It's an age-old question: how do you cure a hangover? And it's one that, given our well-documented booze culture and penchant for binge drinking, tens of thousands of New Zealanders are likely to be grappling with when they wake up tomorrow.
I can virtually guarantee that I'll be bright-eyed and bushy-tailed on 1 January, not because I'm a model of virtuous restraint but rather because I just can't get excited about New Year's Eve celebrations.
There's something about all that forced and finely timed bonhomie that repels me.
Being cheerful on cue makes me want to put my head under the covers and wait until everyone has gone home. And, anyway, Auld Lang Syne just might be the dreariest song I've ever heard. That's another good reason for staying home with the cat tonight.
Call me a Nana, but I'm often eying up my watch at, oh, about 9pm on the last day of the year and wondering if I can possibly stay awake until midnight. Often I don't. All that hype and pressure to overindulge on New Year's Eve brings out the party pooper in me.
I'm more inclined to let loose for no particular reason on a random Tuesday in June than join the excesses of a New Year's Eve party. Rather than be timetabled twelve months ahead, my hangovers tend to arrive with all the stealth of a commando raider.
But don't assume by the fact that I'm underwhelmed by New Year's Eve that I'm some shining example of moderate behaviour. In fact, I find it very easy to get carried away by high spirits and suffer from crippling hangovers if I break one or more of the rules I set myself on a night out. They are: don't mix drinks (a glass of champagne or a gin-and-tonic aperitif is fine but then it's straight onto chardonnay or pinot gris for the rest of the night), eat substantial food, drink no more than four glasses, don't drink for more than three hours - and finally, no shooters. Ever.
I get the worst hangovers in the world. Well, maybe New Zealand. At the very least: Auckland. Would you believe the worst hangovers in my street, then?
If I relax my carefully crafted drinking guidelines it's quite possible that I'll end up collapsing fully clothed into bed only to wake at 6am with a pounding head, a churning stomach and the certain knowledge that I'll be (please look away if you are squeamish or eating lunch) vomiting every thirty minutes for the next twelve hours. I don't really feel human again until the following day.
So when I read about some alleged remedies in the comments section of Which hangover cures should I try? I wondered if some of these people have ever experienced one.
I'm guessing the person who suggested "a nice film" has not.
Recommendations to consume bacon, bananas, Berocca, Earl Grey tea, jacket potatoes and jelly are similarly meaningless to anyone who's in such a fragile state they can't keep down even a mouthful of water. And, going for a run or playing a game of squash is out of the question if you can't get out of bed.
LoverOfRain wrote: "With bona fide hangovers, you wake up, vehemently curse your foolishness and then wish for nothing but total annihilation." My thoughts exactly. Happy new year!
How will you be celebrating New Year's Eve? How will you be handling any hangover that may ensue?