Friday, August 29, 2008


Friday night.
Oh so bored.
Can' go on.
Need a break.

This is beginning to sound like that guy from Into The Wild. In a way this blog is a bit like that guy. He went to Alaska to be at one with nature. I'm staying in on a Friday night to be at one with the telly.

The whole of Dublin is at the Electric Picnic - a 3 day music festival. One of Europes coolest. It's all about peace, and love, music, laughter and drink. Those who are not at the Picnic just are not that cool, but probably still out and about. And drinking.

My ex flatmate has just told me she's heading out.

'Where are you going?' I ask.

'For drinks' she replies.

For drinks?! That expression sounds funny when you think about it. I'm going out 'for drinks'. I'm bored being in, so I'm going out 'for drinks.' I'm not going out to the cinema, not to the theatre, not to play some sport, I can't stay in and read a book.
No...instead, like the rest of the world, I'm going out 'for drinks'.

Back home in Hamburg, my girlfriend is also out 'for drinks'. She told me she is in 'party harty Marty' mode. So it will be a lot of 'for drinks.'

I'm cracking. Going crazy.

Crazy like a coconut.

Thursday, August 28, 2008


I've just been plane lazy about writing this blog since I got back to Dublin last week. So to punish myself, I'm just going to pretend its only Day 39.
The temptation to give up on my quest has been at an all time high since I've been back in the land of the gargle. Just an hour ago I was almost about to delete this blog and pretend it never happened.
I called my girlfriend and told her I was going to have a drink.
To my surprise she told me not to.
It's strange how she has changed her tone. At the beginning she wanted me to drink. Now, she thinks I'm best to stay off it.
I think she's worried that I'll be down on myself if I quit my mission now.
There's just too many social situations to get through at the moment in my life. Too many people to meet and be chatty with.
I've noticed about 4 new bars on Dame Street, since I've been gone a month to Hamburg. 4!!!
There is a new Korean restaurant opened up on the door step of my old Dublin apartment. The owner is struggling for business it seems. So when myself and a few friends went in, he just kept pouring them free wine, while trying to ply them with sushi.
4 new bars and a hoard of free drink. Welcome home.
Its Thursday night, and the town is positively buzzing with people in the bars.
I'm losing faith. Can I go on?

Friday, August 22, 2008


Last night, I was at a barbecue with a bunch of socialites here in Hamburg.
I met one female lawyer who told me she was over a year off the booze. She told me she had noticed she was drinking too much and so decided to stop.
It was nice to meet one other person who was doing the same thing I am. I think she's the first person I've met in 38 days who's also got a booze ban in place.
She told me the best part of it all is waking up the day after a night out and feeling great while everyone else is on the floor.
I had a phone call then from a friend back in Dublin. He told me he was coming to Hamburg today for a stag party - with 25 friends!
I did offer to bring them all on a bar crawl, but the whole day today I've been dreading it. I don't have the mental energy for the evening.
My girlfriend commented today, how lethargic I've been despite being off the booze. It's true. While I know I've got more energy, I still am not using it.
I have an early flight tomorrow back to Dublin.
Another chance for head readjustment.

Thursday, August 21, 2008


I saw Mamma Mia with my girlfriend yesterday. I felt I need a raucous cheer up after a day of gloom.
As I walked to the cinema I considered giving up my mission to go a year off the booze. Maybe alcohol is needed to get through lifes natural ups and downs. Maybe alcohol somehow smooths out the bumpy road of life.
Maybe thats why alcohol is on earth - it's a gift from the gods to help people get through life. But that would suggest that the gods have created an imperfect world. Worse still, they are trying to give us an imperfect cure.

Am I confusing you?

I thought better of it though. I refuse to believe you can't get through life without drinking. It must be possible. Surely?

Mamma Mia is good fun though. Don't take it too seriously and its grand.

When we got back last night, one of my flatmates got her university results. They were very good. That called for a round of shots for the apartment to celebrate. Some of my flatmates still don't know I'm off the booze.
When I said no, I got a now typical response -

'But your Irish!'

Last night I dreamt I just packed the towel in. I went into a bar, and ordered a large pint.

I called a friend from back in Dublin this morning. He told me he was in Co. Cork cycling. He told me he had a bad case of alcohol blues and needed to clear his head. I've got natural blues, and he's got alcohol blues.

I wish I could cycle better.

Thats right, I can't cycle.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008


I'm again back on the fast food fix. The delivery kind. My gym goage has stopped again.
The pizza delivery service here in Hamburg is particularly good and no where near as expensive as Dublin.
For instance, it cost me 10 Euros last night to get a pasta, a healthy dose of pizza bread and a doh nut. The quality is excellent.
In Dublin, the only option would really be Dominoes pizza. You'd have to fork out 15 - 20 Euros for a much sub standard product.
I was so full last night that I never got around to eating the doh nut.
I'm eating it now.
It's covered in chocolate.

Sunday, August 17, 2008


I've just found out a way to watch football (that's soccer) online for free. Its crazy. It means that I don't have to go to bars to watch football. No temptation to drink, or eat dodgy over priced food. It's a money saver. The site also allows you to watch movies for free! I feel quite slow catching onto these type of things.
Yesterday was Astra day in Hamburg. Astra is the local beer. There was a big festival on the harbor. I have never seen so many drunk people in my life. It was worse than St. Patricks Day in Dublin.
We got there quite late, when most of the festivities were over. The place was an absolute mess. It was the worst state I've seen Hamburg since I've been here. I was up to my knees in empty plastic beer cups. Of coarse I stupidly decided to wear sandals. I felt like Indiana Jones watching my every step.
We went to a bar called The Kogge and played table football which is very popular here.
I'm useless at it.
I had another crazy dream last night. I dreamed I was called into the office of the President of China. When I got in there I was quite nervous. He told me he wasn't happy with some of my blog entries.
I'm not happy with this one.

