So we are well into the first week of January, which is supposed to be the most depressing month of all and to add insult to the injury, we are urged to abstain from drinking for the whole month. The hashtag #dryjanuary is everywhere. To me it looks more like #cryjanuary.
I was going to write about it but found this excellent piece from Lucy Hunter Johnston called
I agree with so much in it but with two bits even more than with everything else.
“It’s hard to knock anything which raises such a significant amount of money for charity – last year’s Dryathlon saw £4 million donated to Cancer Research UK – but the idea of paying someone simply not to get pissed for four weeks seems utterly absurd. Frankly, if it’s so hard that you deserve cash for your efforts, you may find you have a bit of a problem, pal.”
“Alcohol isn’t the real enemy here – it’s our relationship with it that’s the problem, and it’s a relationship that is only more confused when we start swearing off it for a limited time, especially when this is accompanied with great fanfare and public ceremony. Once pint sized slip-up is the end of the world; you’ve failed in your task, fallen off the wagon, and probably need to start attending AA meetings, full of shame and self-loathing. “
Of course me not being an enthusiast for #dryjanuary is rather predictable seeing that I sell wine but it’s again not just the potential lack of business that annoys me, it’s this persistence in demonizing all alcohol, as I have already written in my October post.
Yes, scientific research can be conflicting and maybe there has been some hype about the health benefits of red wine (Is alcohol in moderation really good for your heart?) but there is still a lot of research that state that wine in moderation may actually be absolutely fine. There’s also a lot of evidence to say that non alcoholic sugary drinks are very bad for you and also incredibly addictive yet the hypocrisy is that most of the #dryjanuary people are going to be drinking just that kind of drink and feel virtuous about it.
So, you have guessed it, I have not signed up for #dryjanuary. And this time, I will not be donating money to Cancer Research UK. I do have a lot of respect for them but this campaign will make my month much harder and I simply will not be able to afford to donate to them on the top of to the children charity to which I have pledged monthly support.
I can’t resist to quote another extract of Lucy Hunter’s Johnston‘s article that made me chuckle:
“Here are some good things about giving up alcohol: you will save a shed load of cash, you will probably lose a few pounds, and you won’t accidentally declare undying love to a colleague. But here is a bad thing: you may well become such a dreadful judgemental bore that no one will want to spend any time with you. “
There’s no chance of cryjanuary happening in France. Today is la fête des rois so a lot of white wine will be drunk with the galette (mine will be a Crémant de Limoux by the way) and then the whole month is spent toasting the new year and giving your “Voeux” to all your acquaintances at private dinner parties or aperitifs or even in the town hall where the Maire may invite his residents to toast with him/her.
If you are interested in French customs you may find this blog post interesting: Life on La Lune: five signs of New Year in France
And there might be some people out there who do want to cut down on alcohol but not necessarily go all cryjanuary : why not try the lower alcohol range La Plume? La Plume Rouge, La Plume Blanc, La Plume Rose
Bonne année à tous!