I have now been completely off the booze for about two months, and I feel a hell of a lot better for it. I feel fitter and more alert. I’m (slightly) less argumentative too. Yesterday I made quite an interesting realisation about what attracted me to pubs and drinking: sat outside a cafe in charlton park, I found myself staring at my cappuccino as I once stared at pints of beer. I felt the same reflexive, relaxed daze which made pubs so attractive. Part of the reason I went to pubs was that they gave me time to think – some quiet, me time when I could just chill out over a drink. I also loved to observe people. Yet, yesterday, there I was doing exactly the same thing, but instead of beer, in front of me was nothing as innocuous as a cup of coffee. That was why I had been going there for the last few days – the cafe was filling the same niche as the pub did. It’s a nice little place, with books you can read and friendly staff, overlooking the cricket pitch. But instead of going home too drunk to do anything for the rest of the day, I would go home alert and invigorated, the rest of the day still usable, with no possibility of falling, damaging stuff, or having a hangover in the morning. Thus, I resolved yesterday, cafes are definitely cooler than pubs.