Friday, August 15, 2008


Well maybe just tears. It's strange how most of the must emotional, annoying and disturbing events of my life have usually been related to alcohol.
Maybe its not that strange.
A little strange.
I had the toxic combination of family, girlfriend and booze for the past couple of days, and needless to say, for the most silly, uncontrollable reasons, tears have been shed and emotions have run wild.
Tears and emotions that are quickly forgotten the day after of coarse.
But when your not drinking, its not so easy to forget these incidents. You live them out full on, while others can barely remember the next day.
Anyway, yesterday was a day of healing after the tired and emotionals of the night before.
Did I feel like a drink? Not in the slightest. The night priors events gave me further reason to not want to drink.
I'm reminded of the time I was most tempted to do Coke (the white brand) in my life. I was living in New York, and a couple of girls were pushing it on me. Finally I said, 'why not?'. 'You only live once. Give it a go'.
But before I did I had to go the bathroom.
When I came back out, the two girls faces were twitching and they looked like zombies.
With that I politely exited. I don't even think they noticed.
I have never been in the slightest bit tempted since.
Once again, its the negative sides affects that don't do it for me.
I'm rambling, I'm rambling now.
Thanks for the comments of late all. I feel honored:-)

Tuesday, August 12, 2008


I´m sitting in a internet cafe near where I live in Hamburg. I´m amazed to see I have some comments on my recent blog entry. I was sure no one was reading.
I got an email from a friend in Dublin. ´Are you still off the drink?´ she asked.
Yes I am! But I feel over it now. My cravings have stopped. It´s no big deal. I could take it or leave it.
I think.
Last night I walked in on a couple of flat mates (man and women) who were drinking a bottle of Greek Ouzo from little shot glasses.
The room was candlelit and it was a kind of a sexy scene. I wasn´t aware they were ´courting´.
It reminded me a bit of that scene in Raiders of the Lost Ark. Minus the menace.
In this case the booze was only going to lead to one scenario for the twosome.
They offered me some Ouzo in my orange juice but I said I was alright and left.
I wonder would such an atmosphere be possible without the booze.
Somehow I can´t imagine being in such a potent situation with shots of tomato juice.
I´m frowning.

Monday, August 11, 2008


I managed to get to the gym again today. That´s two days in a row. It´s amazing how good you can feel straight after excercise. My problem is getting to the gym in the first place.
I put off going today until very late. I had to will myself into going.
I´ve alway felt like a lazy lethargic type of person. Whenever I want to do something purposeful, I need to build up alot of will power in order to do it.
One of the reasons I quit the booze is because it makes me feel extra lazy the day after. And as my daily work is generally in creative fields (I like to think), you need alot of self motivation to work well. But if your always tired, its hard to get much done.
I think I´ve been much less lethargic in the past month. But I haven´t used my spare time well enough. Instead of going out and doing something with my new energy, I´ve just watched TV or ate. Unfortunatly both these activities make you feel lazy too.
And a lazy body, leads easily to a lazy mind, which is the greatest obstical to overcome and what I´ve battled most against.
Battling against a lazy mind requires alot of will power.
So I need to try get out more.
Thats what I´m saying.
I need to get out and run!

Sunday, August 10, 2008


I decided to stay in last night while my girlfriend went out on the town with her friends. I feel like I´ve been out alot since I´ve moved to Hamburg and my non alcohol charisma levels are depleted.
So with that I was asleep by about 2AM. I have just awoken now after an incredibly vivid dream.
In the dream, I was playing for Manchester United (I think), in the final of the Champions League, but come to think of it, it may have been the Olympics. I know that wouldn´t make sense but go with it.
We were losing 1-0 with five minutes to go. It was incredibly tense. But then we got a penalty to save the day.
I´m not sure if it was me or somebody else who took the penalty, but whoever it was blew it, as they blasted the ball over the bar.
With time running out, the next two minutes of the game were incredibly chaotic and I can´t remember much, but somehow the opposition goal keeper had the ball in his hands again. There was no one around all of a sudden except me and the other teams goal keeper. Instead of punting the ball up long he just chipped the ball up in the air. I couldn´t believe this golden opportunity. I concentrated the best I could, before volleying the ball in to the back of the net!!!!
But when I turned to celebrate the game was still chaotic with players disputing various decisions.
´Did anyone see that? I just scored!´
Just then the linesman put up his flag ruling out my goal.
´But it was perfectly fine.It was glorious.´ I protested.
I demanded a video replay to prove it was fine.
Now as you may or may not be aware, video replays are not used as way to make decisions in football, but in this situation, with so much at stake, I wasn´t taking no for an anwser. I wanted to see the video.
I had to go to the President of NBC himself to get him to show us the video. The President in this case was Alec Baldwin from 30 Rock.
It seems the TV station was only recording the game on old VHS tapes which lasted an hour. And they forgot to put in another tape after an hour, thus missing the last 30 minutes. So the wait really dragged on as they ran about more looking for other tapes.
Meanwhile I was discussing the situation with my team mates or members of the other team (I´m not sure), who were made up of sexy women. One was called Kelly and looked like a 1980s superstar. I was also chatting with Alec Baldwin about football viewing figures in the USA.
Finally after a long wait, they found some tapes. We had to go into a little room and fast forward through them. It took ages, and the controllers eventually fell asleep looking. As much as I tryed to keep them awake, I eventually woke up.
I have no idea what this all means, but the question is, what would I have rather done last night - gone out on a drinking binge, or taken part in a huge football final against a team of sexy women, scoring the crucial equaliser, that needed help by NBC President Alec Baldwin to be verified.
As some people in the USA may say...Go figure!
I hate when people say that.

Friday, August 8, 2008


Is it an omen that the day I celebrate one month off the booze is the day the Olympics begin? Perhaps its a sign for what can be achieved with a focused mind, hard work and dedication. Dodgy substances such as booze are banned of coarse. Unless, that is, you want to hide the fact that you've taken another dodgy substance, in which case drowning yourself with whiskey is a good idea.
I'm writing this as the President of the International Olympic Committee is making his speech at the opening ceremony of the Olympics.
Instead of watching the Olympics opening ceremony I've spent the last couple of hours watching the various news channels coverage of the hostilities between Russia and Georgia. The whole situation sounds very scary. I'm not sure if its really as bad as its made out to be or is it just the news channels trying to divert viewers away from Olympic ceremony.
It's hard to make sense of the world and existence on a day like today.
I'm getting a bit creepy now. So I'll stop.
But here's a question that I pondered last night when out with a few friends - if your not drinking, are you expected to buy a round of drinks?

