Sharkey & Duff talk alcohol………

jans and me 3



My relationship with alcohol: okay.

Type of drinker: emotional rollercoaster and sick girl. I also seem to think I can rap after I have had a drink.

I love a couple of beers every night but years ago I was a binge drinker; ending up ridiculously drunk, with memory loss and my head in the toilet by the end of the night. But now, I don’t over indulge (well at least not very often) and I follow the sound advice that everything is okay in moderation.

Over the years I have found I drank more during stressful times. By no means am I an alcoholic but the reason I drank was to help relax. I’m sure most of you know what I am talking about.

My tolerance to alcohol is zero, and as Duff and I talk about in our Vlog, I am a huge light weight.


I have always suffered with bad hangovers, I didn’t think it could get much worse but it seems as the years have passed, I cannot physically function, trying to pass it off as catching the flu, but my family know me better than that, and have little sympathy for my self-inflicted hangovers. I have tried many herbal remedies to help with my hangovers from the herbalist (in Rawtenstall is my best friend). Nothing worked.

I would love to give up alcohol for this exact reason, but I don’t think I could give it up. I am a nervous person. I need to have a few drinks to relax and liven me up, without a couple of drinks I think anxiety would get the better of me.

Quite contradictory, the first thing I do after I get home from the gym (but not my morning PT) is grab a bottle of Budweiser. When I was training for the half marathon I completed last February, during my training in the last mile of an evening run, my motivation was a bottle of beer haha. In fact, when I completed the half marathon it was the first thing I asked for!

The amount of beers I have mayincreases ever so slightly whilst on holiday. Last year me and Duff went on holiday together, and we would sit by the pool, hitting those rays and wait for Beer o’clock. For anyone that doesn’t know what Beer o’clock is, it is the time of the day where it is appropriate to have a beer. For some reason, on holiday Beer o’clock gets sooner and sooner. From Beer o’clock, we can start to drink steadily throughout the day.

One day on holiday last year, after drinking all day, we went for a pizza. Stupidly enough we decided to see who could down a glass of red wine the quickest! The next thing I knew, I woke the next day with my NEW white bikini, and expensive white dress covered in red wine.


However, if it wasn’t for our drunken antics on holiday, and specifically a drunken tequila filled beach day, Sharkey and Duff would never have been born. So I guess you could say that was a very productive day.

Though I do see the benefits of giving up alcohol. Those who give it up have fantastic skin. Plus, the added calories in alcohol are huge. So overall, the health benefits are worth giving up alcohol.

Maybe in a few years it might be something I aim to do, but for now, PASS ME A BEER!


What kind of drinker are you ? I,ll throw the scent off me!

Are you the controlled drinker? The mother of your group who makes sure everyone is ok, knows her limits and never let’s go? Always leaves the club still looking perfect and always remembers to remove her makeup ( Sharkey professes to being one of these she’s a big fibber) ( Most likely to wake up feeling smug, likes to phone you and tell you what YOU did last night )

Are you the Emotional roller coaster ? One min laughing and dancing round her handbag next minute she’s crying into her 10th gin, with no idea why she’s crying or why she started? Sharing tales of woe with all and sundry (most likely to wake up looking like Alice Cooper)

The Party animal – Loud, proud and fabulous to know ….for the first hour or so. Light the touch-paper and watch this gal go, she’s first up on the tables, and will soon be dragging you into the nearest nightclub, strip club or gambling den. You will emerge in a daze two days later, having lost your mind, your dignity and most of your belongings.(most likely to get you arrested)

The Angry drunk -The friend who takes offence at everything and everyone after a few glasses of Pinot, could fall out with herself in an empty room.l. Always picks on the hardest person in the bar! (Most likely to get you into a wild west style bar brawl)

The Sick girl – hero to zero in an hour and a half . One minute she’s dancing to Calvin Harris and singing karaoke  the next minute your holding her hair up while she vomits up her Bellini. Usually has only eaten a boiled egg and a bean shoot all day.( most likely to have the worst hangover).

