We all do it, or at least we think about it (albeit briefly), writes Robert Heaven.

But why do we do it?

Historically it’s a tradition that dates back to the Romans and perhaps even before that.

As a Cirencester boy, I like to think it’s the Romans.

I can imagine them sitting around in one of those posh villas they found at the back of the old Regal Cinema discussing what to give up for the year - perhaps bull-baiting at the amphitheatre, a place which Ciren folk have always called the “Bull ring”.

Given the number of pubs in the town that have closed in recent times, I guess it’s easier to resolve to give up drinking, or at least to cut down.

Supermarkets are now the choice of a place to buy alcohol to drink at home (or round the Abbey Grounds when I was a lad.)

But before supermarkets, we bought alcohol mainly from “jug and bottle” at local pubs.

These were usually a small hatch to the bar where the purchaser would stand outside the bar and buy beer and cigarettes to take away.

It was mostly beer that was bought this way.

Back in the 50s and 60s, few people bought wine or spirits (except at Christmas).

Wine could only really be bought at wine shops such as Zachary and Co at 16 Gosditch Street or grocers, Mason and Gillettes in Black Jack.

Parry and Co in the Market place sold wine and were also agents for the Gin makers W & A Gilbey.

It wasn’t until the 1970s that wine became more available to buy in Ciren.

Liebfraumilch was popular and wines that came in interesting bottles such as Chianti which was wrapped in a straw skirt and later recycled as a table lamp (if your dad could drill a hole in the bottle and fit an electric bulb kit to it.)