20 SEPTEMBER 2003, Page 79

Q. I have been virtually forbidden to touch alcohol on

medical grounds. I am rather at a loss as to which direction to turn since I intensely dislike Coca-Cola and allied highcaffeine concoctions. What should I do?

Name and address withheld A. Why not take a tip from E.D.G., of Lostwithiel, Comwal4 who, after 60 years of steady imbibing, has been told to call a halt to his 20-units-a-day habit. E.D.G. has hit on tea as a substitute. He tells me, 'One suddenly realises why tea has been such an integral pan of the lives of the middleand lower-income groups. The ritual of preparing it is soothing and in default of alcohol for either medical or other personal reasons, an addiction to tea can go some way towards providing an adequate substitute.'