The  Pole dancer  -3 aperol spritz and this girl thinks she’s Beyoncé! Before you know its she’s found herself a podium, has tucked her skirt in her knickers and is twerking her best primarni g-string in front of what she thinks is an appreciative crowd. ( Most likely to wake up to the worst snapchat story)

The Over sharer- two bottles in and you know more about her sex life than her gynecologist and you know every man she’s ever slept with intimately. She uses a night out as a confessional and she’s not afraid to tell you anything and everything. Off loading is her life therapy and if you listen closely you can pick up a few tips for the bedroom. ( most likely to wake up with beer fear)

The Lover- the lover, loves literally everyone on a night out. She tells the bouncer, the bar man, the toilet attendant and all her friends just how much she LURVES them over and over and over again. She spends hours in the toilet making new best friends that she can also love. ( most likely to wake up with loads of phone numbers of people she has no recollection of )

The Drunk dialer- rings her friends at 3am to tell them A-what a good night she’s had, B-what a bad night she’s had, C- what a b******d he/she is, D- how much she misses and loves you. Also partial to drunk texting ex boyfriends to tell them ABCD. (Most likely to wake up thinking what a good night she had, until she looks at her phone)

Now we’re sure you all know the above drinkers and we know a lot of you are one of the above. We can be a lot of the above depending on our drink of choice.I am particularly bad off the vino or lady petrol as I like to refer to it. Think of the effect bright lights have on a Gremlin and you’ll come close to the effect it has on me.

I have to say writing this has been difficult for me. Recalling my drinking history and its adjoining stories has been a tad uncomfortable to say the least. I’ve not got a problem with drinking perse  but i am definitely what is commonly known as a binge drinker. I could never be described as a controlled drinker and I usually need a responsible adult with me, who makes sure I make it home and in one piece. As I think about my life and it flashes before me, it is punctuated by the many many drunken exploits and shenanigans I have experienced over the years. Many nights where I have lost my shoes, my bags, my coats, my memory and on numerous occasions my dignity. My nickname Patsy after the ab fab character is well deserved. I earned it for the many times I nipped out for a quick drink friday and fell back home on sunday. I earned it for the bones I have broken and the wounds I have sustained, whilst trying to stay upright  in ridiculous heels. I earned it from the sheer amount of alcohol I can consume whilst still staggering, looking like something from the walking dead. For the years of dancing on tables, crying into my underpants and telling strangers my life story. Patsy has a lot to answer for.

Thinking back through these adventures makes me laugh out loud as I have been out partying over years with some very special friends, some who are sadly no longer with us but also some of my memories make me cringe in total shame and make me want to die inside. For all the loud and raucous fun nights out I have experienced, Patsy life also has a flip side, the anxiety, the beer fear, the apologies, the flashbacks, the horrendous monumental 3 day hangovers.  I imagine my Funeral (very cheery i know ) where everyone recalls their favourite Patsy night out story. Do i really want alcohol and my pissed up lunacy, to be my legacy?


This is where Gillian comes in! Now Gill is a friend of ours who has given up drinking for a year. Gill has been hitting a nerve with me recently, as I have watched her and her husband Lees life transform over Facebook. Not only do they both look amazing but waking up hung over on a Sunday morn to Gill, lee and their trusty dog Betty already walking up some mammoth hill in the Lake District, filled me with shame and also a bit of jealousy. As i was laid in bed feeling sorry for myself, they were out grabbing life by the cojones, living it, feeling fresh and having fun.

You see in my youth I could knock back a bottle of wine before I went out, you know those drinks, the confidence boosters, the couple of drinks to get you in the going out mood. I could then plough my way through shots, vodka and more shots before falling through my front door in the daylight hours. These  50-year-old days however,  one night of friday night Duff kitchen disco, now leads to a 3 day Duff hangover.

Today I nipped in to see the very fabulous Gillian Terry, who has just completed a sober year, now if any ones is a  good advert for not drinking its Gill!  I have known Gill for many years and I can honestly say  have never seen her look so good. It is not  just her appearance either its her whole demeanor that’s changed, she now  oozes a sort of calmconfidence, a confidence only found  from someone who obviously truly happy and content in themselves. Gill has a renewed youthful twinkle in her eye and a zest for life that’s contagious! She is my poster girl for sobriety.

Gill gave up drinking after reading a post on Facebook by The sober fish story “ It had been on my mind a bit, I didn’t know what to drink anymore. I went off wine, didn’t really enjoy gin, started struggling with what I fancied to drink. Then one saturday night we went out drinking and I woke up sunday morning with horrific hangover, a hangover so bad that I thought this cannot be a hangover I am clearly dying. That day I saw a post by the sober fish and it was like a light bulb moment, from that day on I knew I wasn’t drinking everagain, it almost felt like religious moment , that was my turning point.” The Sober fish Story -is a blog by Dawn Comolly, who decided to go a year without alcohol in 2016 and write about her experience, she’s still teetotal to this day.

