Today is publication day. ‘The Very Hungover Caterpillar’ hits the shops and Emlyn and I had a cheeky breakfast to celebrate. This morning, we were hungover free, I’m pleased to report, but it’s that time of year when the calendar starts to get full of events, parties and dinners. I always think I won’t drink too much, but I invariably do. So after years of experience, here’s my top ten tips to surviving the party season.
1. Accept in advance that you’re in it from early December for the entire duration. There’s no point in fighting it. You’ll finally get to collapse on Boxing Day. Be strong!
2. A five pm powernap does wonders to restore a flagging spirit. Insist on forty-five minutes of shut eye and you’ll be fresh as a daisy and ready to party on.
3. To avoid illness, never party three nights in a row. Lock in rest days and evenings in your schedule. You may find yourself filling them up (and they may well turn out to be the best party nights of all), but at least try to book in some sofa down-time.
4. Be a social butterfly, then you can flit between parties, or even slope off home. In order not to get caught out, make it a rule never send emails or engage in social media after dark.
5. Girls: Invest in those padded party insoles for your high heels and a pair of folding ballet pumps for when the night ends. It’s amazing that you can dance all night in heels, but the second you have to stagger to the night bus or the last train, you can’t actually walk.
6. Become an account holder at a reputable cab firm now in November, or even better, stash your company’s account details in your phone so you can always get a cab home.
7. Do all your Christmas shopping online early and get it delivered to somewhere where someone will be in to take the packages. Keep a list in a safe place, reminding yourself of who gets what. Share this list with your partner to avoid doubling up. Don’t leave present buying until the last minute, when you’re frazzled and stressed out and always buy multiple ‘joke’ presents just in case, as you’ll always need them for the relative and friend you forgot, or the office secret santa.
8. Make sure you you’re stocked up on bread, cheese and supernoodles for the 2 a.m munchies. Then, just before you go to bed drink as much water as you can possibly keep down.
9. Perfect your own tailored hangover cure. In this house, we favour Berocca, plus a massive fry up. For those who know Brighton, only a Billie’s Cafe plate of hash will do.
10. When all else fails, a hair of the dog does work wonders. Try a Pickleback – one shot of Irish whiskey with one shot of pickle juice as a chaser. It’s revoltingly harsh, but remember: you’ll be on the wagon in January.