be a London (2) post on the way!

  3. Sian Harris

    Hi Janet. I am day nine without alcohol and am thoroughly enjoying your Blog. I too am waiting for my supermodel body to emerge, nothing yet ! However, I am eating a bit more since giving up the booze so no surprises there. I decided to not drink for thirty days after last weekend which was alcohol fuelled. By Sunday night I was in tears, too many blackouts and too many hangovers for one person. I started to look for support groups and found Soberistas and your blog. I am tuning in every couple of days and look forward to your instalments. Hope you’re enjoying yourself in the UK ( the weather in London looks good )… It’s raining here in South Wales..Ho Hum.

    1. janetgourand

      Hi Sian
      Well done for getting to Day 9! – I really do think those first few days are the hardest – once you have managed a number of AF days you are less inclined to fall of wagon.
      Yes Soberistas is good so is – recommend their workshop – good luck and thanks for following my journey.. janet x

  4. Claire Tunnacliffe

    Hi Janet – Lovely to read some of your story and sharing your thoughts on the Workshop on the 4th. I was there myself, as part of Club Soda, and took a lot away from the day. I was wondering if you would be interested in me sharing this blog on our website, or if you wanted to write something specific about your impressions of the day for us? Do let me know, either way, bon courage with this new journey and wishing you all the best!

    1. janetgourand

      Hi Claire – yes do put my blog on ClubSoda website – and thanks again for the workshop! Am 51 days AF today so doing well! janet x

  5. lucy2610

    Yay Janet – nice blog and thank you for the name check! 🙂 Have linked your new blog to my blog post tomorrow – hope that’s okay? xx

    1. janetgourand

      Of course thats ok – cheers Lucy!

    2. janetgourand

      Hi Lucy
      Just wanted to let you know that on my return to South Africa next month I am going to try to build a community of people trying to quit or cut down – I think it will be a great way for me to stay sober and hopefully help some other people – you have inspired me – thanks once again!

      1. lucy2610

        Hi Janet
        Spreading the sober love to South Africa – that’s awesome! If you ever need me to come over and teach my How to Quit workshop then just let me know 😉

  6. janetgourand

    will do – and perhaps we can share ideas and experiences – can you give me your e-mail address please?

Comments are closed.