For as long as I can remember the Six Nations has been an important period in my calendar! For those of you who don’t know, the six nations is a rugby tournament that runs over 7 weeks with matches every weekend. Rugby is massive in Wales and is our national game. Both my girls play rugby and my husband coaches them. So it’s a big part of our life.

Until this year, every welsh match was spent in our local pub watching the game. The girls would come with us, their bags filled with paper, pens and toys to keep them entertained for the approx 5 hours spent down there. I would get through a huge amount of lager on those days!

Tackling the six nations this year was going to be tough. Thankfully, we were in lockdown so there was no pub to go to. But we would still watch it in the house. I felt relieved after the first game as I still enjoyed watching it just as much as I used to. There were plenty of times when I jumped out of my chair and screamed at the TV even though I only had a Heineken 0.0 in my hand.

After the first match I felt very confident and enjoyed the rest of the tournament. It helped that Wales were performing unexpectedly well and we were on for a Grand Slam! I hadn’t given much thought to the final Grand Slam game. But when my husband asked me to buy him four beers for the match I had the all too familiar pang of jealousy and resentment. In fairness to him, he hadn’t drunk at all during the other matches, so I couldn’t really be mad at him. But I felt that sense of loss that I would not be able to enjoy the game ‘properly’ because I wasn’t drinking. The fact that I had loved the last 4 games without the assistance of alcohol escaped me. 

I felt very nervous in the hours leading up to the match and regressed into myself, pretending I was fine. The match went ahead, it was amazing, we didn’t win (lost the game in extra time), but it was such an exciting match. As soon as the match started and I had my Heineken 0.0 in hand I completely forgot about the fact that I wasn’t drinking.

Going to bed I felt really proud that I had managed to get through without the need for alcohol. I felt even better when I heard my husband spewing those four beers into the toilet at 1am in the morning. The word that best describes how I felt the next morning. SMUG! Another tick in the box for things I can still enjoy sober.