Written by Various Artists


Hoolies and hangovers

’Tis the season to overindulge on chocolate, cheese and delicious booze, with tonight being the traditional pinnacle of alcoholic excess – because what better way to start a new year than feeling like you want to die? Standard Issue writers share their shame and cure-alls.

woman with a headacheLili la Scala

When I was at school, I drank the best part of a bottle of tequila, threw up over the common room and passed out. My housemistress (who was a legend) blamed it on sudden-onset food poisoning. I have never been able even to look at tequila since. Alas. My parents came to get me the next day for the Easter holidays; they kept having to pull over on the M11 so that I could puke on the hard shoulder. All the class, right there.


Lucy glassesLucy Reynolds

My friend Michelle and I once drank so much red wine while on flu medication in a crappy comedy club in Nottingham on New Year’s Eve that I ended up purloining a pair of shitty novelty glasses from a gang of hard-looking girls who noticed and gave me death stares all night. I danced ever more frantically and Michelle kept a look out for me, thinking I was going to start a fight.

We went back to our hotel, where I posed in a bath with aforementioned glasses and a bottle of Asti (posh!). We suffered the next day though, especially from a dodgy sat-nav that bollocksed up our journey out of Nottingham. It was like we could never escape. I still have the glasses though.


Bisha K Ali

I used to work at a certain publication where, when a new join starts, the international CEO based in London goes out of his way to have a brief meeting with them (sometimes in groups of up to three if in a time crunch).

The night before my meeting I went out to a mixer thrown by the company – with an open bar – before carrying on the party until 4am. I was young and stupid and had to be in the CEO’s office for 8am, and when I arrived I threw up twice in the fancy toilets, cried, overheated and stank of a combination of vomit and whisky. He was a nice guy though. I think there was genuinely a prime minister from somewhere that I had to skirt around on my way out.


“My best hangover cure? Get pig in you. Somehow. Anyhow. Bacon, sausage, anything. PIG.”

Juliet Meyers

A friend, newly back from Brazil where she’d been for three years, suggested we see a band in North London but as drinks were pricey we should have a drink at her house beforehand to catch up. She had Japanese energy drink and Brazilian Cachaça which we drank as a combo. I don’t really drink and since having glandular fever at uni have never really had much resistance to it.

Cut to an hour later, I’m so drunk I’m getting up on stage and trying to sing with the band; then once restrained, I blather on about my unrequited love for a big idiot, then get put into a cab which seems to be going faster than anything I’ve ever been in.

I want to be sick but the stern sign says I’ll have to pay £200, meaning my drunken brain thought it better to vomit in my briefcase on my mortgage application. The journey took ages and cost a fortune.


Alka-Selzer and waterClaire Goodwin

Our best friends had an open bar at their wedding, generously paid for by the bride’s dad. Though we started out composed and ‘not wanting to take the piss’, the free-flowing champagne got the better of us (well, me, if we’re honest). I danced in bare feet to Love Shack, shrieked out Don’t Stop Me Now and then shied away from my hotel brekkie the next morning.

On the way home I made my hubby continually stop on the hard shoulder while I dry retched. After allowing him to drive on, I had to wrench down the window and puke out of it at 70mph. It all flew back in the car and I literally couldn’t move and it was splurged up the window and on our faces.

When we got home, I lay on the sofa wailing, “Don’t touch me!… But get me Chinese food… Please…” It took four days for that hangover to subside.


Gabby Hutchinson Crouch

I discovered, after having a party shortly after a week of “tummy trouble”, that a pint of water with Dioralyte before going to bed is a good way to limit a hangover the next day. If it’s too late for that, then my favourite next-day remedy is: orange juice and Anadin Extra, and then a couple of hours later a Lucozade and Hula Hoops and if at all possible, a little sleep.


“I tried everything: raw egg – which came straight back up; a fried breakfast – which might have been better if it had come straight back up; two paracetamol and a bottle of Irn Bru; a kilometre of front crawl; lying in bed crying, and a combination of all of the above.”

Jenny Shelton

This year was the year I discovered THE ultimate hangover cure! I feel I should share my new-found wisdom – and the tale of tomfoolery which led me there.

In October I took myself off on a solo horse-riding holiday in Ireland (part of my ‘must do lots of cool things for myself’ plan before I think about kids/turn 30) and met two brilliant American girls. On the first night we stayed up drinking with the locals, then sang Disney songs loudly and badly in our hotel room until 2am.

Early next morning, with a full day of riding ahead, I was feeling grim and regretting our impromptu party. I even took the lining from my bin with me as a makeshift sickbag, having already introduced my breakfast to the hotel room sink. However, after an hour cantering on the beach, in the fresh morning air, I was transformed. Bippity, boppity, boo.

So I suppose my advice for New Year’s Day hangovers is: get hold of a horse.


corks-640362_1920Juliette Burton

As a teen I drank way too much one night after a recent ex had told me he’d cheated on me with a friend. As I saw them go into the pub bathrooms for some hot lovin’ I decided I would build a pyramid tower out of my empty Aftershock shot glasses.

As the designated driver dropped us each off at our homes, I begged to use the bathroom of a friend… I was so sick – possibly everywhere other than where I was aiming. My group of friends weren’t angry though. Not with me. They’d all found out about my ex’s behaviour and had decided he was the best person to clean up my mess. Good friends! And my best hangover cure? Get pig in you. Somehow. Anyhow. Bacon, sausage, anything. PIG.


Sarah Ledger

I hate to say this – and I’ll try to avoid the self-righteous note of triumph as I write – but the most effective hangover cure is not drinking. So I don’t.

But there was a time when I did drink and I drank the way I do most things: carelessly, extravagantly, to excess and with little regard to the consequences. Bits of it, I miss. I miss the recklessness, the mad things popping into my head – ‘If Sweep is a spaniel and Sooty is a panda, how did they ever become friends?’ – the confident louche chat with strange men; the ability to dance as if the music had taken possession of my soul, and the whirling spinning walk home in laddered tights.

If there ever comes a time when I need a way out, I’ll take the exit marked ‘tequila’. But I don’t miss the hangovers. I tried everything: raw egg – which came straight back up; a fried breakfast – which might have been better if it had come straight back up; two paracetamol and a bottle of Irn Bru; a kilometre of front crawl; lying in bed crying, and a combination of all of the above. In the end, the hangovers beat me and I gave up drinking altogether.

Me not drinking is good for everyone. It means my bosoms won’t make a surprise appearance in a crowded room; I can have homemade bread and soup ready for you on New Year’s Day when you feel strong enough to face it; I can drive you home. I’ll try not to look smug, I promise.


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Written by Various Artists

Some of Standard Issue's brilliant women's carefully crafted words for your reading pleasure.