On breaking things

I used to think I was clumsy. Mainly because I used to spend an inordinate amount of time locating the dustpan and brush from underneath the sink whilst trying to avoid getting lacerated by killer pieces of glass around the kitchen floor. Oddly, I’ve since noticed a clear correlation between the amount of alcohol imbibed and my rate of clumsiness.

It is therefore today, in celebration of eight months of sobriety, I present to you, in mostly chronological order, eight things I’ve broken whilst under the influence:

Two candleholders from Iittala:

My best friend buys me a pretty candleholder for my 17th birthday. In my eagerness to put it to immediate use I stumble on a rug sending the candleholder catapulting from my grip to collide unceremoniously with a wall. A few days later my best friend brings me a familiarly shaped package. There it is, the very same pretty candleholder from Iittala. I open it, determined to keep it in one piece, gently attempting to place it on top of the nearby bookshelf. In an epic fail I slip on a discarded nightgown and the candleholder crashes to an immediate death by my right foot. My friend does not buy me a third candleholder.

My front tooth:

It is a boiling hot summer’s day. I have bought a cobalt blue bottle of Babycham to enjoy on the common whilst my uni mates play football. I wave at the boys whilst seductively bringing the bottle to my lips: no need for a glass here! Except I misjudge the angle between my arm and my mouth, thus chipping off a piece of my left front tooth. I repair my left front tooth on four different occasions, at a cost of over £1000.

My ankle:

It is 11.55pm. Darude’s Sandstorm comes on the speakers. I am Finnish. It is a matter of national importance that I dance. Sensibly I decide to remove my shoes. They have been causing me to want to cut my feet off for the past four hours. Ah, the blissful relief! I bounce around with ecstatic glee. ‘Look at me move!’ I think proudly, ‘The Queen of the Dance floor!’. There is no doubt about it. But fate has other plans for me. My foot finds a puddle in which it lands just slightly on its side, leading me to take a spectacular tumble. With immediate effect my ankle turns the colour of a week-old banana whilst swelling to three times its normal size. It is 11.58pm. Two minutes later it is time for carriages.

I’m unable to run for seven months.

Approximately 9354 glasses:

Including at least one belonging to my dear friend Simon. Simon specifically advises me that I must, under no circumstances, break this particular glass as it is rare and difficult to replace. For a fleeting moment I consider requesting another less precious glass from his collection, but on the back of my excellent track record of keeping glasses in one piece, I decide to accept the challenge. Unfortunately it isn’t to be. I find the narrowest window ledge known to humankind to balance the glass on, and just like that the dream is over. Simon does not speak to me for a week.

On another occasion, at university, I stand with a newly acquired pint of cider in my right hand loudly holding court when my pint of cider simply falls out of my hand.

It just falls out of my hand.

The muscles in my hand forget that they are holding on to a glass and so the glass crashes on to the floor, sending the contents splashing across our denims. I am not sure if I pull that night.

A bike:

I am at the tail end of a catastrophic date. It is 2.09am and I have to make my way home. But wait! I came by bike! Brilliant. I will save myself a tenner on a taxi! I attempt to ride the bike. I fall off. I get on again, thanking the universe that nobody was there to witness this sorry display. I fall off once more. I don’t understand, I ride my bike all the time, but somehow it just seems really hard tonight. After falling off a third time, I realise that something isn’t quite right with the bike. After a few minutes of intense brain activity and equally intense gazing through my right eye only I locate the problem: the chain is mostly dragging on the ground with what is apparently called a derailer hanging on for dear life. I get a strong sense that I am able to fix this issue, and so I tinker around with a few hair clips and a hairband until a couple of friendly Polish guys gently usher me in to a cab with the bike.

To this date I am not sure if it was my falling off the bike that caused the damage or whether it was my date’s psychopathic housemate who sabotaged my bike in a jealous rage.

I am inclined to go with the latter.

My pharynx:

It’s Christmas. I have imbibed the contents of around 1.42 bottles of Chianti. I am ‘tired’ but still aware that my dental health comes first. I slowly make my way to the bathroom, where I reach for my electric toothbrush. I apply toothpaste, and start to brush my teeth like I have done so many times before. Then, nature calls. I establish my inability to hold on for the required two minute brushing period, and so decide to multitask, beginning my steady descend on to the toilet bowl. The bathroom can only be described as bijou, and thus it is that during my descent the base of my toothbrush hits the rim of the basin, shooting the brush in to my pharynx in a quick stab. Blood guzzles from my mouth by the gallon.

I can only eat and drink through a straw for the following eight days.


Both my own and others. When you drink there is only room for one Sheriff in town. Pistols at dawn.


It’s 6.30am. A car alarm keeps on sounding. Nothing to do with me. ‘Why the f*** is nobody sorting this out, people are trying to sleep!’

6.35am. The car alarm is still sounding. It seems to be sounding from inside my bedroom. It dawns on me: it is not the car alarm, it is the alarm clock.

My mouth is so dry I could sell it as sandpaper. Everything hurts, even my eyeballs. Especially my eyeballs.

6.40am. I text my friend: ‘I’m never drinking again.’

8.25am. I arrive at office and loudly announce ‘I’m never drinking again.’

6.00pm. I leave the office.

6.03pm. ‘A bottle of Pinot Grigio, please.’



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