Lent began yesterday and I’m taking strong measures – by giving up beer.
Traditionally, we renounce pleasures to fortify our spirit, but just as Easter approaches so do summer sports. If I’m to grace Fylde tennis courts again without knees and other joints creaking, half a stone should go.
Trouble is, my corner local boasts cosy fires and barmaid Luscious Lou – who tempts with award-winning ales.
I was considering giving up alcohol entirely for several weeks but, as they say, a meal without wine is like a day without sunshine. Also, the odd small lager (of decent pedigree) will refresh – rather than wallowing in cask-conditioned ale.
The idea came to me as a stalwart of Blackpool Cricket Club and his doctor son-in-law chatted at its bar over the weekend.
While I guzzled down pints of real ale, they had a small lager, followed by red wine aperitif before dinner.
Incidentally, the young barman had to be asked to supply them glasses. It reminded me of the veteran landlord who chided one youngster for drinking from a bottle. “It’s just that the dog relieves itself on bottles crated in the yard,” he explained. The look on that youth’s face was memorable.
Anyway, even the book I’m reading – Rumpole of the Bailey – advocates an occasional glass of “Château Fleet Street”.
At home, She Who Knows will be impressed by my resolve. Her own weakness is for chocolates, a box of which she can down in a sitting. I have to hide them away to be dished out as occasional treats.
Of course, we’re all only human. I remember hearing fallen soccer idol George Best extolling abstinence on the telly, only to see him hours later knocking it back at a discreet bar.
So, if you should see me on licensed premises, mine’s a glass of plonk – cheers!
* For Roy’s books, visit www.royedmonds-blackpool.com, Amazon or stores.