Wednesday, August 6, 2008


I'm finding myself wanting to stay up later and later in the evening time to watch movies or mind numbing TV. It's no doubt because I'm still drinking a lot of sugary drinks.
My girlfriend spotted I had drank a full 1.5L bottle of Fanta this evening. I didn't even notice it myself. It's really bad I have to say, and something I'll have to get a grip on.
Unfortunately the good alternative - Bionade, replied to my email seeking sponsorship saying:

Unfortunately we have to inform you that BIONADE doesn't support any sponsoring activities that include giving money.
Therefore it's not possible to sponsor your blog. We hope for your understanding and wish you all the best in the meantime!

Shucks is all I can say.

The movie we watched this evening was Star Trek: The Undiscovered Country. It was interesting to see the scene where the Enterprise crew and the Klingon's share some Romulan Ale, which is like the Absinthe of the future.

Wikipedia: Romulan ale is a popular blue alcoholic beverage which was illegal because of a Federation trade embargo through the late 24th century. Despite this, it was often traded openly. During the alliance with the Federation because of the Dominion War, Romulan ale was legalized.

The recipe according to DrinkMixer.Com is:

375 ml Bacardi® 151 rum
375 ml Everclear® alcohol
375 ml Blue Curacao liqueur

Combine ingredients in a (just over) one-liter bottle. Chill in freezer for two hours. Serve in shot glasses.

Why I'm giving you tips on how to make illegal drinks of the future I have no idea. It does sound interesting though.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008


I just spent the last three hours at the Hamburger Dom, which is one of Europes biggest fairs. The Dom has rollercoasters, ghost trains, and a multitude of other spinny roundy things that make me sick to look at. It´s massive. The main rollercoaster has five huge loopdaloops making the Olympic logo which is very topical.
Added to all the attractions are hundreds of very appetising food stands. Not like back home in Dublin where all you get at such events are the standard burger and chips, the Doms food selection was like being in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.
With the alcohol on the back burner, my sweet tooth is working over time right now, so it was impossible for me to turn away from the sugary magic I was surrounded by. I felt like Homer Simpson in Chocolate Land!
There were also beer stands a plenty, but despite that the place was spik and span (clean), and there were no spanners (drunk people) wrecking the joint. I don´t think alcohol is served at Funderland (Irelands pale imitation to Hamburgs Dom).
On my way home I noticed an Absinthe bar! I never had Absinthe in my life. I was alwayscled to believe it was an illegal drink only served in far off locations around Ireland.
Obviously that was all hogwashvand infact Absinthe is served in nice little glasses in bars near where I live. Perfect. I know I won´t be sampling the mind altering delights any time soon.
Still, another day off the booze.

Monday, August 4, 2008


I was out again with Mr. Z from Ireland in a local bar. At one point he spilled his pint all over the table and on his jacket. It got me thinking how annoying the experience of spilling a drink is. I'd say its one of life's most frustrating simple accidents. It's right up there with spilling your dinner all over yourself.
It's hard to express in words what the actual feeling is when you spill a drink. Your stomach clenches up before quickly releasing giving you the desire to shout at the top of your lungs - F@*K!!!!!!
Whats even more annoying is when you are a bit tipsy, but trying hard not to appear tipsy and then a spillage occurs. You are instantly accused of being drunk.
"Are you drunk?"
If your trying to impress a women this is a painful situation to be in. You have to act fast and lie very cleverly.
When you look up 'drunk spilling beer' on YouTube, this video comes up at the top of the list...

Sunday, August 3, 2008

DAY 26 - MR. X AND MR. Z

Last night was tumultuous for all involved. Two Irish visitors to Hamburg who we shall call Mr.X and Mr. Z arrived in time for a birthday party that was scheduled. They are good bantered friendly chaps, but as they were on ´holiday´ they were required by Irish law to implement Overseas Operation Self Distruct(OOSD).

Before we went to the party I decided to take Mr. X and Mr. Z on a quick bar hop of Hamburg. I was knocking back Cokes, Fantas, and Bionades while X and Z were drinking double JD and Cokes. They onimously regaled me with stories of failed relationships.

When we got to the party at about 10.30 they were already in fine form.
The party was a fancy head dress. I made little effort, sticking on a pair of shades and imitating Bono. Peace and love or else!
I managed to get into the spirit of the occasion. Devoid of the gargle I had no option but to partake in healthy conversations with all the others, listening attentively to their responses, while secretly recounting my German vocabulary through self dialogue.

Come 3am I noticed Mr. X was upset with the world around him. He wanted a women, and a women was not forthcoming. To keep his mood up he continued to sail the high seas of liqueur.
The atmosphere had taken a dip for the first time in the evening and I knew that it was probably a wise time to hit the sack.
As for Mr. X and Mr. Z, I suggested they call it a night also, but that wasn´t a option for them. Operation Overseas Self Distruct was still on going.

I was awoken at 8AM this morning by the door bell.
Answering the door I found Mr. Z. He was looking in very bad shape and smelling fiercely.
´Where´s Mr. X?´ I said.
´Dunno man. I lost him. He´s in a bad way. I´ve wandered for the last two hours trying to find him. I don´t think we´ll see him again´, he replied worryingly.
´OK then.´ I said with a gulp.

Luckily Mr. X turned up a few hours ago very tired and emotional. Apparently after losing Mr. Z, he was kiddnapped by two Hamburg drug lords. With no hope and very drunk he was saved by a rambling Iranian beauty. He strolled the streets with this stunner and even shared a romantic Burger King breakfast with her. Alas when it came to saving her number in his phone, he pressed delete instead. This is all true.

Tears are being shed now.

There is no moral to this story.

Saturday, August 2, 2008


My god I was miserable yesterday. After a day of sitting in front of a computer the endless mind numbing string of emails had taken their tole. There has to be more to life?

I'll need to find new past times quickly, but again I found myself at the end of the day in a bar.

I had a Bionade, which I was reliably told is the hip cool drink of the moment.

Here's the low down. Bionade has a similar malty, tangy taste of beer but it is a health drink. Bionade is very low in sugar, but because gluconic acid shares a similar molecular structure to glucose, drinkers are fooled into tasting sweetness. And while soft drinks are often loaded with cheap, aggressive acids, Bionades is a product of natural micro-organisms at work. Bionade does have plenty of good stuff in it: calcium and magnesium, for instance. A litre of Bionade will supply half the daily requirements of these minerals. And so on and so forth...

It wasn't bad at all. Fruity with a bit of a kick. A nice alternative to my current threesome of Coke, Fanta and sparkling water.

So had an idea, why not get Bionade to sponsor this blog? Worth a shot. Here goes another email...

