Every so often I feel the need to not drink for a little while, usually a week or so. I do this because in the last 18 months I have gone from being Much-Too-Velky Al to my present incarnation of just Velky Al. Compared to this time 2 years ago I am about 50lbs lighter (that's almost 23kg for our metric friends), and I have no ambition to go back to the state I was in then. It was also around this time that I got fed up with drinking vast qualities of industrial lager, so I adopted a new healthy eating regime, took a bit more exercise and for 6 straight months didn't touch beer at all.
My first beer after the 6 months were up was a Samuel Adams Boston Lager, which I had in Columbia, South Carolina after flying there with Mrs Velkyal to spend 5 weeks visiting her family in the States. It was nectar, not just because I hadn't had a beer in so long, not just because the flight had been long and boring - and our bags were delayed because of the terrorist attack on Glasgow Airport - it also happened to be a damned fine pint.
So this week in the wake of Slunce ve Skle I decided to take another of my weeks off and not drink again until Monday's tasting of Kocour ales at Pivovarský Dům. I think these weeks off also help to heighten my appreciation of the beers I drink, and make me want to value each beer rather than chucking some swill down my throat on a Friday night to get drunk. That is, I think, my paradox - I drink far less than I used to, but drink far better than I ever have.
Yes I am looking forward to having some IPA on Monday, and when you live in the Czech Republic any opportunity to have IPA must be grasped, but I have enjoyed my week on the wagon.