Alcohol-free Until February!

1st January 2014 – I Go Alcohol-free!

I’ve been planning this for a long time, but I forgot to tell anyone save a few close friends and family. For some reason it’s important for me to blog about it before I start and I just have time to sneak a quick post in before 2013 closes, so…

After X no. of months (I’d rather not say how many but it’s more than 1 year) of drinking the obligatory “my kids are nuts, God-help-me!” glass of wine pretty reliably every night… errr, plus a bit, I decided that it’s become a little bit too much of a habit, nay – a  crutch! While I wasn’t concerned that it was an uncontrollable issue – I like my wine and have thus far been happy to indulge myself, but by nature once I’ve decided to do something I can be freakishly tenacious – it struck me that one shouldn’t have to exercise tenacity in order to have a few nights without a drink. If you do, it’s clearly no little luxury, more a way of life.

To be honest, it’s been a way of life that’s worked beautifully for me until now. Two boys less than two years apart was a crazy undertaking! and sometimes that glass of red was the only thing stopping me from blowing a gasket at bed time. But there’s only so many years you can use that excuse! Plus I wake up sooooo tired every morning, it costs a fortune and it’s definitely ageing (I can’t remember the last time I was I.D.’d in Sainsbury’s 😦 ) and actually, really I just got bored of it. It’s not that my wine consumption particularly worried me. Yes, I had that fleeting moment of thinking “God, I drink a lot of wine, maybe I’m an alcoholic!”. But then I realised alcoholics don’t leave a bottle of £16 Barbera to breathe for an hour while cooking, sniffing several times before tasting and skipping around the kitchen in glee…. (No,wine-snobs do – Oh God, that’s worse!) It’s just that I’m not really a fan of routine in any sense (my boys’ erratic schedules are testament to that!) and even pleasure gets boring after a certain amount of time. You can, indeed, have too much of a good thing…

It was, appropriately enough, in Wetherspoons that the idea struck me. The day before, I’d finished up some left over Indian tonic water from Remus’ birthday party to make room in the fridge (for more wine, probably! 😉 ) and the next day I had a ‘Mummy’s day-off haircut/shopping/read-a-magazine day’ all to myself. I rounded it off with a white-wine spritzer. As I sipped it, I felt vaguely disappointed thinking, “This doesn’t taste as nice as the tonic water I had yesterday”… in other words, “Why don’t I just have the spritz and not the wine if it tastes better?!” and boom! the ‘auto’ part of my automatic drinking was blown open.

The other part of my impulse to stop was just that I’m a huge fan of taking stock of my life on a regular basis, from my routines, to my relationships, to belief systems – my own and inherited ones – in other words, leaving as little hidden in my subconscious as possible, living from a place of conscious creation rather than unconscious reaction if that doesn’t sound too “kooky” – and New Year is one of my very favourite times to do this. So an alchohol-free start to 2014 seems like a really good idea and for at least the first two months – with one, and only ONE exception of my sister’s 40th birthday party on 4th Jan – I will not imbibe, inhale or intravenously inject any alcoholic beverages into my system!

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Now, I’m not saying it’s going to be easy. If it was, then I wouldn’t need this Pinterest board of nice non-alcoholic drinks ideas as inspiration, nor would I be making such a meal of it in this extended sympathy/support-garnering blog-post. I just know that I’m going to do it and it’s a great idea! It seems lots of other people think it’s a good idea too as I’ve just been introduced to the idea of Alcohol Concern’s Dry January by a friend who’s joining in and raising money for charity. I’m not joining in with this, partly because this is a mission that’s very personal to me and I don’t quite feel like making it a group  effort this time, also I’m doing it for at least two months not one (after which I’ll introduce alcohol back in on a far less than daily basis!). This for me, isn’t a New Year’s resolution, or something to do every year as a detox. For me, it’s a larger cycle body and mind reset, taking me back to my pre-parenting days when a drink was not a daily ritual but something to have at a party or on a dinner date. Also, I partly don’t feel like asking for sponsorship for this as I have some special fundraising events planned in 2014 (Gradeoneathon for Children in Crossfire and for The Lullaby Trust) and I don’t want people to get bored of me asking them for money before then. But it’s still nice to know I won’t be the only one going alcohol-free in the New Year and I wish everyone doing Dry January lots of luck!

Bring on 1st January. I’m really quite excited!

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My Top 10 Christmas Songs!

These are really in no particular order. I like most of them equally, and I had to leave out a few I like just as much as these and include some others that are kind of annoying (Mariah!) but so iconic it wouldn’t be Christmas without them. Enjoy and Merry Christmas!!!

Coco’s Top 10 Christmas Songs 2013

1. Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas

2. Sleigh Ride

3. Little Drummer Boy

4. White Christmas

5. The Christmas Song

6. Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree

7. Winter Wonderland

8. Santa Baby

9. Jingle Bells

10. All I Want for Christmas

Merry Christmas Everybody!!! I wish you a peaceful and happy end to the year. Love Coco xx

Coco’s Top 10 Christmas Carols

If you’ve been following my Classical Babies facebook page over the last three weeks of December you’ll have hopefully enjoyed 23 carols or Christmas songs so far, one for every day of Advent. I included some jazzy or popular favourites but mostly they were traditional carols almost all sung by the magnificent voices of the Kings College Choir, Cambridge of the famed Christmas Eve broadcast ‘Carols from Kings’. I may or may not get to watch it this year because my poor, hardworking husband Remus listens to so many hours of violin playing and practice for a living he sometimes can’t bear to have more musical sound in the house when he’s off duty, we’ll see… But in any case, I adore carols and find them soothing and calming for reasons I can’t explain. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed choosing my Classical Babies carol each day but some have leapt out at me more than others. So here are my Top Ten Traditional Carols of 2013. Please enjoy and let me know yours!

Coco’s Top 10 Christmas Carols 2013

1. I Sing of a Maiden

2. Silent Night

3. Carol of the Bells

4. Away in a Manger

5. The Angel Gabriel

6. Ding Dong Merrily on High

7. The Holly and the Ivy

8. We Three Kings

9. O Holy Night

10. In Dulci Jubilo

I love carols. Whether you’re feeling happy and upbeat or pensive and sad, there is a carol to mirror your mood or comfort and calm you. Let me know your favourites. My favourite Christmas pop/jazz /secular songs to follow! Merry Christmas to all… love Coco xx