Since a rather lush and lager-fuelled afternoon at the England v Australia one day cricket match, I have stayed off the booze. I felt very depressed for a few days after, which only really climbed up to a state of melancholy when my iPhone was replaced. Losing a phone, like losing a pair of glasses (which I also did) is not something a man of my age and responsibility should do. My mental anguish was wholly unaffected by the football result I also witnessed on the day - Germany 4, England 1. But my recollection of watching the game is a misty blur of double vision and mock outrage.
As time has gone on I have met people who saw me that day. Good people who are sensible and moral upstanding pillars of society, local and regional. None have said I disgraced myself. All have confessed they did. It seems it is what cricket is made for - a good old fashioned all day bender. But despite that lifting of a cloak of shame and self pity, I was more desperate that the children not see me in such a sorry state. And, with a frantically busy schedule of work ahead, a sensible midweek period of absence was in order anyway.
This has now continued through a monthful of weekends which have included my sister's 40th, a night at our friends - a return match to a fixture which became very rowdy last year - and summery evenings with not much to get up for the next day. I have to say I have enjoyed myself on all occasions.
But, I have also felt better and sharper as a result. The healthier diet and the fitness training recommended by Steve Hoyles helps, I would suggest. But still my abiding feeling of being off the grog is not to come over as too pious about it.
One of my vices is a love of slightly exotic red wines. Two delicious and tempting bottles of Barolo wink at me from the wine rack. They can wait until our summer holiday - and the wait will be worth it. So too will a bottle of Chateau Musar 1999. But these are treats, something to look forward to and savour and not part of a lingering habit.