These normally last until about January 3rd, but I’ll be making an effort this time. I have avoided impossible and stupid ones like ‘give up smoking’ or ‘eat sensibly’ and as for the ridiculous CRUK idea of giving them money to prove you’re being a good non-drinking drone – oops, I’ve already blown it. Work starts at 2 pm tomorrow, Drinking Neighbour’s New Year party is still going and I have dented a bottle of Glen Orchy, tapped the Penderyn and have opened Lidl’s brandy offering, Majestat. It’s not the greatest of brandies, but passable. Tomorrow I finish in time to get a new Orchy. Friday is payday, so the spare cash is all booze cash. It’s not much but it doesn’t need to be, thanks to Lidl.
The CRUK trick is a clever one. If you are not giving them money then you must be an alcoholic. Many will give them money and drink anyway, their social status proved by cheques to Puritans. Most religions have played this way for centuries. Idiots still fall for it.
Drinkuary is back on. I’d put a link but Anonymong.org has an internal server error tonight.
Lucky for me there are three paydays this January. There is one on Friday and another four weeks hence – so that pay will cover February bills. This month is also the month I get a small retainer from a company still interested in my scientific thoughts. They haven’t sent me much work for years now but they call for an opinion sometimes and so far, they have kept me on their books and send me a few quid each quarter.
This means Drinkuary will be Every Single Damn Day – even if it’s just a sip. There will be not one alcohol-free day because if you don’t drink any alcohol for a day, CRUK want money. If things get desperate I’ll whip out my Bao Ding Wang (steady, girls). I have a bottle that was given to me in Scarborough by Chinese scientists in 1991, the year after I was absolutely plastered on the stuff when drinking with pig farmers on the outskirts of Beijing. The sort of thing that happens to everyone. It’s brain-melting stuff – hell, I still have the same bottle now! One little drink, once in a blue moon – gambe. Tsingtao beer was a hell of a lot cheaper in China than in the UK too. So were cigarettes.
Anyway, I’m avoiding the issue. Resolutions.
I must finish three novels this year. This is not as ambitious as it sounds. Norman’s House is in editing stage and has been for some time, I am working on the editing for Inside Outside, Victor’s Will is ready to go to editing and Panoptica – notwithstanding constant updating – is also pretty much complete. So out of those four, I have to finish three in twelve months. It’s far from impossible. All I have to do is not get distracted. Oh dear.
This came about because of this quarter’s report from Eternal Press, the publisher for Jessica’s Trap and Samuel’s Girl. It’s the first time my (still paltry) income from those hasn’t risen – and Jessica sold no copies at all, for the first time! It is time to up my game here.
To this end, I have decided to steal Giolla’s idea and have beer mats made as book ads. I decided to do that a long time ago but procrastinated like a pro. Anyway, I can get 1000 for about £100 from a printer, and the cover artist will make a professional front image for around 20 dollars. The back will just be text, I can do that. The idea is that drunks with iPhones will buy it while plastered and whether they read it or not is of no consequence. I don’t care if they buy a thousand paper copies and burn them, I get paid just the same.
Cynical? In this world it’s the only safe way to be.
Smoking resolution: pay even less for smoking this year than I did last year. I am now on occasional Amber Leaf at non-UK prices and mostly on pure leaf at about 50p for 20 tubed smokes. There are no tubes in Poundland any more. They used to sell Gizeh Silver Tip at £1 for 200 but that’s stopped. Most likely because they can no longer sell the boxes for a pound. I now have ZigZag tubes from a local cheap shop, 99p per 100. It is time to return to the internet for supplies. Last time, I was faced with a £19 minimum order, which was okay as I was also buying tubing machines, a portable ashtray and other toys. It might be difficult to find storage space for 1900 tubes, but I will. They will probably be 19 different types…
Drinking resolution: see above. I now have isinglass finings for the plum wine and enough frozen mashed plums for another two goes. I’d have had the finings earlier but the shops have been as busy as the day before the Apocalypse in these past couple of weeks. You’d think they were closing for ever. One of the smoky-drinkers still has his pressure-barrel for beer. There will be deals made. Local hippie shop is getting well interested in the resurgence of homebrew, and as it is a Green shop, we are talking bags of malted barley and dried hops rather than the old teenager kits. It is not hard to get the parts. There are many nettles past the back fence too, I must try nettle beer again and see if I can do it without the stings this time.
Giolla made tobacco wine and sent me a sample, which I am saving for a smoky-drinky we aren’t going to get blasted at. I want opinions. It must also be possible to make tobacco beer. Replace some or all of the hops with tobacco leaves – or better yet, the stems and leaf stalks, perhaps? This year I must try. Also, try to make my own Electrofag juice out of those same leftover bits.
I am not going to resolve to blog every day. The Friday night/Saturday morning shifts make it difficult, and some Saturdays are smoky-drinkies. As are some midweek nights when I don’t have to be up early next day. There will be gaps. Also, I have promised to finish three novels and that won’t happen if I’m here all the time.
The one vital resolution – get a new keyboard. I’m tired of guessing where the letters are.
It is 5 am. The party next door has tamed but not ended. If you have ever wondered wny Scotland has both January 1st and 2nd as holidays, this is it.
Expect no sense from Scotland before February. If you’re lucky enough to get any sense at all.