Monday, July 19, 2010

Life's A Beach

Day 31

Then: 15 stone 5 pounds (215 lbs)
Now: 14 stone 8 pounds (204 lbs)

Stroh rum is so strong, it used to be banned on airplanes in case it spontaneously combusted. That’s the story, anyway. It’s 160° Proof – that is, 80 percent alcohol by volume, Austria's secret weapon of mass destruction.

Stroh is undrinkable neat, but mixed with ginger beer, it makes the most potent, delicious, intoxicating rum cocktail imaginable. It’s perfect for a blustery day at the beach, which is how we spent yesterday with a group of friends, enjoying a final hurrah for Jo’s birthday. Our friend Deryn is half German, so she knew the secrets of the Stroh and Ginger Beer Punch. I have never tasted anything as strong in my life.

The picnic had originally been planned as a decoy, so that Jo wouldn’t think that anything had been arranged on the day of her actual birthday – you can read the whole dastardly plot on my Blog From The North. But we had so much fun earlier in the week, and the weather forecast was so mild, that we all decided to go ahead with it and headed off with kids and dogs to one of Northumberland’s famous deserted beaches.

It was Izzy’s first ever encounter with the North Sea and real sand. She was so excited, she giggled uncontrollably for several hours. The dogs went wild; I built sandcastles and fell asleep.

The problem for me was that the caterers (basically our three wives) had forgotten about my diet. There were piles of great sandwiches – luscious salami, ham and cheese, and my absolute favourite, mortadella – and there were boxes of home-baked cheese straws, roast beef sandwiches, chocolate brownies and pretzels. And there was the rum cocktail.

Sadly, this morning, I paid the price. Three pounds added. And now, back to the drawing-in-the-tummy board.

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