As is so often the case, once you realise something, you then become alert to other manifestations of the same phenomena. Having observed the face washing coping mechanism on Wednesday, tonight I noticed another symbolic form of face washing: the post night out wash. This has been floating round my mind for a few months, I suppose. After nights out, I’ve become zealous about washing my face and completing my little ritual of potions and lotions – no matter how late or how tired I am. Tonight, I went to a house party, then stayed up after the other guests left and helped with the clear up operation – followed by a final coffee and putting the world to rights kind of conversation. Pretty exhausted, I trudged up to bed. Despite my tiredness, I knew I wouldn’t settle without my routine. And as I was rubbing my night cream in, I suddenly saw why: it’s proving to myself that I’m not so drunk that I don’t bother. Washing my face after a night out seems to be my barometer of sobriety – putting a very literal spin on the idea of cleaning up one’s act.