LOOK, before you start sending me emails, I am not advocating drinking more than the Government guidelines. Obviously, drinking to excess is bad for you. Don't do it.
But… I'm tired of reading surveys and warnings about drinking. The latest one to cross my desk estimates that one in five older men and one in ten older women drink enough to harm themselves, a rise of 40 per cent in men and 100 per cent in women over the past 20 years.
The survey says that easily available alcohol and a disintegration of traditional community life has led to a surge in the number of drinking or experiencing problems as they get older.
And it went on to call this drinking a "timebomb" for the National Health Service. I don't think they are worried about 80-year-old women flashing their knickers in casualty after a night on the sherry, it's more the health problems that are a concern. But I might be wrong.
And as an "older" woman, I fear they are talking to me.
Was my house bugged last night as I "unwound" after a busy day's work?
(Yes, sweetheart, another glass of shiraz would be lovely.)
It's a ridiculous notion. Drink too much? Me?
(Don't throw away that Irish coffee, I haven't licked out the glass yet.)
I'm not even too sure how many "units" the Government is recommending. I'm presuming a "unit" is a bottle of spirits so I'm well within my limits. Obviously I'm not counting liqueurs (too sweet to be really alcoholic) or sherry in the trifle or red wine in the casserole, or Pernod with the fish or any alcoholic beverage consumed while standing up. So you see, I hardly drink at all.
(It's time we finished off that bottle of malt whiskey or it might go off.)
Nope. When it comes to alcohol, I'm a responsible person and moderation is my middle name.
Drunks are people who fall over in gutters. Yes, I know I broke a heel on my best shoes when I stumbled off the pavement onto a grating but I've never ended up staring at the stars from a gutter. Well, apart from that night in… best not go down that road.
(Who's a pretty pushy cat? I mean pussy cat... Yes, you are. Yes, you are. Yes, you are. Yes, you are. Yes, you are…)
Drunks can never remember the next morning what happened the night before. Look, I remember only too well being witty, sparkling and the life and soul of the party before I ended up getting locked in the loo – where, incidentally, all my friends left me for a good two hours. I don't know how that chair got wedged against the door so I couldn't get out. Freak accident, I guess.
(Liqueur, yesh please. There seem to be lots of bottles with just half an inch left. May as well chuck them all in together.)
Sooooooooooo, where was I? Drink. Yes. No. I don't have a drinking problem... I've got plenty so no problem there. Ha, ha, ha.
(For goodness sake sit down, sweetheart, you're making me feel dizzy spinning about like that in front of me. What do you mean, you ARE sitting down?)
Time to go. I suffer from mild vertigo and it's back with a vengence, no I mean venjence, or is it venjince? Vengeance, that's it. Anyway, it's back. Where did I put my shoes?
(Yes, I know it's bedtime. No, I don't need any help. Oops. Who put that door there? What do you mean, I'm not funny? I AM funny. I'm hil-blooming-larious. I think I'll just lie down on the bed. No need to get undressed. Just order me a complete blood transfusion for the morning, please.)