' Dear Mr. Bionade,

To introduce myself, I am a 25 year old award winning film maker, website creator and blogger from Ireland currently living in Germany.

I am very impressed with your product. I enjoyed my first bottle in a beach bar last night in Hamburg.

I've recently started a blog called A Year Off The Booze, where I tell the story of one non alcoholics quest to go a year without alcohol. This is easier said than done as you can imagine.

I'm at day 25, and up until now I've drank quite a lot of Coke, Fanta and other bad fizzy drinks.

I think Bionade would make a great replacement drink for those.

I wonder would Bionade consider sponsoring my blog? A Year Off The Booze in association with Bionade? Sounds good don't you think?

I hope to hear from you.

Yours sincerely,

The Boozeness'

Sent. It will never work.

Friday, August 1, 2008


I was sitting with my girlfriend outside on the beautiful Alster river yesterday. We were going to have a nice meal in the scorching heat.
My girlfriend was having a nice chilled beer, and I was having a Fanta orange.
Suddenly we were attacked by an evil looking bee. The bee had no fear as we tried to swipe it away. The more we swiped, the more it attacked us. My girlfriend told me that bees react to aggression so best not annoy it too much.
With that we decided to just let it be (no pun intended).
Out of the corner of my eye, I noticed the bee was making a slow assent on the outside of my Fanta bottle.
'He's not actually going to go inside it is he?' I said.
'Why would he do that, he would die a certain death.'
Just as the bee was about to dive in to the sweet sugary Fanta, he flew away and landed on the rim of my girlfriends beer glass.
Curious I thought.
The bee began to climb down the inner side of the glass on a mission for alcohol. My girlfriend swiped the bee away again and when the bee finally came to land on the table, she killed it stone dead with her bottle. Splat!
It was the single most evil thing I've seen my girlfriend do. Killed in the name of beer.
But that aside, I was curious, why did the bee prefer the beer to the sweet sugary Fanta? I'd imagine Fanta would assist better in the creation of honey?
Doing a quick Google search, I have learned that bees are in fact very similar to humans. Apparently alcohol affects bees and humans in similar ways - it impairs motor functioning along with learning and memory processing.
So basically the bee that my girlfriend callously murdered had just had a hard day in the hive and wanted to escape the pressures with a quick scoop. Fanta obviously wasn't the order of the day.
If for any reason you want to learn more about bees and alcohol, you can go here, here and here.
Also you would be surprised how many YouTube videos there are of drunk bees. Heres just one:

Thursday, July 31, 2008


Last night I was at a birthday party here in Hamburg.

When you are at a party in a country where everybody speaks a different language and your not drinking it can make you feel even more awkward than usual as you stand with nothing to say. But what I realized yesterday is that what better opportunity to have an internal self dialogue on the words you have learned for the day. This is a good way to learn a new language.

So I stood amongst a group yesterday who were all yabbering on in German. I had no clue what was being spoken, but with that my eyes roamed the room and out the window, and like the kinder garden game of eye spy I said to myself...

Room - das zimmer
Glass - das glass
Building - das gebaude
Brush - der besen
Chocolate - die schokalade
Air - die luft
Sky - der himmel
Sun - die sonne
Tree - der baum
Easy - Einfach
Funny - Lustig

Impressive I'm sure you'll agree. Quit alcohol, and learn a new language out of utter boredom!

Wednesday, July 30, 2008


Yesterday was a long miserable day infront of the computer in the sweltering German heat. Come 7 o'clock I was thoroughly despressed. I felt lethargic and lazy. My body felt lifeless. What would I do with my evening that didn't involve sitting infront of the TV or having a drink.?
Myself and my girlfriend had planned to go to the gym earlier in the day, but I wasn't feeling motivated now. 'We'll go tomorrow' I said, as my mood plummeted further.
But as the options ran out, and I really couldn't face watching anymore of my girlfriends favourite Scrubs, I plucked my energy up, and the gym it was.
The gym - which is known as a 'Fitness Studio' in German - was very impressive. Bright and colourful. Squash courts. Big shiny pasma screens. A open space bar and restaurant with outdoor sitting area. Oh, and so many good looking people. Beach blonde stunners for the men, and beefy studs for the women. Not that is was a take your pick, but these people really were the perfect examples of the human form.
It was 8.30PM, but the gym was packed. Not like my former gym on Dublins Clarendon Street where you'd only find a mild scattering of people that late in the day while the staff would constantly air nagging notices that the place was closing in 30 minutes, 15 minutes, 10 minutes etc.
My girlfriend convinced me to do an aerobic boxing class which she usually does. No problem I thought.
There was about 40 of us in the large room. About 37 women and 3 men, including the instuctor who was a 6'3 German Mr Motivator. Thats the best way I can describe him.
Instantly he had the whole group dancing and boxing air at his request. All in German ofcoarse. I had no idea what was going on. Whats more, it was a farcical scene. I thought it was hillarious. A YouTube video classic I thought. They can't be serious can they?
But they were serious. Very serious. And I could't be seen to let down the Irish nation with my uncoordinated steps. I had to get with the programe.
Within moments I too was shouting 'EINS, ZWEI, EINS ZWEI, DREI'.
A hour later I have never been as swetty in my life. It was exactly what I needed.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008


I wonder does a booze free life give you crazier dreams than normal. I 'm usually quite prone to the odd nutty dream, but last nights dream took the biscuit. Its just coming back to me now.

If I can recall...

My good friend Grazer had convinced Ronny Wood (or perhaps it was Keith Wood) to come and speak at some conference he was holding. I have no idea what the conference was about. I think I was helping in the organising in some way.

Grazer even managed to get Ronny (or Keith) to perform. It was an amazingly well organised event, and one to be proud of for Grazer.

After the event Grazer and I decided to go for a spin in a Jaguar car. I'm not sure who owned the Jaguar, but in the dream it was definitly my responsibility.

So as we were speeding down Baggot Street in Dublin, Grazer suddenly decided to put the car into a manical sideways slide, up on the curb, knocking over post boxes etc and generally wrecking the 100k plus car. I couldn't understand why he was doing it. I was begging him to stop, but he was driven (no pun intented) by the dark side.

When finally the car came to a screeching halt, I jumped out and ran to the nearest Burger King to take cover. I had to call the Police on my good friend Grazer. He had gone awol.

