“Ah’m aff it”

“Ah’m aff it” is perhaps Scotlands most seldom used phrase. In England or USA, they say “I’m on the wagon”, but in Scotland its “ah’m aff it”. It is a well intentioned, bold move against the bombardment that is the Scottish drink culture. For “ah’m aff it” means “I am abstaining from consuming alcoholic beverages for the foreseeable (undefined) future” and in Scotland this is akin to wearing an England strip to the pub during the world cup.

Take today for example, the Old Firm clash in Glesca. As I write this, at 10am on a Sunday morning, there will be thousands of fans ‘on it’. By noon the pubs will be rammed, drink flowing, spirits high. By 3pm there will be drunken joy for the victors, anger for the losers, singing in the streets and recriminations. By 6pm, it will be carnage, folk falling over, slurred words, angry exchanges and tragically, a stabbing.

The polis will be hoping for a draw. Some rain too would help dampen the hatred. But it’ll be dry in the pubs. Perhaps dry is the wrong word… but u know what I mean.

I’ve been “aff it” for 20 days now. My works doo followed by the old firm cup final led to a 2 day hangover. So I uttered the famous words…. “Ah’m aff it”.

And it’s been great. I feel better physically, today I’ve been up early getting the dogs out. I feel calmer too, got more time on my hands, read more books, maybe try the guitar again. You need something to replace the alcohol tho, that’s the long term solution. Need a purpose, a belonging. Luckily I have the Amateurs to look after, a focus.

Mentally, you’ve not got that morning after guilt either. When you look at the near empty bottle the next morning and go “shit I drank THAT much!” So slowly, you start to feel good about yourself again. So far, I’ve survived a night out at the Indian, Christmas Day, Boxing Day at the in laws and even Harris … but I’ve still got the big one : Hogmanay!

You don’t really notice the culture of drink until yer “aff it”. Constant advertising, every tv programme (even on Paddington Bear one guy said “I need a drink”), facebook photos, messages from friends with beer/champagne icons. Your friends too are like “what’s wrong, are you ill, is it serious?”

So, today we’re going to go for a wee drive, find a pub and watch the game wi an Irn Bru. And if you see me in the Tappit wi a pint in ma haun at hogmanay, gies a slap!

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