I’ve never been much of one for doing the giving up stuff for Lent. I’ve always seen it as a bit like those New Year’s resolutions – novelty discipline for the weak willed that is doomed to failure. Well, that’s what always happens to me anyway. And, besides, I live my life by deadlines, so why create yet another one with Lent.
For some reason I found myself giving up things this year. Don’t ask me why. Maybe I am becoming bi-religious-curious, or something. I thought long and hard about what form my hair shirt would take and chose two luxuries I consume regularly and would miss badly: chocolate and beer. Chocolate is always there to cure the boredom and beer finds its way into my life on most days, normally as an instant sedative in the casualty ward (aka: a pub) where I check into after a rubbish day.
Amazingly, I have not had a drop of beer since Lent began. It has been suprisingly easy and quite fulfilling. Discipline is good, I recommend it, although I admit I have drunk probably twice as much wine, so what have I really achieved? I had also not touched chocolate until a few hours ago when I walked past Charbonnel et Walker in Mayfair and was seduced by a man with a tray of champagne truffles. A free truffle? Don’t mind if I do, thank you. Only as that divine, dusted ball disappeared in one gulp did I realise that I had suddenly failed my fast. A moment’s memory lapse and I had messed up, fallen splat with the finishing line in sight. I cursed myself, then went into the shop and bought of few boxes of truffles as presents, which earned me several more freebies. I swallowed them hungrily with pleasure. If you are going to fail, fail with a flourish.
But, I’m still OK on the beer front. I can hold out until Sunday, no problem. So, Easter for me will mean everything. It will mean a big decision – like lager or bitter? Lager and bitter, probably. Very spiritual, I’m sure.