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Here we are then, halfway through the month and I’ve not had a drink since I went to bed on New Year’s Eve (which was really 1am on New Year’s Day). It’s not been too bad, although the Friday nights and Saturday nights have seemed longer and slower than normal. But then that might just be the sight of Gary Barlow’s grinning fizzog looming out of the idiot box at me, giving me palpitations. 
I did sign up to do Dryathlon via the Cancer Research website, but I’m not intending to raise funds, this is purely a personal thing. They sent me two of the beermats pictured above, as well as a “Dryathlete” wristband, and I’m feeling a little guilty about it. Maybe I’ll donate £20 or something at the end of the month; after all, I will have not spent much more than that on wine and beer. But I wanted to make some sort of external statement, rather than just an unspoken promise to myself, which I could then pretend at some point was never made. 
I’ve been wearing the wristband, although not in an ostentatious fashion. It’s quite snug on my wrist and doesn’t move about much at all, so even I don’t see it. 
I’ve also enjoyed not having a hangover, and feeling brighter more often. My sleep hasn’t improved, but I think that’s because I’m 45 rather than 25, and even if I am awake for an hour or two early doors, I tend not to feel so tired later during the day. 
I did well in the Park Run on Saturday; despite not running mid-week, I managed my second-best time. I’d like to get a PB later in the month, but I think I will need to go out mid-week for that, and at the moment, it being January, it’s bloody cold out there. Still, if it is dry tomorrow night, I may channel my inner Forrest and stretch my stumpy little legs. 
We were moving a dresser yesterday, for reasons which were beyond me, TW likes to move furniture around at random times; it keeps us all on our toes, she thinks. Anyway, we had to empty it before moving it, and we came across our Christmas booze stash – all the bottles left over from Christmas we didn’t have enough days to drink. I think I counted five bottles of red wine, three bottles of white wine, and a couple of bottles of prosecco… It’s going to be a good February! 
My only dilemma now is whether I stay up on January 31st until midnight to celebrate my month of sobriety with a glass or two, or I wait until the evening of the 1st February. I guess, since I drank into New Year’s Day, that the month doesn’t officially end until about 1am on 1st February, and I’m not sure that staying up until then and starting to drink at 1am is the wisest option – so I’ll probably leave it. 
TTFN.

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Yesterday we started the day by Skyping Mum and wishing her Happy Birthday. She and Dad are in Singapore visiting my sister and her family, which is nice, especially when the weather in the UK is so dreary at the moment.
Then it was the Park Run, obviously, it being a Saturday morning. I did okay, I finished in 29:01, which is my second best time. Apparently I have managed it in 28:14 once, but I am sure that was an anomaly and they got it wrong that week. It was dry for the Park Run and TW also did well, coming close to her PB (personal best) time. TE wanted a slushie but the machine wasn’t working at Splashpoint, so TW offered to make her a hot chocolate when we got home. TE agreed, surprisingly, and so we stopped and bought some squirty cream from Tesco Express at the Worthing rail crossing on the way home. We also picked up some halloumi and as soon as we got home, TW started frying that as a snack / late breakfast for the girls. Then she went out to pick up some clothes & deliver some make-up, while I washed.
I was looking forward to a lazy day from there, but TW had other ideas. She was on the go pretty much all morning and then suggested we go out for a walk. The girls protested but I could see that they needed some fresh air; the youngest two had been glued to YouTube all morning and were beginning to mong out. They did suggest Woods Mill, but couldn’t all agree, and eventually we plumped for Southwater. That was a nice compromise, I thought, because it’s quite a relaxing park but most of the paths are paved, and so we wouldn’t end up getting unnecessarily muddy.
I didn’t count on the rain though. Although it was dry when we left home, by the time we got there, it was raining, and it didn’t stop. It was an okay walk, and the girls got their fresh air and some exercise on the climbing frames in the park. Everything was wet though, so playing on the swings and slides was out of the question.
We stopped at McDonalds Buck Barn on the way home, initially for a snack, “something off the 99p menu” TW said, but when we got in the girls asked for more substantial eats, and so they had burgers and fries, and I had some Nuggets and a Quarter Pounder with cheese. It was 4pm by this time, and TW realised that we were planning to have burgers for dinner, which wasn’t going to work any more. The girls ended up having a snack at about 18:30 and that seemed to sate them.
Then it was an evening of crap telly; the Gary Barlow vehicle Let It Shine, which seems more kindly-spirited than X Factor, but is limited to men only, and then The Voice on ITV, which I think comes in second place, but that is due to its familiarity. The Barlow show is a suppose a retread of the previous talent search How Do You Solve a Problem Like Maria, which of course was limited to women only. But the whole show (Let It Shine) acts as a big advert for the forthcoming musical, which isn’t the precise story of Take That, but is based on their story, and incorporates the music of Take That. So Barlow is being paid to appear in a show which promotes a musical which he has written, which contains songs for which he will receive royalties. That sounds like a nice little earner.
And then it was bedtime, and I slept.

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I had to go back to the dentist today. I had a check-up on my last working day of 2016, and he told me I needed a filling. I agreed to have it immediately but unfortunately it was in one of my back teeth and it felt like he was drilling into my head. He gave me some anaesthetic, but I could still feel the drilling, it was still painful. I think the air blowing across my sensitive teeth didn’t help much either, but probably the main agent fighting the anaesthetic was the alcohol in the cans of beer I drank the night before. He managed to drill nearly halfway to the fissure that needed cleaning out and filling, and gave me some more anaesthetic, but it wasn’t working. Eventually he gave up, filled in the hole with a temporary filling, and asked me to come back. 

