Tuesday, 26 July 2011

Watch it

Gina at the helm


Just got back from a weekend cruising the Trent Mersey Canal. George and I were treated to a weekend on a narrow boat by my parents and our Vic n Paddy (thanks again x). It was a really good weekend and I finally got to spill the beans about my yearsansbeer. The general reaction was surprise when I told them what I was planning, although everyone was pleased for me and very supportive. So now my family know about it I can start telling my mates and making sure that I sup enough this week to see me through till August '12. The weekend was a great start to my final week on the pop. Plenty of ale was enjoyed, along with some red, some lagers and even a few white wine spritzers. Drank Ruddles for the first time in a while, it's a bonny drink from a can is that.
 I'm drinking some red wine while I write this, I will miss it. I've not been drinking it as much over the last few months, I tend to buy it more in winter, I'm going to make sure that I get a few nice bottles this week.

Thursday, 21 July 2011

I'm in the clear! I don't have to have my back off! The swelling in my disc is the same as last time and not likely to cause any nerve damage. A sigh of relief. He gave me a prescription for some new nerve focused painkillers which the pharmacist has told me this second that they can't prescribe. Don't know why. I'm going to have to wait for another script. Still, at least I'm not going under the blade.


Well, I didn't end up being in the waiting room for long, probably 20 minutes or something like that before being called through to the next room. There I waited for only about 2 more minutes before being called through to see one of the orthopaedic docs. He was a nice chap, or at
Least I thought so until he pulled the old "finger trick". He was flanked by a couple of students on work experience, thankfully they didn't get involved in the magic show. I think they might have got a butchers at my balls before they left though, they looked pleased about something. Once I'd been examined I was wheeled down to the radiology department to have an emergency MRI as there was some concern that the bulge in the disc may have been compressing the nerves which supply my bladder and bowels. Apparently this is an emergency situation if found to be the case and often requires emergency surgery
(#news flash#, they just brought someone in handcuffs in! I can hear what's going on but in the interest of his dignity I shan't print it here!)
So after another short wait I had my scan and got wheeled back to the ward, which is where I am now. Chris tells me that the spinal consultant is in charge today so will be looking at my scan, I really hope that I don't need an operation, I want to go on't barge.


I'm in the A&E waiting room, hopefully not for too long. I've suffered with a bad back on and off for several years now. The last time I had an episode I was working as a landscape gardener, the constant bending and lifting took it's toll and I suffered a prolapsed disc ( L5 on S1
if that means anything to you. Although it probably doesn't, unless your Paddy or Chris but then you already know about it don't you! Thanks for answering my many questions). This put me out of action for months and if my memory serves me correctly the pain wasn't as bad then as it is now. I don't know what i've done to aggravate it this time but it hurts like a bastard so I've come here to see if there's anything that they can do.
I don't know if having a bad back will make the yearsansbeer easier or more difficult. I did sleep better last night after having a few but if the back puts me out of action again I'm not going to be able to afford to get pissed anyway!

Sent from my iPhone


Wednesday, 20 July 2011

Montana in Wales

I've finally worked out how to update the blog from my phone!
So here are a few choice shots of the stags on their respective "doo's". All from earlier in the year.

Firstly we have Jon Montana trying to get his head down at 9 o'clock.
"I'm just going to phone Joanna"

Spank in Amsterdam

Still pissed from a bottle of Newcy Brown he drank (half of) in 2004.

Toby in Ibiza

I love his pose on this one, he favours a back-to-front Al Jolson.

Sunday, 17 July 2011

My drinking instructor

My Papa and drinking mentor, sorry I won't be able to have few when your down in October but we'll make a date for August 2012!

Time is ticking

As the day approaches I am finding myself quite looking forward to starting my yearsansbeer. I'm still quite apprehensive about what its going to be like, not bringing a pint to my lips for a whole year, not discovering a new ale or sipping a glass of red whilst eating a cheese, but overall I am exited to start. It's still quite strange at the moment because, nobody knows about it. I decided not to tell anyone at first because I wanted to be completely sure that I was going to go through with it. I have this habit of getting really exited about something that I'm going to do, telling everyone about it and then giving up on the idea before I even start. So at this stage nobody knows, well I did mention it to a mate at work so I could get some advice, he was really into the straight edge music scene and he didn't drink for 7 years. He loves Henry Rollins, he has his face tattooed on his arse. This weekend I'm going to be cruising the Trent Mersey canal with George, my Mum and Dad and our Vic n Paddy So I'm going to spill the beans about it then. I think they'll be surprised and probably won't believe me so I've had some business cards made up with the blog address and charity page address to make it look more authentic!
 I like knowing that I'm going to be embarking on something which is quite a big deal to me and nobody else knowing about it, but I'm trying to squeeze "last drinks" in with everyone without them knowing and I really want to tell everyone! Once I've told everyone this weekend then I think I'm going to start telling my mates next week. Unfortunately I won't be going back up to Chorley before I start this so I'm not going to be able to have a few with the boys back up there, maybe I'll arrange some kind of web link up session.
over and out

An easy descision

Whilst trying to choose a name for this blog I discovered that I wasn't the only one who has had this idea. There are several other blokes who have done the same thing and produced quite interesting blogs of the back of it. One thing which I picked up on which wasn't an idea I had initially is that they all seemed to be doing it for charity. So I decided that if I'm going to be doing it anyway then of course I should try to raise some money for a good cause too.
 I found a website called mycharitypage which collects donations for a designated charity on your behalf. On the site there is a list of charities to choose from, or you can decide to nominate one of your own. Deciding to support Way Ahead was a very simple decision for me to make as a very close friend of mine sadly passed away in 2009 after a long battle with brain tumours. Matt was a great guy, he was funny, intelligent, friendly, generous, moody and very easy to wind up! and loved by many for all those reasons and lots lots more. I want to be able to do him justice so I won't write anymore about him now, I'll write a full post about him soon.

