January is a month quilted in a dense gloom, leaving home in the morning in the dark and returning at night only by the light of the street lamps. The angry wind has made the umbrella redundant and one has now conceded to getting rather wet on a rather regular basis. I’ve dragged myself through exams with the downcast dead eyed expression of one returning from the Somme. The landlord hasn’t yet fixed the heating and I sleep, or attempt to, in 3 jumpers and a knitted balaclava. Foolishly I chanced a cup of tea with milk three days over, a mistake never again to be made. Life has plodded from dreary to dire to desperate—but for all the disasters unfolding in front of me, I shall never break the solemn vow that I, along with so many others made on January 1st: thou shall not drink alcohol for an entire month, a whole 31 days, not a beer or cider, spirit or wine—and even remain suspicious of the steak and ale pie.
The world is against the student in January and thus abstaining from liquor is quite some feat. Exams having already finished long before we bid farewell to January, to restrain oneself requires will power and a whole lot of non-alcoholic beer just to feel part of it, even though as your friends descend into the warm embrace of an alcohol fuelled stupor, you remain stone cold sober pretending to be enjoying yourself but really all you are doing is watching your company slowly drift off into inebriation.
To those who have completed a dry January successful I doth my cap, and those who lapsed for just one beer then I offer my commiserations for your failure. To those who never entertained the notion of surrendering the joys of an aperitif here, and degestif there, I say to you, how very sensible you are.