Gillian said her decision, when she looks back may have been on the horizon for a while “  I was conscious that i wanted to stop drinking,I kept thinking im spending a fortune on going to the gym buying beauty products and i still wasn’t feeling the benefits”

Not long after Gill made the decision, her husband Lee decided to join her and they’ve never looked back. There joy of walking and the love they have for being in the great outdoor with their beloved dog Betty, has kept them on the straight and narrow with them both seeing substantial benefits. Lee lost a massive 3 stone in 3 months. They both found they are sleeping better, their skin has improved their mood is more even, they get along better than ever and are enjoying life to the full. Gill said how amazing it is to discover how many more hours there are to a day when your feeling fresh.

I asked if relationships had changed with friends, as they no longer would be socially drinking. Gill said it took some adjusting and the dynamics had changed a little but that was all. Gill and Lee were also a little worried about how they would approach their yearly Barcelona trip which was usually focused around their favourite drinking haunts. “We arrived and both looked at each other and went this is going to be really hard! But you know what we had the best time in Barcelona. We went on the train, we went to Montserrat, we visited places we would never seen if we had been drinking, as we always used to stay around the same area

I asked Gill if she would ever drink again? “ Never say never, but i can’t imagine drinking again why would i? Seeing the benefits and feeling so great it’s completely changed both our lives. What I would say to people is your life would be so much better, for that bit of fun on Saturday night, it’s awful feeling like that the next day. There is not one thing I miss now about drinking, don’t get me wrong I had some of the best times with the best people drunk but for the rest of my life no. I now feel the best I have felt in all of adult life, the healthiest and most content. I feel like it was being 50, getting married and felt it was time to be responsible and change things. I don’t want another hangover as long as I live. I can give you a million reasons why I don’t drink and I can’t give you one reason why I would want to drink again” Speaking to Gill listening to someone so passionate about the subject and is obviously thriving and glowing really makes you rethink your weekend tipple. So I,m going to raise a glass (of orange obvs) to Gill, Lee and anyone else out there who has given up the grog. Well done! changing your lifestyle and bucking the trend of the drinking culture is never easy you deserve to look and feel great .

Writing this has definitely made me think about my attitude to alcohol and its effect on your mind and body. I have had a few weeks sampling sober life its been enlightening. I have woken up fresh on a sunday morning and headed to the gym. Whilst at said gym, I enjoyed a workout rather than enduring it trying not to throw up. I have been clear-headed and attacked work with vengeance. I,ve had control over my diet, im not anxious, my mood is more even. My husband and I have not bickered and im sleeping like a log. Sobriety maybe something i embrace in the future. Perhaps in hindsight I  could become a much me the controlled drinker?. Maybe I need to have a couple of drinks and not a couple of bottles? I still love dancing around in my kitchen with the family for friday night Duff discos.  I cannot imagine not having a beer watching the sunset with Sharkey on our hols, will it be as much fun sober?

Although i am enjoying being sober and can see and feel the benefits in spades I,m not sure that Patsy is quite ready to fully hangup her dancing shoes just yet, after all Sharkey & Duff was born after a particularly big beach sundown tequila sesh.

Lots of love Sharkey & Duff xxxx

Big thanks to Gill for giving us the interview xx

One thought on “Sharkey & Duff talk alcohol………

  1. Firstly let me say as i know you Janet
    .you are one of the nicest people I have ever met. and one of the nicest drunks.. I think our perception of alchol changes as we get older..because this is a turd you cant polish..its a poison..and it affects your organs… which is why the hangovers are bad…. But I enjoy a drink but now only Friday or Saturday and only a couple of glasses.. because Im a stone overweight and Needed to ditch the liquid calories… its worth it not to have the dark bags under my eyes…very ageing no matter how much Beauty Flash balm I slap on.And Its a health thing for me High blood pressure. Do I miss it no.. I was a home drinker and my weekends started Thurs and ended monday.And as i cant afford or want Botox its the next best thing.But a Kir Royale with lunch.? Dont mind if I do.Youre right hun moderation …but not on your jols. xxxx


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