I have never been a prolific or heavy drinker in the "binge drinking" sense, although I was always able to hold my alcohol well, indeed a little too well at University which annoyed me as I seemed to have to spend more to get drunk. At university a gentle night out would involve 8 pints of beer (£1 a pint back in 1996) and a heavy night out would mean having half a bottle of Vodka followed by several more pints. Yes, I know, it was not big or clever, but in my early to mid 20's (I was 26 when I left University), my body could cope with it. Indeed I had even been known to make it in for lectures at 9 am after some very heavy nights.
So why is this relevant ? Well last night I went out and had the equivalent of seven pints of beer over the course of about 5 hours. This accompanied a lovely meal with mr wife and six friends. I felt fine, was lucid, had no headache and didn't feel at all queasy or ill in the slightest. So why did I wake up this morning feeling so bad ? My head hurt so much, my throat felt like it had been sandpapered during the night and I seem to ache all over. What happens to your body when you pass 30 years of age that means you cannot cope with a few pints once a month ?
Is it is because I used to be made of much stronger stuff or perhaps my rose tinted spectacle view of my past drinking exploits mean that I fail to remember the days I couldn't get up to go to lectures or the throbbing headaches I used to have after a night out ? Indeed, I know I did sometimes feel really not great after a night out as a student but then given what I used to put my liver through, my body had earned the right to be in pain. But I come back to the point, I didn't even feel drunk and felt great last night, so why did I feel like I lost today to just lying in the sofa and feeling in pain ?
In truth it is probably one of the first signs of my body getting used to being much older. Having recently turned 37, I am usually the smug one who is pleased to receive the compliments of people who say "You're never 37". I have no real wrinkles yet and not a grey hair or bald patch in sight, and going to the gym three times a week means I am light on my feet and keeping the paunch at bay to. But, it appears that my body has ways of telling me "act your age".
So next time I go out (in a couple of weeks - so I will have to feed back), I'll take it even easier, act my age, and be back in time for Match of the Day. Perhaps I'll but some slippers too.