Painting town red has its flaws

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Drinking is one of the few activities you can still enjoy as much in your 40s as you did when you were in your prime many, many years ago.

After that third glass of something nice, all of life’s problems melt away. And if you’re knocking them back at a party among friends, then it tastes that bit sweeter.

On the night you can keep up with the best of them. It’s a bit like footballers who’ve kept themselves fit and play into their late 30s, running around with players half their age but still more than holding their own.

But drinking, like football, is all about recovery time. As you get older, it takes longer to get back to normal.

Teenagers seem to have a magic reset button they press the morning after a big night and carry on like they’ve had 10 hours’ sleep on a Tempur mattress.

Once you reach a certain age, one whiff of a barmaid’s apron and the next day your head feels like Liverpool are playing Manchester United inside it and, with one wrong movement, you’ll be pebble-dashing the Royal Doulton with red wine sick. Lovely.

Last Friday the boss and I spent a fantastic evening at a retirement do where the music was sensational (The Howling Clowns played. If you’ve never seen The Howling Clowns, go and see The Howling Clowns and thank me later), the drinks flowed and everybody had the most wonderful night. We didn’t think that we overdid it.

We floated home in the rain, turned in for the night and thought no more about it.

Then I had a hangover that lasted for two days. Saturday was a washout and it only lifted halfway through watching Blade Runner 2049 (astounding) at Vue, about 9.45pm on Sunday. Back in the 90s I was in relationships for less time than that.

Contrast this with daughter #1 who, uncharacteristically, tottered in at 6am on a Sunday a few weeks ago (if you were wondering what the reason was for the early-morning fireworks over south Lancaster, that was the welcoming committee).

But a catnap and a roast dinner later and she was back in the game like nothing had happened – apart from the mother of all severe reprimands.