Giolla has set up a site to counteract Alcohol Concern’s lunatic proposal that nobody should drink at all for the whole month of January.

31 days without a drop of booze? Well, to riff on the Pat Nurse ‘Octabber’ idea, how about 31 days without a drop of UK duty paid booze? It’ll be easier for some than for others; nipping across to the continent is beyond my pocket at the moment and it’s a bit late to start homebrew – but then, it could be worth a try.

In these parts, nobody really drinks a lot in January anyway. It takes a month to get New Year’s Eve out of your system and to let your liver go through therapy. However, a warming nip in the cold winter evenings does give you a bit of a glow.

I think I’ll stock up through December. I see Tesco have cut a lot of whisky prices – Teacher’s, Whyte and MacKay and Grants are all now £12 each, and the Penderyn is £5 off at £28. Tonight I’m trying something new. A blend called Lochlan (£15 in Tesco). Not bad, a tad on the harsh side, something akin to Whyte and Mackay, I’d say. Not as smooth as Stewart’s Cream of the Barley but for the price, a decent dram.

Work is curtailing my intake, which is odd, because now I have a regular income you’d think I’d be permanently oblivious to the entire world. Work requires little concentration but there’s a lot of physical stuff and it’s much easier without a head full of sand, teeth covered in fur and eyes like maps of the Underground.  So I have settled into a slow and steady pattern, which is cheaper and which will probably cause the overall alcohol intake for Scotland to plummet at the next assessment. My 20-year binge is winding down.

An unfortunate side-effect is the lack of terrifying nightmares. Where am I going to get ideas for stories now?

Well, all is not lost. If you want to set out on a career as a horror writer, you could do worse than be the guy who checks the ladies’ toilets. It must be a fingernail thing, but there’s always shredded toilet paper on the floor – but the real horror is when you open the door… and the seat is up. That’s happened more than once and it does make me eye the customers somewhat warily.

Anyway, having just done another Sunday afternoon (three in a row – it could become regular at this rate) I am shattered, but on the bright side it makes the normal weekday afternoon seem like a doddle.

So it’s a quiet night in, testing the depths of Lochlan and packing up a couple of eBay things because I’m just keeping the account ticking over for now.

Oh, and of course, a browse of Drinkuary.org.

29 thoughts on “Drinkuary

  1. We’ve been through Feburary Fast, and another month of no drinking more recently with an equally terrible name. Sober October maybe? Not drinking for a month doesn’t somehow make you a better, more moral person.


    • It risks making you into a miserable Puritan. They are trying to assimilate us. Resistance is not futile.

      I know people who don’t drink, people who don’t smoke, one person who doesn’t read, even people who (gasp) aren’t interested in model trains! The difference between them and Puritans is that none of them are trying to force me to not drink, not smoke, not write books and not arrange terrible railway accidents in miniature.

      The Puritans, the Righteous, try to force us to be like them.

      And they are truly revolting.


      • But once everyone is the same, what will they have to keep them occupied then?
        I’d rather be a chain-smoking alcoholic (I am neither), than be one of them.

        *raises glass*


  2. My goodness, that non-existent slippery slope is becoming very crowded these days, isn’t it? All those battle-weary anti-smokers must be furious. At least in the old days jumped-up newcomers had the good grace to wait for a few years before scrambling onto the bandwagon. These days, the moment the anti-smoking movement comes up with their latest barrel-scraping idea, all the “Us too! Us too!” brigade are there within weeks, jostling for elbow room and announcing uncannily similar-sounding campaigns of their own.

    It just isn’t like the good old days when the Healthists were only interested in tobacco is it? Aww. Widdums!


    • ” see evidence of feet on the toilet rim.”
      On the rim? That’s nothing! I used to work security for German Banks. One of my duties was checking the Woman’s bogs for bombs (I kid you not, it has happened). One day I got a call from a colleague over the radio “You GOTTA come see this”. In a cubicle in the ladies there were a set of trainer prints..backwards ie with the heels (if heel prints had been visible) pointing towards the room…and these prints were not on the rim but on the water cistern
      above the toilet!

      Apparently a new female member of the 3rd party cleaning staff, what the Yanks would call a ‘wetback’ ie spoke not a word of german and fresh off the boat from Backwardstan, later complained to her supervisor about these ‘life endangering german toilets’!


  3. Perhaps, thinking ahead, it’s a good thing that February 2nd is a Saturday, since an alcohol-free month – timed to sign up a maximum of remorseful, hungover Christmas drinkers – will surely mean that a fair proportion will indulge in a binge of epic proportions on the night of February 1st, with the consequences you so eloquently describe.

    On a side issue, without wanting to be too indelicate, may I set your mind at rest, at least in the matter of perpendicular seats?

    Feminine orthodoxy among the more fastidious members of the sex has long held that one’s person should never touch the seat in a public convenience, a feat which, for the female of the species, requires considerable balance skills and quads of steel.

    To reduce the risk of inadvertent contact while hovering, some prefer to raise the seat completely to keep it out of the way – and may well forget to lower it again afterwards (perhaps there’s not so much difference between the sexes after all).

    This public service announcement has been brought to you courtesy of the repeated admonitions of my great-aunts and other female relatives.


  4. Lochlan, eh? I may give that a try. Two glasses either side of my keyboard are testimony to age-induced indecisiveness and a mortal weakness for Asda’s cheap Brandy and rude Port.


      • Not German, I know, but have you encountered the Austrian Strohrum? A german friend brought me a bottle a few years ago – it’s still half full 8 years later! At 80% ABV it’s not for the faint-hearted! It’s also not much to my taste, which is probably most fortunate…


        • Tja. My sister from Holland brought me a bottle of Stroh, for Jule, 1986/7 (Can’t remember which). I drank a half pint, half Stroh, half cola. (Also quarter pint Stroh)

          48 hours later, I “woke up”. Apparantly I had sung along to the entire film “The Wall” and “Floyd live in Pompei”, and I don’t remember a bloody THING, accept for the tatse of yacht varnish that stayed in my mouth for DAYS after.

          I have a mate who is a chemist with Beyer/Schering, here in Berlin. He told me recently, that Stoh is TOTALY chemical!

          The ONLY natural thing in it is water (20%), the rest is PURE chemical!


      • A Chinese drink, can’t remember the name (can’t remember much about that afternoon at all). It tasted like light lubricating oil but after half a glass you don’t care any more. I was drinking with pig farmers in Beijing, and there is a Chinese custom that the guest’s glass must always be full, which has the consequence that you have no idea how much you’ve drunk until it’s too late. They visited Scotland the following year and with wide grins, awarded me a bottle of the stuff. That was in 1991.

        The bottle is still here.


    • I’m fussy about whisky, but quite happy with the own-brand brandies. Don’t buy Tesco’s in the half-bottle size though. It’s a plastic bottle and the brandy picks up the taste.


    • You could get a non-nicotine Electrofag, you know. All you smoke is flavoured steam, but it’ll drive the drones crazy. They used to make an Electropipe too, I don’t know if they still do.

      Pipes are ideal for home-grown. You don’t have to break it up very much.


      • I think I shall stick to the pipe and as much booze as possible, especially during Drinkuary. I’m fed up with these idiots, how do we ban them?


        • To paraphrase Marvin, ‘Loathe them or hate them, you can’t like them’. I ignore them and have fun terrorising their drones whenever I meet one.
          As for January, well I have taken a small job in a shop, never worked in a shop or in direct contact with the horrible public before, and I started in the run-up to Christmas. In at the deep end. January is when it all calms down and I will not be wasting too much time being sober.


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