A Guide To Day Drinking (By Someone Who Has Had A Shocker)
The Debrief: Beer gardens, tins in parks, picnics, here's how to nail day-drinking and avoid passing out in a hedge at 3pm.
Last Sunday I had a completely free day so grabbed some friends, two litres of homemade cider (I bought it from a market near my house, I didn't make it) and was completely obliterated by 2pm. The day ended with a pizza at 10pm and spent the whole of Monday with the stomach of a whale and the energy levels of a dead whale.
This can't happen again - mainly because I'll be dead by June - so here' are my mistakes, what I've learned from them, and how you can learn from them too. I'm also aware that this piece makes me sound like a reckless alcoholic, but I'm really, really not; I usually work weekends, and had a day off so got totally overexcited and it'll never happen again until I have another day off and forget I wrote this article. Every weekend until October, could one of you guys tweet this at me? My handle is @5tevieM, thanks.
My mistake: I Didn't eat any breakfast
You should: Eat breakfast
I'd had a vegetarian scotch egg (mushroom and tarragon, bitches) about four hours before, but it didn't exactly line my stomach and we all know that eating something before you drink is essential. 'If you’ve got food lining your stomach, then the alcohol is not going to pass through as quickly and through your small intestine, so if you’ve not eaten anything then it’s just a faster rate of alcohol breakdown and a quicker rise in blood alcohol concentration,' Dr. Sophie Wilkinson advises. 'So, in other words, if you haven’t eaten, then your chances of crying, blacking out and then being sick are increased. Not a great look.'
Without being really gross, it'll also not be a great look the next day in terms of... erm... the loo. Because you poor stomach is basically yelling 'What the fuck have you put in me, this isn't a sandwich, how the balls am I supposed to digest this? Alright I'll do it, but it hurts and nobody's going to come out of this situation looking attractive'. Which is fair enough.
My mistake: Bought double strength cider
You should: Have shandies or spritzers or normal cider
I sound like a nan, but I can't stress how important pacing yourself is. Namely, that you won't cry because your friend told me they don't like your other friend. If you drink beer, get a light one and if someone flogs a litre of cider for £2.50, don't drink it in half an hour. You'll think it's nothing more than sweet, sweet apple juice until you're face down on the grass trying to snog a wasp. White wine spritzers saved me at multiple events last year, keeping me at 'really happy and a great laugh' rather than pushing me into 'too happy with a hyena laugh'.
My mistake: Drank it all in an hour
You should: Have something planned so you don't blow your load
By blow your load, I mean 'drink everything'. If you've got a cheeky game of rounders, or even an official pub trip coming up then you might be less likely to forget what you're doing and drink the world. Ideally, it'd be some sort of food based situation - I defy you to drink speedily with a mouthful of cheese.
My mistake: Kept going
You should: Pause when you've passed out from cider and cried
Obviously this depends whether you're drinking on a Sunday or not, but even if it's a Saturday - do you really want to spend Saturday night passed out in your bed in your own clothes? Or do you want to make your mate's party? If it's the latter, then have a couple of breaks in the day where you don't drink at all, and let your body acclimatise to this weird, sun-filled, alcoholic experience. Like when you eat too fast, if you drink too fast it all hits you at once and the messiness happens - so take a break and do some hard drugs or something. This is a joke. Have a nap, or a snack, or some water.
My mistake: I didn't bring any water
You should: Have water
If you're in a beer garden, order a pint of water of every two drinks. If you're in a park, bring a massive bottle of water with you because everyone will be fighting over it when the weird 4pm hangover hits. Why is it important? Because alcohol dehydrates you, and you're probably in the sun, so it'll make you feel ultimately really awful - plus, if you're thirsty, you'll drink loads more than you do when you're hydrated because your brain thinks wet things = hydrating things. Plus, you'll be going to the loo loads and you can't drink in the loo, so it'll be a little forced break.
My mistake: When the day-hangover hit, I went to the pub
You should: Stop drinking when the hangover hits
It's either food time, or sleep time, or both, depending on the day. Saturday? Food time and lots of water time followed by evening drinking time. Sunday? Food time and sleep time and water time, in that order. Monday morning will thank you, rather than strangle you both physically and emotionally. Or, in my case, grammatically (I was unable to form sentences all day).
My mistake: Got into a round system
You should: Buy your own drinks so you can go at your own pace
If you're round-ing, then you're probably also drinking way more than you want to, because people drink at different paces and you tend to try and catch up. If you're drinking with two beer-drinkers, and you're not a beer-drinker (this was me) then it can be compounded by the fact that cider and wine is more alcoholic so you could find yourself way more shitfaced than them. Also, it's like everyone goes into drinking trance and you find yourself oddly egging each other on without actually saying 'C'MON ONE MORE ROUND DUDES'.
My mistake: Text someone in Minneapolis loads of joke-abuse so my phone bill is astronomical
You should: Not doing this, unless international texting is included in your tariff
Just really not worth it, especially considering the fact that I have Whatsapp.
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Follow Stevie on Twitter: @5tevieM
At work? With your gran?
You might want to think about the fact you're about to read something that wouldn't exactly get a PG rating