On Tuesday I went on a grand day out (which I'll tell you about shortly). I woke up and had a cup of tea at 7am, then set off to catch a train to the other side of the country. Here I pootled about for several hours, walking in excess of ten miles, then caught the train back to London. I arrived home at 9pm, put the kettle on and had a cup of tea. At which point I noticed that I hadn't had a drink for 14 hours. I wasn't gasping or thirsty or anything, I just hadn't felt the need for a beverage since breakfast. Not a cuppa, not a can, nor even a small sip of water. And it struck me that this was unusual behaviour.
I hadn't eaten much on my day out either. I'd taken some hot cross buns, and I'd bought a 99 cornet, but nothing that could really be described as liquid. And this waterlessness isn't a one-off. When I took a day trip to Paris a few weeks ago I had no drinks at all between a cup of tea at 5am and another on my return at 10pm. On that occasion I had considered buying a drink in the French capital, but never quite got round to it, and that was fine. There was no peculiar after-effect, no parched throat, no crawling up to the door of a Starbucks panting "Coffee, coffee coffee!" But 17 hours without drinking... it's not normal, is it?
Most people can only go so long without a drink before an urgent need strikes. Indoors they're off to the tap or kettle, outdoors they're busy hunting down the nearest corner shop or cafe. But I don't appear to be most people. Don't get me wrong, I'm a 5-cups-a-day tea drinker most of the time. But when needs must, or when liquids aren't easily to hand, I can go for ages without needing a gulp. I'm not convinced it's something to be proud about, nor even something that's medically wise. But hey, it's a useful skill sometimes.