I hadn't actually heard of Way Ahead until I began looking through the list but when as I read a little about it I knew it was eactly the type of charity I was hoping to find. 
It's full title is Way Ahead Brain Tumour Research Campaign and here is a short statement about what they do from there website
Our vision
To raise public awareness of the need for brain tumour research and the lack of funding that currently exists by a series of fundraising events and applications for research grants among corporate and medical bodies or trusts.

This seems like such a good cause to me and any cause which is trying help scientists and Doctors to understand tumours and possibly even prevent others from going through what Matt and his family had to go through, then I'm behind it 100%. Again, I don't want to do an injustice to Way Ahead by writing a few ill thought-out lines so I'm going  to read up a little more and write a full post in the near future, but if you would like to read up yourself in the meantime then you can find out more information here

And finally, onto how I intend to raise money for this worthy cause. 
Well, I want you to buy me a pint please! I would love it if everyone if everyone who reads this blog gets there hand in there pocket and buys me a pint, or rather donates the price of a pint  (or a few if you fancy a session!) to Way Ahead through my charity page. To do that all you need to do is go to
and follow the instructions on how to donate. I would be so grateful to you all for helping me raise as much money as possible by spreading the word about this blog. Tell your colleagues, tell your friends, tell your family and get people reading it, get people visiting the charitypage and get people getting me pissed! on donations!  

Thanks! Speak soon

A difficult descision

Hello there! And welcome to my shiny new blog!
  Blogging isn't something I've really done before so please bear with me while I find my proverbial feet.
Well, Ive done it. I've made the decision, the decision has been made, I've definitely decided.
At the end of July I will be turning 30, on the 31st to be precise and as a special treat to my body I won't be drinking any alcohol for a whole year. At this stage I haven't yet decided whether to start (or stop?) on the 31st of July or on the 1st of August so I can enjoy my last pint for a year on my birthday? I think I'll probably do that, in fact, yes, that's what I'm going to do, another decision decided!
I suppose I'd better start by explaining what led me to make this decision.
I love drinking, I love going to pubs with mates and having a sesh, I love sitting at home with George and enjoying a nice bottle of red, I love heading down the beach with a load of cans, I love going back home, sitting around the table with my family and getting stuck in, I love the seemingly endless number of ales that are available out there. And here lies the problem, do love it too much? I do have a little trouble pacing myself sometimes. If there is something going on which involves drinking then usually end up getting pissed. Prime example; I was at the wedding of some good friends of mine in June, Spank and Jen. It was a great day with loads of my mates there, people who I see far less than I would like and perfect opportunity to catch up with everyone but I can't remember anything past about 6 o'clock.The next morning was the all too familiar tale of  waking up thinking, oh shit, did I do something that I'll regret last night? Am I in trubs? At this point I usually lie awake and wait for George to wake up so I can gauge from her face whether I should be worried about my conduct or I'm if worrying unnecessarily. Luckily for me I have a wonderful girlfriend who is used to this by now and is never to hard on me. I'm sure there are plenty of other guys out there who would be in the dog house.
It was actually the morning after this wedding that I started pondering over the possibility of  modifying my drinking in someway. I was/am so fed up of having these thoughts the morning after a big sesh I just felt that it was time to do something about it.  Don't get me wrong, I'm not trying to paint myself as a raving alco, I'm not talking about weekly or perhaps even monthly occurrences here. It's just when it does happen it's really started to get to me. I know that I'm not on my own here, nearly everyone I know drinks to some extent and lots of  you must feel like this occasionally, right? It cant just be me can it? Unless thae part of my brain which make me feel guilty for my drunken antics is abnormally large and none of you have any clue what I'm rambling on about.
So after asking myself some serious questions I decided that I am going to have a break for an entire year. Give myself a chance to see what social events are like when your not drinking. It's strange to think that most of my social life involves drinking. What if I can't function in normal society if  I'm drinking coke instead of landlord? What if nobody wants to hang out with me? What if I loose and stone and actually have some money left in my account at the end of the month? What if What if What if!!!
It is going to be an interesting experiment, I wonder if I'm going t to crave it? Am I still going to go to pubs with friends? I think, I hope that things won't change much at all. It would be quite surprising if  they did, then giving up drinking would definitely be the right thing to do. The though of ones character being defined by your drinking habits its quite sad and I'm sure that wont be the case.

I don't expect it all to be plane sailing though, after only a few days on the wagon George and I are off to Newbury for Toby and Debbie's wedding. Our third this year after Jon and Jo's and Spank and Jens, this one is going to be rather different. Weddings are always big piss ups and as Toby is someone who loves a drink as much as I do, we invariably end up getting pissed when we are together (and having a great time by the way), but this time will obviously be different, hopefully not in a negative way. At least I'm going to be able to remember everything the next day. And I won't have a hang over! That is a nice thought, wedding hang overs are the worst, in fact that's wrong. Stag doo hang overs are the worst, then wedding hang over's the hang over I had after Toby's stag doo in Ibiza was ridiculous, I think it lasted about 4 days. So I apologise to you in advance mate, I know it's bad timing.