LONDON MOOT

Dry January? Load of tosh or a good idea?

Is giving up for a month simply the lull before the storm?

London Inspire is delighted to be joined by Dave Buckley for the first of his series of no holding back, grumpy old man-type articles.

I’ve never been especially keen on concepts such as Dry January, Vaganuary, Movember (beard growing), national tea drinking week, you name it.

It seems to me that the short-cut for PR people seeking to creating interest in a product or cause is to create a day, a week, a week or month dedicated to … you name it … and they are off and running.

Elsewhere on this site we reference all sorts of special days or weeks. In the past I have posed the question: Who is the arbiter of all these special days? Is there a Government-backed body somewhere that says it is okay to create a Drink a Pint While Standing on your Head Day? Or does an enterprising PR just go ahead a create it and hope no one has designated the day to be something a little more significant?

Were you aware that there is a whole website dedicated to these special days? Me neither – until now. It’s http://projectbritain.com/specialdays.htm.

A visit tells me that the following are up-and-coming in the near future:

January 22-28: Farmhouse Breakfast Week dedicated to underlining the importance of a good breakfast.

January 28: The start of National Storytelling Week.

February 4: World Cancer Day.

I have deliberately chosen some worthwhile causes that might merit a special day or week but then on February 20-26, for example, we have National Chip Week dedicated to the nation’s favourite potato fries. Crazy!

Please PR guys and girls, can we stop creating all these special days and weeks? Otherwise, I will do my best to create Grumpy Old Man fortnight and give you something to think about.

Regarding going without alcohol in the first month I am attempting this, but refuse to say that I’m bidding to complete Dry January. I am giving my liver a rest after a stupidly boozy December, that’s all. If you want to give that some form of title, up to you!

In truth, I almost fell off the wagon this weekend but was “saved” by discovering a drink new to me. It’s called Seedlip and it’s marketed in a bottle that looks awfully like a gin bottle. It’s a distilled non-alcoholic spirit.

I don’t have shares in the company so have no reason to promote it other than to perhaps help others in a similar situation. I found it in my local Waitrose. Cheap it isn’t – 22 quid for 700 mil. You can buy many leading makes of ‘real’ gin for several pounds less.

But, as a gin substitute, it works pretty well. I bought the Spice 94 version which reminds me of Opihr gin. It passes my: Can I taste the difference test? I would struggle to. There are two other versions which I plan to try over the coming weeks.

Seedlip has one major drawback, I should point out. Because it does not contain alcohol my measures have been, let’s say, on the generous side. I got through the bottle is two days. Not a problem in terms of pickling my liver, but potentially heavy on the wallet.

Those seeking other alternatives top alcohol could visit another London Inspire post.

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David Buckley

Dave Buckley is a career journalist. “I once went painting girders for a week and discovered I didn’t like heights,” he says. “Apart from that it has always been journalism for me in one form or another.” Past publications worked for include the South-East London Mercury*, Kent Messenger, Daily Express, Today*, News of the World* and Hong Kong Star*. All those marked with an asterisk no longer exist (trend emerging?). He owned and edited a Thailand-based property magazine before returning to England and currently works as a production editor for an East Midlands-based publishing group.

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