Go Sober- three days to go

September 28, 2013

Three days until Go Sober kicks off. It’s simple; I will go teetotal for 31 days, and I hope some of you will donate to Macmillan Cancer Support.

The aim is to raise £1664. It’s a lager thing. And now I am not on my own. My lovely wife Zoe has decided to join me. She’s giving up drinking for a month too.

Here’s the thing. Me giving up drinking is one thing. Zoe giving up is another thing. The two of us giving up is two things that add up to a whole lot of things. It’s not going to be easy. It’s not even going to be easier! It’s going to be like Mickey Rourke and Faye Dunaway in Barfly. Except in reverse. If you thought running a Marathon for charity was hard, then you’re an idiot!

Please help us two jokers get through this. And in so doing, you will be properly helping people who need proper help.

There are three ways of donating:

You can sponsor me by clicking on this highlighted sentence. It will take you to my GoSober page.

You can sponsor Zoe by clicking on this highlighted sentence. If you are quick you might become Zoe’s first sponsor.

You can sponsor us as Team Mr and Mrs Hickson by clicking on this.

To Simon, Clare, Vicky, Sophie, Gerald, Malcolm, Darren, Christine, and Christian; thank you for getting us off to a flying start before the month even begins.

And that’s a crucial thing. It’s still September. Later we will be going shopping. Zoe needs to get some tonic to go with the four G&T’s she claims she will drink tonight. I’ll be finishing off my bottle of Black Cow Milk Vodka that Zoe got me for my birthday.

We are not alcoholics. We do not condone or promote drinking to excess. We just really really really need to clear the house out.



Only six sleeps to go until I have to give up drinking for a month as part of Go Sober for October; one of those daft things to do like growing a moustache in November or stroking a weasel on a Wednesday. All in the name of charity. In this instance the name is Macmillan Cancer Support.

I say six sleeps (as opposed to six days, or any other time measurement system) to try and bring a little child-like fun to the terrifying prospect of going without any alcohol whatsoever for – heck! – for 31 sleeps!

Enough of the sleep thing. A month! A whole month with no booze! It is, simply, unthinkable.

To make matters worse, just think of this (if you can, given that I have just described the whole debacle as unthinkable):

Thirty days hath September,
April, June, and November.
All the rest have thirty-one,
Excepting February alone,
And that has twenty-eight days clear,
And twenty-nine in each leap year

Sober! October! Go Sober For October! Do you see? They only went and picked bloody October because it rhymes!

What the fuck, I ask you, is so wrong with Don’t Be Merry For February?

Still… I’m committed.

One thing that may help me is thinking of alcoholic drinks that make me sick.

Early in September we went on holiday to Menorca. A bar in Cala Galdana had, as it should, a Happy Hour. Two drinks for the price of one.

On our first go we all had the local drink that none of the locals drink: Pomada. It’s a cocktail (if you can call Menorcan gin mixed with lemon Fanta a cocktail; and I can).

Here’s Zoe, Andrea, and Frank enjoying their Pomadas (I’m taking the picture, giving me 30 seconds of practice for the forthcoming month).


Nice drink.

Happy Hour was 6.30pm til 7.30pm. At 7.29pm we panicked. All was well though, we got our order in. Zoe and Andrea went for Cava. Me and Frank took a gamble.

In 1964 Che Guevera said:

We must move forward, striking out tirelessly against imperialism. From all over the world we have to learn lessons which events afford. Lumumba’s murder should be a lesson for all of us.

Until now… as in now, as I write this… I had never heard of Patrice Lumumba. He was the first democratically elected Prime Minister of the Republic of the Congo and he was executed by firing squad. The UN failed to help him, and (according to Wikipedia)  MI6 might have had “something to do with it”.

I am completely ill-informed, but, as far as I am concerned, the only thing Patrice Lumumba can truly be found guilty of, is giving his name to the shittiest cocktail ever created.

If you are ever offered a Lumumba, just say no!

If you plan to Go Sober for October, spend the next six days drinking nothing but Lumumbas. After only one day you will be willing to embrace a lifetime of sobriety.

You may have gathered by now that me and Frank, in our ignorance, ordered Lumumbas.

It looks like this:


It’s a cocktail that comes in a pint glass.

A Lumumba is some kind of cold chocolate drink mixed with Brandy.

It is not for me.

Please help me not drink for a month. Please, if you can, give a little money to Macmillan. For every £5 you donate, it not only goes towards supporting families and individuals living with cancer, it’s also five pounds you won’t be able to spend on a Lumumba.

You can sponsor me here.

Go sober! What?

September 22, 2013

I’m going sober. For October.

It’s no great shakes. Well, not yet. Ask me towards the end of the month when my nickname may well be Shakin’ Simons. I’m giving up booze. For charity. It beats running a half marathon (though if you fancy sponsoring someone doing a half marathon, why not support my friend Nick who is running on behalf of the Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity).

We get bombarded for money for charity from all angles, and so I know it is a big ask, particularly on the back of the fantastic effort so many of you made when I carried out my daft Comic Relief challenge earlier this year. But hell, I like to pester, and it passes some time. And something tells me, without a drink for a month, time will pass by slowly.

I’ll write about the challenge here, day by day; listing some drinking tales, some sober stories, some fun, some jokes, some photos. Anything that may be worth a pound or two more for Macmillan Cancer Support.

If you can give, please give.

Oh, and I promise I will not follow Sober October with Movember. I did Movember last year (when many generously gave and my moustache begrudgingly grew). As for December… it’s just too close to Christmas to ask. And so, I sincerely promise I will not ask for any more of your money in 2013.

You can find my Go Sober giving page here. And here’s something I wrote on it today, supposedly giving ‘my story’:

I’m doing this to raise money for Macmillan. That’s my story. To raise as much as I can (though I am setting myself a target of £1664, in honour of one of my favourite beers). My mum and my sister have both had cancer, and are both doing well. In the past I have raised money for other cancer charities… sometimes they can be controversial too (if, say for example, they involve research). But Macmillan, they offer support. So let’s support them back.

Once October is up and running I will write about keeping sober on my blog, Mummified Fox, at https://simonhickson.wordpress.com/ I hope that will entertain along the way, and maybe encourage some of you to give a little bit of money. If all my Twitter followers donated the price of a London pint (rounding it up to a monstrous fiver) I could raise roughly £35,000. Imagine. If everyone gave just 25p I would exceed my target (though knowing how these things work I bet you can’t donate amounts in pence).

Please do give what you can. I know it can be pressurising if every one donates £10 or £20 etc. I know that sometimes the actual sites can also make you feel bad by giving options of what they think you should give (a dreadful policy). If the site allows you to donate £1, donate £1. It all helps, it all adds up.

Go on. Don’t buy me the equivalent of a pint (you’ll only make me thirsty), buy me a bag of nuts.

And thank you all in advance… and those of you who have even had enough faith to donate before the month begins.

Cheers folks. x