When the Police came, Grazer explained that when he was younger his parents cars were stolen for joy rides all the time. Lame excuse Grazer. And with that he was taken away.

In truth it was a bloodly stressful and emotional dream.

I can neither confirm nor deny if Grazer was on the bottle when behind the wheel. Im sure the toxicolligy tests will prove it.


A quick Google check on the meaning of my dream tells me:

A car crash dream usually means that you feel like your life is a wreck.

Well that's just great!

Monday, July 28, 2008


I may be a bit optimistic with this one, but here goes.

For the past few years I have been losing my hair. Nothing too major, but I have noticed it has been slowly creeping backwards. It´s been a pain in the neck.
I´ve examined the possibility of cures to help my anxiety, but it seems to me that nothing works.

That was until the past week, when I suddenly started feeling the opposite. My hair can´t be growing back, can it? Is it fuller? I don´t know whats going on.

Doing a quick check on Google, I find the following...

After heavy drinking, there are stress reactions that can precipitate hair loss. The more of these bouts of drinking, the greater the stress on your body. Drinking does impact the liver and the liver is a critical organ in managing hormones in your body’s metabolism.

And this...

Alcohol is a diuretic, so it causes accelerated dehydration. A lack of body fluid causes dry and brittle hair. Excessive alcohol consumption can deplete levels of iron in the body, leading to hair loss.

Could it be true? One can dream.

Sunday, July 27, 2008


I am sorry for my very short blog entries of late. Life has been quite strained and stressful and my inspiration to write has been minimal. But hopefully things have calmed down now a tiny bit and I can now concentrate on this blog a bit more.
Yesterday morning I departed for Germany, to begin a new phase of my life. I was to get a 6.40am flight so I was up much of the night prior packing my bags.
Dublin Airport at 5.40am was complete chaos. The place was packed. The ques were huge. I do hate Dublin Airport. The place is disorganised, badly layed out,scruffy and dirty. It´s a place where you can gaurentee no matter what time, to find people drinking as the bars are open 24/7.
I saw two couples going on holidays, and the two men where guzzling back beer like there was no tomorrow. At 5.40am! Is that really nessessary? I´ve always hated that type of carry on.
I should say at this point that I´m a bloody awful flyer. It´s really developed in the past couple of years. Pure fear that something is going to go wrong up there, and when it does its going to be...ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!
I spend most of the flight sitting by the window looking out, willing the plane to stay level. Its all irrational I know, but again in recent flights I´d usually try quench the fear with a few glasses of white wine, or if really bad, a couple of stiff whiskeys. This time, I managed not to go for that option, but nevertheless I was paralysed with fear.
Thankfully I survived, and arrived in Hamburg in one piece. The weather in Germany is scorching. Hotter than hell is how I´d describe it.
My girlfriend likes the sun, and she likes to lap it up. I on the other hand can stand it for about 10 minutes before I begin to wither and die. She brought me to a very cool beach bar where people were drinking sexy mojitos and chilled icey beer.
Yes, yes, this would always be the true test of my ability to spend a year off the booze. How am I going to get by, living in another country, the home of beer, with mostly strangers and a party loving girlfriend?
This is where the story will really begin.

Saturday, July 26, 2008


Yesterday was a day of packing and getting organised for my big move to Germany.
I met my uncle for lunch. My uncle who has battled pretty hard with the booze himself over the years told me he was also off the sauce, and was to date 31 days off the booze. That is an achievement for him, and I respect him for it. I must say he seemed alot sharper for it.
He identified with me that he´s lost much motivation to go to pubs and clubs. He´d rather go home and watch natural history documentaries.
I hope he manages to stay off it.

Thursday, July 24, 2008


Not much to report on, except of coarse for the fact that I am moving to Germany - arguably the home of beer - on Saturday. I'm just trying to get everything in order for the move. It should be interesting to see how it all works out.

Last night I went over to a friends, who has asked to be called The Juiceman. The Juiceman offered me a classic classic brand of whiskey to drink. I think it was Johnny Walker. The Juiceman decided to read the back label to further tempt me...

'Johnnie Walker Black Label has an enigmatic character. The first sip leaves you with an overwhelming curiosity to discover more. As Black Label's deep taste unfolds a myriad of flavours are revealed in several waves: first, there is an impression of silky richness; then deep and fruity foreground flavours give way to drier peaty nuances, followed by the complementary flavour tones of sweet vanilla and raisins'...yadda yadda ya. You get the idea.

It was tempting. But resist I must, and resist I did.

Instead I drank copious amounts of Coca Cola, and played a blinding set of races on Mario Kart. Which is interesting, because when I was last in The Juicemans place I was inept at the classic game. Not so now.

I'll have to put it down to the lack of alcohol in the system. Alcohol impairs driving after all:-) I showed The Juiceman.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008


I hope you like my new blog design. Thanks to Sue and for that.

Yesterday was a day that began with terminal depression which was down to our stalled business investment and proceeded to meander all day long between utter negativity and hopeful optimism.

Basically a solution is needed to our crisis asap or the whole deal could collapse. It's not the best situation in the world. It has added untold pressure to my life right now, including to my relationship with my girlfriend. Lest not forget I am supposed to be moving to Germany on Saturday.

Despite all, in an effort to get my head into a new space, I got all arts and craftsy last night. I went to the Check Inn with Timothy and conducted the first video interview for A Year Off The Booze. I hope to do more of these over time, where I'll basically interview random people in my life and ask them about their life on the booze. So without further ado...

Tuesday, July 22, 2008


Yesterday was a bad day. What was supposed to be a day of celebration with the conclusion of our deal for our business, instead stalled again with a last minute problem.
Nevertheless we all went for our planned celebratory meal and drink afterwards. I just wanted to get out of there and go home. The temptation to have a drink was at an all time high.
I said 'fuck it' as I sat at the table. My disappointment was huge and I needed a drink to quench the anxiety. Life was bad in my head and I wanted a big dirty pint.
I told the others at the table who knew about the blog that I was going to have a drink. Pauly had been teasing me all day. She kept telling me how she was going to enjoy her drink when the deal was done.
Timothy was more supportive. He urged me not to have a drink as the waiter poured a bottle of his preferred white wine. The glass in front of me was filled.
I can't explain it, but I didn't touch it. I don't have any clue how I managed to resist. I think I had a sense with my head so messed up that alcohol would be the worst solution under the circumstances. I needed to keep my head leval, take stock and just deal with the problems at hand.
And thats what I hope to do today.