So for the Christmas period I was quietly dreading my return visit to the dentist, hoping that I would be able to handle the filling. I pootled down there today and sat in the chair, and again I took the anaesthetic. He drilled and it was painful again, but I think I was managing okay. The dentist realised though that it was the machinery (the drill and the air) which was the issue, and so he abandoned those and carried on with just a scraper. He got into the fissure and cleaned it, and then filled it. I was pleased he was able to complete the filling, and pleased that I didn’t need to have a general anaesthetic or something along those lines. 
Of course my mouth was numb for the rest of the afternoon, but that is it for another six months. I will be using floss and interdental sticks a lot more than I have been. Hopefully I can avoid another filling for another couple of years…

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Today we didn’t have much on until T texted and asked if we were free. We had to write cards for the branch of the family tree living in Singapore since M&P were flying at about seven pm. They were setting off at one pm and obviously had to be there a couple of hours early, and they had to take into account the crap service that Southern like to call a functioning railway.
I cycled over with the girls, on our first cycle ride of the year. It was a bit icy but the girls were careful and we got there in one piece. We handed over the cards and Mum gave us a cup of tea and some tomatoes in return. Then we wished them safe travels, and headed back.
Tyrone arrived and we decided to go to Food; it was what the girls wanted. It was very nice as always; at least I didn’t order the wrong thing this time. I kept it simple with steak frites, and followed that with an almond and amaretto crème brulée. TW expressed dismay that I didn’t offer her the first bite, but I wanted to taste it, and it was my pudding. So unfortunately, she had to wait. She did get two mouthfuls though, so she did okay by the end.
Then for dinner TW was planning to make a chicken chow mein, but Ty decided he wanted to go to KFC, and so we had a takeaway bucket for dinner. The chicken was nice but the fries were horrible, in my opinion; limp, cold and tasteless. However, the saving grace was the gravy KFC provided – it was delicious and thick, and covered the shortcomings of the fries.
Ty headed off after the girls went to sleep and we finished off the day with an episode of Suits. I worked out that the prison psychiatrist is the same actor who used to be Theo Huxtable in the Cosby Show, and I was pretty pleased with myself for that. I wasn’t really prepared to go back to work, but I fell asleep pretty quickly.

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…and relax. The decorations are down, and things have returned to normal. The bacchanalian urges which have been driving us to dive into a sea of hedonism and consumerism have abated again, and we’ll probably hibernate now for a month or so. The weather yesterday was quite appropriate; it was raining pretty much all day and it became heavier in the evening.
I am considering becoming a Dryathlete for the month. That was on the cards even before I woke up with a dry mouth and a blurry memory this morning, and even before the festive season started. Maybe now I’m back running, I can properly shape up. But I’ve made starts before and never seen them through and they do say that madness is doing the same thing over and over, and expecting different results.
On Saturday we made it to the Park Run and made some space for the prosecco I drank later. We popped over to Angmering to see the GiL, and it seems that she’s had visitors – she was drinking wine, so someone must have brought it to her. We didn’t stay long, she seemed okay but a bit fed up, as she is liable to be these days. She is going to be 98 in February, and she just sits in her chair, drinking wine and not really talking to anyone or having any stimulus except the TV. I’d be fed up in her shoes. But she won’t accept any help, so it’s best not to offer or make suggestions – she’ll just ignore them.
We saw the New Year in with friends, at a house party. I had a lovely time, and then bailed at about 1am. TW and the girls were going strong though, and didn’t get to bed until 4am. Yesterday was obviously a slow day, and we didn’t get up to much – except, of course, we went ice skating (or the kids did) at the Worthing Ice Rink. They enjoyed it I think, and it was fairly quiet too, which was good for them. TY complained at the start that she wanted a penguin, which is a kind of stabiliser / skating aid, but within five minutes she was zooming around with the best of them. I was a little disappointed that we, the grown-ups, didn’t go on, but I was still pretty wiped out from the New Year’s Eve festivities.
Happy New Year all, and I hope that you have a good 2017.

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Yesterday we spent the afternoon with C&J, friends who live in Hailsham. The weather was awful; it was horribly foggy on the way over, and even worse on the way back. The time we spent there was lovely, it’s always relaxed with them. TW has known them since her uni days, which is ~20 years, so half a lifetime. TW & J went off for a bit of charity shopping in town and I had a nap. The children played nicely and I think all in all a good day was had.
We travelled home in the dark and the fog; the weather was so bad that the Brighton game was cancelled, and the Reading game was called off after 50 minutes – I think the whole of the South of England was shrouded in fog and mist.
I did okay with the few bets I made last night, but hope to do better in the next couple of days. We finished watching Tyrant, which was thrilling – it is a shame it’s not going to be picked up for a fourth series.

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Thursday saw the girls wanting to go to the Skate Park to try out their new scooters. Unfortunately it was very wet and so the scooters kept slipping out from underneath them – TMO fell over several times and has a nice bruise on her thigh; she was certainly feeling that on the way home. It was a bit of a dreary day to be honest, weather-wise, and without their friends to play with, I don’t think the skate park held the same appeal. They went over to the play park after a while, but what with the fog and the damp, the slides and swings were all wet and unusable really. We did bump into G & E who had their kids there, and it was good to see them; I think the last time I saw them was when we were camping.
We’ll need to go back when it’s a bit drier…

In the afternoon TW & the girls went to Chichester to see Peter Pan. I don’t think it was quite a panto, but it was good, according to TW’s post-match report. So I took the opportunity to go and see Rogue One, the new Star Wars film. It was brilliant, had all the elements I expected to see. And it was long… No spoilers, since it is quite new, but overall very enjoyable.

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