… is the amazing period of time for which I was hung-over yesterday.
Let me just say, I'm not really into hangovers. On balance, my body prefers the muzzy stumble and fall into sleep of the slightly inebriated, waking only with a sudden desire for a shower and somebody to bring it a large cup of tea. It's not so much a hangover as a hanger-on. You notice the presence of some unusual forms of behaviour, but it does not really impact on your daily life.
So imagine my surprise to wake up at 6am, feeling really really rough. At times like that, there is one instinctive sequence of thoughts common to every human being, triggered as you stare into the toilet bowl, and it goes a little something like this.
Oh shit. (Yes.)
But how did this happen? I didn't drink that much last night. (Liar. Think back, my son or daughter, think back to that halcyon period between that civilised glass of wine and the full-on let's finish the dregs of everything situation. Remember?
Oh yes... bollocks. (And don't forget the absinthe.)
And I've just remembered what I said/what happened... (Hehehe, that was funny. You should have seen yourself.)
I am never drinking again in my life. (Liar, again.)
No, really, this time I mean it. (Well, I wouldn't worry, after what you said/did last night, you might not have the opportunity to do that again anyway.)
Oh shit. (Yes.)
And so on and so forth. It's a beautiful insight into the soul of Hungover Man or Woman.
(Of course, if you're foreign, imagine the above translated into your language of choice. I doubt many Greek people collapse over their toilet in the morning conversing with themselves in English. Because that would just be weird. And too clear thinking and clever. And would also signify they weren't quite hungover enough to qualify as part of my hugely intellectual study. So they wouldn't count anyway.)
For the record, that was the worst hangover I have suffered in my short and sheltered existence. I'm sure I used to spend nights like that quite happily at age sixteen, and wake up in the morning with birds singing and sun shining, and me hunched up in my duvet going 'ngggh' (but that used to happen as a matter of course every morning and was really nothing to do with sobriety or otherwise).
I warn you, I am growing old and decrepit and willl soon be spending every night tucked up in front of the six o'clock news with my mug of Horlicks with cats handpainted on it (which I did myself in my weekly cat-mug painting class, right between my 'Cross-stitch IS Fun!' and 'knit-your-own-slippers' sessions.) I may also start collecting numbered magazines about historic houses and china dolls, and would get very excited if they featured it on Have I Got News For You's guest publication slot, only I wouldn't be watching it because it's past my bedtime.
Now if you'll excuse me, I'm off to wind some wool and listen to Terry Wogan. See you at the slipper-knitting circle tomorrow afternoon.