Monday, July 21, 2008


Two weeks off the booze. Again another pretty unhealthy weekend. I had McDonalds two days in a row. Two McChicken Sandwich meals. I never have McDonalds.
Along with that I'm still guzzling down Coke and sugary tea and coffee. And the result is that this morning I woke up with a horrible gritty feeling on my teeth and tongue, similar in a way to the feeling your mouth has when you wake up after a night of cigarettes and alcohol.
I can feel my teeth dissolving, and I'm getting a tooth ache, so this week I'm going to have to cut my new found sugar addiction.
Last night my business partner Pauly made a bet that I'd never get through this. She thinks I'll have caved by a couple of months. She put 20 quid on the table as a bet proving her confidence.
Thanks for the support Pauly!
Last night it was a friends birthday party but I didn't go. My energy was too low for it. Instead I stayed in and listened to a radio interview with famed Irish journalist Eamonn McCann. It was interesting to hear his upset at how much he has drank in his life. He seemed to think it was a waste of time.
Today myself and my business partners finally sign a deal for our business which is going to make us rich beyond our wildest dreams. After we sign we should be going for a very nice dinner together. That will be testing. It would be a deserved drink after two years of hard work. It would be a celebratory drink and reward for months of toil. And what's more it would be drink for comrades who stuck together during hard times, through thick and thin. Yadda yadda ya.
I must be strong! Be strong!

Saturday, July 19, 2008


Since kicking the booze I have had good reason to go back to one of my main passions in life - watching movies!
Admittedly the movies I have watched have been very mainstream, but nevertheless my movie watching ratio has shot up.
In the last 2 weeks I have watched Back to the Future I, II and III, Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, The Mist, and tonight I watched Wall.E.
This is a very good for me being a budding film director.
Its often too tempting to go for a pint instead of watching a good movie. Now I have no excuses.

Friday, July 18, 2008


I've just had a sickening night of chocolate, Coca Cola and Mario Kart. I feel gross.
Today, I had a lunch meeting with a business associate. Walking towards it, I was quite tempted to make it a liquid lunch. For the first time I had the true sense just to pack this blog in. I felt the pressure to have a drink from my associate would have been too strong.
I got there early so I was sitting alone looking at the menu. Wine would have been the order of the day when the waiter came to take my order. A nice chilled glass of white. Very nice.
Instead I remained strong and had a sparkling water. When my associate came he also had a sparking water.
I'm going to stop calling him my associate now.
In other news, Patrick who is spamming my comment space to death is a nut case!
And I'm moving to Germany next Saturday! Just one week left.

Thursday, July 17, 2008


Right now I'm typing this entry from my lap top in the comfort of my bed. I live five floors above a pub/club. The music reverberating up is thumping. I can hear lots of the conversations of the people outside smoking on the street.
The music now sounds like a Shirly Bassey version of Light My Fire by The Doors. I'll never sleep.
Thanks to the those who have posted positive comments. Its great to get any type of feedback.
Shann in the States posted a comment claiming non alcoholic beer still has alcohol in it?! No way!
I'm Googling that as we speak.
(5 Mins Later)
Hmmmmm. I suddenly feel cheated.
There is infact alcohol content in non alcoholic beer. That's bizarre. I had just assumed there was none.
So lets see. Since I have been off the booze I have drank one bottle of Becks NA and one bottle or Erdinger NA. Becks NA contains 0.3% alcohol and Erdinger contains 0.5% alcohol. So addmittedly its only a smidgen. But what the fuck! Becks and Erdinger have just slyly fucked up my whole year! Excuse my language.
Can I sue somebody?
I'll just have to pretend it never happened. But why would they call is alcohol free, when its not alcohol free? Doesn't that breach some kind of trade rule? False advertising? Yadda yadda ya.

Moving on. I need to reiterate I'm not an alcoholic. And I'm not a recovering alcoholic. I'm just a regular shmo who is perversly deciding to try quit the booze for the year. Call it a lark if you will.

Despite that, I have had quite a few comments of late on the subject of the Alcoholics Anonymous organisation. Now I don't know anything about them as such, but Patrick has decided to let me know the truth through reems of comments. Apparently they are a creepy cult like movement!

Its all too much for me now. Evil lying beer corporations. Evil lying help organisations. Where is the hope for humanity. God dammit!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008


For the past 10 days my life has been very pressurized and stressful. I am trying to conclude a business deal which has dragged on for a couple of months. Added to which I am due to leave the country in a few days to be closer to my girlfriend. And if that wasn't enough there has been some family illness in recent days to heighten anxieties.
Today all the issues came together and I was really feeling the strain. I was tempted to go awol. I was tempted to jump on a plane and go on a massive bender on somewhere very remote island.
While working in the bar last night, I spoke with a couple of customers about The Rolling Stones legend Ronnie Wood. For those of you who are not aware, Ronnie (61) who has always struggled with the booze, has gone awol in Ireland in recent days with a 19 year old Russian. 
That seems like quite a good idea to me right now.
Instead of taking those drastic measures, I went to the gym again - 4 days in a row now - and afterwards popped into a bar where my friend was playing jazz. I had a Lucozade. I got speaking to someone who is actually about to launch a charitable addiction help website. 
There were lots of other people around. But I felt boring, very boring. My craving to be in such an environment has faded, and instead I went home and watched Back To The Future III.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008


About 5 years ago I used to work in a very cool and very small bar in Dublin city centre. 
Today I got a call from the manager asking me would I do a few hours as they were stuck for staff.
So I've just got in after the 7 till finish shift.
It's a great bar. As its so tiny, you get to meet and talk to interesting people all the time.
I met two ex police from the UK who now work in insurance. I met a man who works for big tobacco. He does exactly the same job as that guy in Thank You For Smoking. Evil stuff.
For the last hour I was unable to avoid watching a couple at the bar get very physical with each other. They needed a room badly. I had no where to look. She was very very drunk. She was drinking her pint of beer with a straw!
Apart from all, I was offered a drink twice! I managed to say no both times. I think I deserve a back slap for that.
I remember my time working in bars full time. Those after work drinks with the rest of the staff were so rewarding.
Tonight a friend I haven't seen in a while dropped in as I closed up. He's never been the type that has needed to drink; he can just as easy go without it that go with it.
So instead we had a couple of cups of tea and some chocolate biscuits. What a lock in!!!

