Febfast: A sober guide to New Year Eve

Febfast: A sober guide to New Year Eve

I woke up the other morning (New Years Eve) with a raging hangover. It was the kind of hangover that sneaks up on you and then smacks you right between the eyes. An old friend stopped past our place on her way back home to Bali and brought with her a couple of bottles of white wine. We sat for hours catching up on old times, telling stories and sharing ideas. It was wonderful to see her again, she is one of those friends whom you can go months without speaking to and pick up right where you left off as though no time at all had passed. I cherish friendships such as those, the ones that stand the test of time.

She had an early flight in the morning and so we were up early to drop her to the airport. Too early if you ask me. So early that I’d not had time to sleep off the evening’s excesses yet, I did not envy her having to get on that plane. On the way home, as I nursed a god awful hangover, I decided that I didn’t want to feel this way anymore. I’ve had a few hangovers in my time (ahem) but this one just seemed to feel more unhealthy than usual. After the excesses of the festive season I was feeling bloated, greasy and tired. It was time to give up the grog, maybe not forever, but perhaps until further notice.

So there I was, on New Years Eve, deciding to go grog-free. To amplify things, we were invited to a wedding that night, and as we all know, weddings are not generally a haven for sober people. Still, with the way I felt at that point, nothing was going to stop me. For sh*ts and giggles I decided to document the day/evening. Here it is for your amusement.

A sober guide to New Years Eve

Sweet mother of all things unholy, what the hell kind of time is this? Oh my goooood, how much did I drink last night? Blah. I feel AWFUL. Going back to sleep.

Sh*t! I need to take R to the airport… oh why, WHY, why is this happening?

Ok, airport run completed, now to go home to bed to sleep this blasted thing off. Wait, we have a wedding this morning – what time is it? where? LOBETHAL?! at 11am…. oh for the love of….

Managed to get a quick nap in, actually feeling worse than I was before – hooray! A shower will cure what ails me, maybe?

Okay, dressed, looking halfway decent and now time to hit the road. We’re heading to Lobethal, which is about 45 minutes out of Adelaide.

Thank you Google Maps for sending us on the ‘scenic’ route to Lobethal, complete with long, winding roads. Looking and feeling a little green at the moment. Blerg.

This is taking FOREVER. I am seriously going to spew. Oh god.

We have arrived, 5 minutes late but I think we’ve made it. Wait, was that the bridal car just pulling in the driveway?

I feel like I’m in that movie with Hugh Grant and all the bonking. Please don’t be walking down the aisle yet, please.

We have our seats, crisis averted – thank you jeebus! Speaking of jeebus, did I mention this wedding is in a church?

First hymn and my head is pounding. I hate church.

Dear Lord,
If you release me from this sermon I promise to never drink again. It’s hot and my head hurts.

Praise Jeebus! We are free. Lovely wedding. I still hate church.

Post-wedding feast courtesy of the bride and groom – WIN! Imma eat all the tings. No signs of booze yet. I can do this.

We are home, time for a nap!

Wow, slept longer than anticipated. Actually feeling human again. Now to drink 800 litres of water.

I’m driving. On New Years Eve. Check me out!

Oh good, we’re late. Again! Arriving to the reception after the bride and groom is good luck, right?

Ok, now the true test begins – where are the softies? Ooh flat Fanta, my favourite… 😐

Food is arriving and it is excellent. Huzzah! Pass me the water.

Speeches. What do I cheers with? Pass me the water.

First dance. Aww aint that cute. P is stuck in the toilets, the door is right next to the dance floor. Everyone at the table is hanging out to see if he will leave mid-dance. He doesn’t. He waits.

Dance-floor fires up, festivities are in full swing. Actually noticing the people around me are starting to slur their words. Not heaps, but just enough that it is noticeable.

The younger members of the celebration are now up on the dance-floor. Singing loudly and out of tune to the music that’s coming on. I’m embarrassed for them. Is this how I get?

Ok, things are starting to get dire now. Tables break up and people are lurching around the room chattering away animatedly. Slurring is definitely noticeable now, as is the yelling. Not sure if that is a sign of drunkenness or because the music is too loud.

Last drinks! People are looking frantic, grabbing two, three glasses before the bar closes. It dawns on me that we might not make it to New Years.

The bar is closed! A mass exodus from the venue. The bride looks confused. They are planning to hold the countdown at the venue – but what is a countdown without the cheers?

A group of twenty-somethings have taken over the dance-floor. Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody is playing and they are performing what I can only describe as an animated pantomime, complete with loud, off-key singing, wild hand gestures and poorly executed pelvic thrusts. I think I need to get out of here.

We say our goodbyes. 13 minutes to midnight. What to do?

We jump in the car, I can drive! This is excellent.

We make our way over to the East End and manage to pull up in the perfect spot on the side of the road and watch the fireworks.


What to do now? There are a couple of parties on but P has had a few and I’m kinda over it (sorry, everyone!) – we head home.

Curled up on the couch with some popcorn and season 2 of Seinfeld. Happy New Year!

P is out cold and snoring his head off. I’m feeling good.

9.30am – New Years Day:
Wake up, clear-headed and feeling good – Welcome to 2013!




I’ve now gone a full six days without any grog and am feeling so motivated that I’ve signed up for febfast. febast is a national fundraising initiative which challenges everyone to give alcohol a break in February and raise money to help young Aussies overcome alcohol, drug and mental health problems. It’s a great opportunity for people to take stock and put a focus on health in the New Year while at the same time raising some money for a worthy cause. febfast is aiming to raise $1m to help vulnerable families and teenagers tackle serious alcohol and drug issues.

I’ll write more about it in coming weeks but in the meantime, if you’d like to participate then why not join the team and we can do it together., you can also donate funds at the link if you’d like. For more info check out this video and stay tuned:


  • Haha, I’ve been advocating booze free NYEs for ages! Personally, I adore wine, beer, spirits. Whatever it is, I’ll drink it. However, I don’t see the need to drink excessively at events such as NYEs, Christmas, Birthdays etc. In fact, I feel that those events need to lean more towards being less boozy… after all, important events that are worth celebrating should be memorable, and how many really, really drunk people can say they have woken up the next morning from NYE celebrations and remember everything that happened at the celebration?

    Anyways, I think it’s good that you are taking a step back. I’d do Febfast too if it weren’t way too easy for me to go for months without drinking, so it has no significance for me. But I am very glad that you are doing that! (Also, I don’t mean to sound lecture-y, it might be the teacher in me coming out.)

  • I usually work around New Years Eve, and love waking up feeling fabulous to start th new year. This year I was in bed at 8pm on nye. And felt awesome the next day!

  • Kirsty says:

    I love that you’re doing FebFast, good for you! I definitely am an advocate for less booze, I’m generally not a big drinker but I do like my wine… feb is also difficult for me, what with my birthday and a trip to Vietnam ;P Good luck though, I look forward to reading more accounts from various sober functions! X

  • Stephen says:

    Ah Lobethal – fabulous town!!! We were out walking at 6AM that day and the next. Somehow if life cannot be fun without alcohol, then there is a problem! I am cutting down to rid myself of a few extra calories, aiming for a skinny me this 2013. Happy New Year to both of you! LL S&L

  • Erin B says:

    Hi Folks,

    If you’re not able to participate but would like to support me during Febfast then I would love it if you could give a small donation over on my everyday heroes page. Every little bit counts and you are helping to support a very worthy cause.

    If you’d like to join my team then follow the link: https://febfast2013.everydayhero.com/au/team-she-cooks-she-gardens – you can donate there as well. All donations of $2 or more are fully tax deductible!

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