1. Holiday Somewhere Pretty
Italy is unfair.
It’s a country of impossibly beautiful people dressed in amazing clothes living on carbs, wine and cheese. You would think that these attractive denizens would make for a lovely view as you sit at an enotecha table in a sunny piazza but you would be wrong. They just make you cry into your fiftieth bowl of pasta for the day.
Hence it was in Italy that I made a drunken vow. Drunken vows are something I take seriously. I moved to New Zealand off the back of a drunken vow.
But this drunken vow was the clarion call of the politician. “Something must be done.”
2. Listen To A Rude French Doctor
The time had come for me to return to the cost-ineffective land of Lowcarbia. I spent most of my university years here and it had kept me in sex and nice clothing. Having chatted to mother about the latest fad export from Lowcarbia, I settled on the Dukan Diet.
It interested me more than my old stalwarts because I just can’t stand the amount of oil you consume on the Atkins diet. Atkins works brilliantly but it has made me so repulsed by bacon that I was once asked if I was keeping Kosher. (No. I would die before I gave up tiger prawns.)
He was a much nicer man than this Mr Dukan, however. The book is startlingly rude and spectacularly overwritten. The French adore the sound of the French which is why it takes thirty minutes for them to say something that should take one. (“Of course, sometimes, if you are on ‘oliday, and the weather ees naahs, m’ybee not too ‘ot, it is necessary, perhaps, to buy zom wine.” Just say pick up some wine in France! Brevity is the soul of awesome.)
Incidentally, this is why I think their TV is so bad. They are genuinely interested in watching a bunch of suited Frenchmen sit around a table and bray on endlessly. That’s fucking quality entertainment right there. What’s weird about it is that French only has a third of the words that English does. Do you think that translates into a lot of repeats?
Anyway, the diet works. Monsieur Dukan prescribes ultra low carb with no salt and low fat.
And -the real kicker- no booze.
3. Learn More
I used to wonder what recovering alcoholics did with their time.
Turns out the answer is all the things I have wanted to do more of but somehow “never managed to find the time.”
Seriously, it’s brilliant. On a typical Saturday we would walk back from the supermarket, past our local and say “oh, we’ll just stop in for one.” Five hours later we are staggering home with lukewarm milk and a long list of unfinished chores.
But now I am positively raping through those lists.
My enormous ‘books to read’ pile beside my bed is no longer a potential fire hazard, I’m ticking off exhibitions and plays that I have been meaning to go and see, my writing projects are carrying along at a rate of knots, I no longer have to endure the terrifying early ‘smell test’ to work out which socks and underwear are still safe because everything is clean!
4. Be A Bit Selfish
If you too are currently residing in Lowcarbia, be sure to focus on some of the more selfish benefits.
Wallow in the compliments as you skin clears up and you start glowing like a heavily pregnant farm girl. Buy more books to add to your crazy dangerous book pile; this is easy in London because you find that most books cost the same as a glass of wine.
5. Fall Off The Wagon
It turns out you can’t take your wagon on the Eurostar.
Everything was going so well until I went to Paris for work earlier this week. Besides, Liza Minelli does it all the time. I don’t understand why she hasn’t been court ordered to remain fifty feet from all wagons at all times.
Anyway, Paris. Before you know it, it’s 2:30am and you’re drinking Jack with a bunch of Moulin Rouge dancers (well, one) and some unbelievably attractive South African rugby players (the dancer’s boyfriend and his friends) right next to the giant windmill where the French keep Nicole Kidman imprisoned for crimes against everything.
Good times. Good times that next morning made me grateful there is a boring brown wagon waiting for me back in London.