Monday, July 14, 2008


This morning marks my first week off the booze. If you were in the room you might hear an audible exhale similar to what you may hear when a teacher calls times up on a test.
Last night I would have murdered a beer. The craving was stronger than ever. After a long day it would have been just the right tonic. What type of task have I set myself I thought? Can I go back on it now? Can I just delete the blog, pretend it never existed?
I went to the local bar Thomas Reads where I met a crazy Canadian singer song writer with a big love for Bono and 'the band'. 
For the first time I had a non alcoholic beer. In this case it was a Becks. Its alright, tastes quite similar. But as you know the truth when your drinking it - i.e. there's no alcohol in it - you feel quite the fool. It's pointless. Why not at least drink something that tastes good? Water perhaps?
We stayed around for a bit before heading over to the Globe on Georges Street. A cool bar for cool people.
Amongst others, my friend Timothy was there with his new lady friend. The large group were sat around a huge table. There was no seating space for us. So instead myself, Canadian guy, and my flatmate Falicitas stood a bit outside the arena of chat. We were spare tires. To help kill the awkward airspace between the three of us I decided another drink was needed. Non alcoholic Erdinger this time. 
When you are outside the conversational loop its always awkward. But when your drinking at least you have some where to hide. When your not drinking however, there is no where to hide. You just stand and realise, your on your own. For risk of banging my head against the wall, it was time to get chatty. And in my unfortunate case, that meant naturally chatty. 
It was time to bust out the Bono stories. Always a reliable starting from zero conversational point. You see in Dublin, its claimed everybody has a Bono story. I told Canadian guy how I once met Bono having a pint in his local while watching a Rugby match one. He was very impressed. He told me how he had went to U2s studio in Dublin just the day prior and knocked on the door hoping they would answer. People are mad! But some are lucky!
30 minutes later, it was time for me to go home. I could have stayed out for a further jaunt up Georges Street, but I had had enough. 
I left everyone and walked home. I called my girlfriend and told her I was drunk on 2 non-alcoholic beers. She told me she hopes I quit my crusade next week. She is terrified about me being judgmental on her going forward. I again attempted to put her mind at ease on that matter.
One thing I realised last night was how this really is a big deal for people. You tell someone you've quit drinking, and they are stunned. Especially if you are a non alcoholic. 
My question is, is alcohol really an essential part of life? I know humans have been drinking for hundreds of years. I know we use it to celebrate all the key events in our lives. Does that mean alcohol is an essential? Is it a given? Did God put alcohol on earth with the same intention he put water, earth, fire etc. Am I completely nuts? Is what I am trying to do, akin to somebody giving up food for instance?
I'm not sure I'll ever learn the answers to those questions, but for now one thing I can say is that I feel infinitely better than I did this time last week. Hangover free. And what's more, I'm writing unnaturally long blog entries.

Sunday, July 13, 2008


Last night I did get out of the apartment and went to the Farm  organic restaurant on Dublins Dawson Street. I met with about 6 others. My friend Timothy (these aren't real names by the way), was drinking a non alcoholic Erdinger because he was driving to a gig afterwards. I nearly went for the same option, but instead plunged for the apple juice.
The rest of the table indulged in a couple of bottles of white wine, and a few Kir Royals which did look pretty sweet. I got on fine though. No bother. It was officially my first weekend night off the booze. 
We met at 6 for dinner and come 9 I didn't have much motivation to stay out. I'm positive if I had been drinking I would have stayed out long afterwards. 
I did notice for the first time how conversation became more loud and scattered as the time ticked by. I remember at one point our conversation verging rapidly from Steve Coogan, to fruit, to farting.
Apparently fruit makes you fart?! One at the table went into great detail about his fruity farts. I argued the truth of the statement, but a quick google on the subject does infact confirm that apples and fruit juices in particular do cause flatulence because of the fructose they contain. So I'm doomed. I've drank a lot of apple juice recently.
I was relieved that the bill arrived not long after!

Saturday, July 12, 2008


Over yet another kebab last night, I found myself watching Californication on the box, which after initial reservations is actually quite good.
The show follows Hank Moody, a down on his luck writer who lives in LA. Despite the fact that he gets to sleep with an endless line of hot women, at the end of the day he just can't find inner happiness. Life is tough. 
The following scene I think is brilliant. Sums up my exact mood as I write this. I am very glad somebody decided to YouTube it. Well done ludef
In the scene Hank gives his opinions on blogging while knocking back a tiny bottle of something sweet.
The question I have is, is it really possible to be so darn cool while having a drinking problem?If so, I may just go back and start drinking very heavily.

Friday, July 11, 2008


My flatmate is telling me that it is actually quite boring to be the perfect human being, after I had jokingly told her that tomorrow is the day I become just that.
The reason tomorrow I become the perfect human being, is because up until today and including today I have been pretty unhealthy with my diet. 
Dousing myself with Coca Cola is clearly not going to get me through the year. I feel quite miserable today for it.

I had my first comment yesterday! Hurrah I say. It went like this:

"If you are not an alcoholic, why are you quitting drinking? I think I would rather enjoy drinking if I could drink in moderation and therefore wasn't an alcoholic..."

I should probably answer this question in a bit more detail than I've previously explained.
I have wanted to try quit drinking for a long time now as I have come to notice the negative effects alcohol has on me. They are not over bearing affects, but for instance, the day after I drink I would say my productivity would drop perhaps 40%. 
I also feel generally miserable the day after I drink. I feel groggy, and lazy, and those two factors in themselves get me down.
I have noticed the negative affects alcohol has on a lot of people in my life including friends and family members. This has contributed to bring me to this point.
I would obviously be concerned about health effects brought about through associated smoking and junk food binges. And with heart disease in my family I do have to be a bit more aware than most.
I have always admired comedians and athletes who claim not to drink, but appear to get by with the same, if not more gusto for life than drinkers. How do they do that?
And finally, I remember a time in my life when I was pre 16 when drink wasn't a required tool to socialize. We all got on fine back then, but now there is a certain reliance on alcohol to get through the most menial of events.
And finally, I see my year as a challenge. A big bloody challenge. That in itself is exciting.

I have no doubt that some psycho analyst could reduce me based on this to some sort of tortured individual and they could be right! My little brother read the blog yesterday and told me I sounded nuts. But-what-cha-gonna-do?

