Zero percentMy name’s Neil and I’m a non-alcoholic.

More specifically, I’m an Englishman who changed his relationship with alcohol back in 2006 after suffering health problems. As a result,  I was dragged kicking, screaming and occasionally slurring into the crazy world of abstinence. It was only then that I realised just how dependent I had been on drink to relax, socialise and make an idiot of myself. I can now do all three with no such help needed.

In these new Dry Times I’ve been on sober stag nights, stone-cold dates and even abstinent pub crawls in the name of a drink-free lifestyle. Or maybe just because I like being contrary. And as someone reasonably well-travelled, I’ve unintentionally offended people all over the world through rejections of various types of alcohol, be it Colombian aguardiente, Russian vodka or Serbian rakija.

At one time I wouldn’t even consume something that came in a red wine sauce (especially if it was beer). But nowadays I will occasionally take a token sip, either to taste or to toast. In other words, I ’m not a puritan.

I’m also not here to take a swing at drinkers – I respect the choices of others. Besides, they’d just take a swing back, miss and fall over. Then blame me. Then forget. Then put their arm round my shoulder and start singing. And I’d sing along, because most of my friends are drinkers. I don’t judge them for it – I used to be one – and I hope for the same in return.

So what am I here for? To share my experiences, ideas and information with people who want to fill part or all of their lives with something other than alcohol.

So let’s drink to that. Or not, as the case may be.