Today is Friday. Sound the alert!

Thursday, July 10, 2008


I called my girlfriend yesterday, who lives in Germany at about 5.30PM. She was having a drink with a few friends at the launch of something cool.
I had planned to go to the gym after the phone call, but instead my mood sank just enough that I lost all motivation. If she's out having a drink, then I want to be out having a drink too! That was my dense attitude. If she's out being socialable and fun, then I want to be out being socialable and fun. It's a stupid response I know, but I'm pretty sure that has been a prevailing attitude that has led me to drink on most occasions since I started.
It doesn't just have to be my girlfriend out to make you feel left out. Simply put its tough to stay in when others are out. It's very tough. And there may good reason why you want to stay in. Maybe you need to do some work. Or maybe your too hungover from the night before. Maybe you just need the rest after a weeks work. 
But if your 25 in Dublin, people are out all the time, so the temptation is always there. You also never know what your going to miss. You usually miss nothing; but you still dare not risk it.
Anyway, I decided instead of going to the gym to do the exact opposite. So I went to the local fast food joint and got a quarter pounder, chips and a can of Coke. At 5.30PM! Thats the behavior of somebody straggling home at 5.30 in the morning, not 5.30 in the day time.
The quarter pounder was doused in garlic sauce. The chips were fried to a biscuit. And the Coke was so so good. It added to the can I already had in the fridge waiting for later.
If its not one addiction its another. There's no hope for humanity. We're all fucked.
I'm so over Mondays hangover at this stage. I can can definitly feel tough days ahead. I have been invited to a beach party tonight. Yes ladies and gentlemen, they have beach parties in Dublin apparently. Club Tropicana drinks are free and all that jazz.
I've got to get my head around this whole gig. 

Wednesday, July 9, 2008


Yesterday at about 4 o' clock my first cravings for an after work beer hit in. It started deep down in my belly. A craving for that kick; that unknown quality that you can't get from a regular fizzy drink. The alcohol kick. I craved the alcohol kick.
I think it was also down to the fact that yesterday was very sunny. And in Ireland that is another good excuse to drink. There are plenty of nice bars in the city centre that have out door seating areas. My favorite being something like the Bailey. You can have a nice slow pint while watching the punters go by.
In the end, I went to a restaurant off Baggot Street with my friend Timothy. It was a bit pricey for the quality of the food. When I considered what to order for a drink I was genuinely considering asking for the non alcoholic beer. But I figured that would be a cop out.
My friend Mattaus has been off the drink for a short while - I don't expect it to be long term - and drinking non alcoholic beer. It just doesn't seem right.
So instead I order a 3.95 apple juice. Where are the apples coming from? Bloody hell. 3.95!
Nevermind, as they had no apple juice left. So instead I went for the easy option of Coca Cola. You can't beat the feeling. Very soon I'll need to start a blog called A Year Off The Coke. 
The Coke was served in the plastic bottle, with a warm glass. Lovely.
The table opposite us had a family of about 6 all sitting around. I watched as the waitress served up a nice chilled bottle of white wine. I watched as she poured slowly into each glass. It was like a surreal scene from a movie. People were laughing heartedly in slow motion. I was like one of those characters in Requiem for a Dream. I could even hear that music in my head.
They all lifted there glasses and clinked. 
Yes I wanted a beer. 
But I survived.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008


I broke the news to a couple of friends and my girlfriend about my new blogging antics yesterday. Yesterday being my first day without a drink under my new regime. 
My girlfriend lives in Germany where they love the beer. She had a degree of suspicion in her voice after I broke it to her. She worries I will become annoyingly preachy about the whole thing. I know she wouldn't stand for that. Few can stand my preachiness as is, so I'll have to be careful.
I am to move to Germany in a couple of weeks to be closer to her. With that in mind my girlfriend thinks this is probably not the best time to attempt such an audacious attempt. If anything its good reason to drink more.
Yesterday went by fine though. With the hangover I had, I had little desire to drink anyway. I was working late, and it was muted by my friend Timothy that we go for a couple of scoops. Instead we went to the movies. I haven't been in a while. We went to see The Mist which was brilliant. With that, I replaced my alcohol craving with an overdose of sugar provided by the good people at Coca Cola.
We both discussed how Coke is the best hangover cure. Have you ever noticed that? When you wake up with a dry mouth, and a dodgy stomach feeling, one gulp of Coke is like heaven. Well, maybe not heaven. But certainly very satisfying.
Maybe I should get Coke to sponsor this blog?

Monday, July 7, 2008


I've had this idea for a long time now. It's a simple one. I'm going to attempt to go a whole year without touching the booze! And what's better, I'm going to blog it!
Yes ladies and gentlemen, this mornings hangover was the last straw. 6 pints of beer and 2 glasses of whiskey last night has left me feeling very much the worse for wear. 
I just don't enjoy hangovers at all. The ill feeling and alcohol blues they bring far out weighs the entertaining waffle that was spoken into the early hours.
At this point I must clarify, that I'm not an alcoholic. Far from it. In the past week I've been out a couple of times. But as is the Irish way, one or two drinks is never enough. I might be considered the classic binge drinker like so many others.
To give a brief background on who I am, while trying to maintain an element of mystery, I am - The Boozness. In real life I'm a 25 year old from Dublin. I run a successful website. I have a girlfriend who lives in another country. And apart from that I like to watch Jeremy Kyle in the morning. And that's as interesting as it gets.
With all my friends, my family and my girlfriend liking to knock back the gargle, this year that I'm about to attempt will be a serious challenge. In Dublin, there is always an excuse to drink - 
a birthday, a wedding, a funeral, a christening, Friday night, Saturday night, Thursday night, Bank Holidays, Valentines Day, Christmas, New Years, launches, lunches, going aways, comings homes, just one, the last one, last orders, a few tinnys, watching the football, having the hearts to hearts, yadda yadda yadda. You get the idea.
This year will see a whole new me. A socially reclusive me perhaps. A less entertaining me maybe. A very depressed me - possibly. A bored and lonely me - who knows?
Spinning a positive, this year could see a healthy energetic full of the joys of spring me. Thats the goal. 
I'm going to try and update this blog on a daily basis. It will cover my opinions on alcohol, and also the challenges I come up against on a day to day basis. I've no idea how it will all work out. Thanks for reading.