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Smoke

  Wed 5th March 2014

I am at Kirsty's, where, having provided a buffet tea of hydrogenated vegetable fat and refined carbohydrates, I have beaten a tactical retreat to the kitchen: the living room has been taken over by underage girls, my daughters' friends, watching The Rocky Horror Picture Show. One of them hasn't seen it yet, as her parents won't let her watch it as it's classified as a 15 and she's only fourteen. They've got the gas fire on and the room smells of sweat and aerosols.

I am twenty-three days into the forty in which I am not drinking. However, I pre-planned for one non-fasting day, because someone was coming up all the way from London to our wine club with some of the South African wines he imports. I love his wine, and am aware of the need to suppress a teenagerish admiration of him when I conflate what he does for a living with assumptions about his character.

It was an important event in the social calendar, and it behoved Trina and me to present ourselves with an appropriate decorum. Well, good intentions are easy to have.

We started on the booze in Wetherspoons at half past twelve. Trina had one-and-a-half bottles of Chardonnay, while I got through an unknown number of pints of Kirkby Lonsdale's porter. After an interlude in the loos where we snorted amphetamine off the toilet cistern lid, we were compelled to tarry with my pals Davina and her boyfriend Richard, who walked in, during which I wagged my finger at Davina and said "You're a fitbit, you are."

Tess came down at midday today. Trina and I had been down to Wilko to buy a file to try to sort out my front door. I was hoping it would be sold in a packet describing it as a rasp, which has so much more a satisfying, vulgar feel in the mouth than the word "file." I'd been filing, not rasping, the front door jamb and the metal sill thing at its bottom, to try to stop my front door making such a fucking racket, a massive bang, when it closes. It was exhausting work.

"You were funny last night, Trina," said Tess. When people are "funny", that usually means they were a pain in the arse. "You kept falling up the stairs. Looby was just saying "Come on dear, come on dear," which made me sound very Radio 4-ish.

I emailed the wine club's coordinator apologising for walking off with four bottles of wine without paying for them. He said that I had in fact paid for it. I checked my bank account online and there was a withdrawal from an ATM last night for sixty quid. I have no recollection of getting sixty quid out last night.

I miss days like this. Long afternoons of unrealisable sexual desire, and the locals with their chat, as irritating as it is entertaining and local. Unplanned meetings with friends, and half-hearted, well-meaning sex with lots of kissing. Sobriety has nothing to recommend it. Saving money, I suppose. But what are the bailiffs going to do when I'm dead?

5 comments

Comment from: [Member]

You never go to night clubs and you just don’t care to dance
You don’t have time for silly things like moonlight and romance
You only think of dollar bills tied neatly in a stack
But when you kiss a dollar bill, it doesn’t kiss you back
Etc

Thu 6th March 2014 @ 01:46

If I drank a bottle and a half of wine I’d require hospitalization. Or a long, long nap. I’m such a lousy drunk. Wish I had a bit more endurance in that department. And others.

It’s about time you had a proper blackout. Been a while, I take it?

Thu 6th March 2014 @ 11:37
Comment from: [Member]

O-G:
“Don’t try my friend to reach the great beyond /
You’ll have more fun by reaching for a redhead or a blond” :)

Great song, thanks, from Guy Lombardo and His Canadians.

UB:
It’d save a lot of money if I had that sensitivity.

A blackout? What, a loss of consciousness? No, not for decades.

Thu 6th March 2014 @ 12:09
Comment from: smallbeds [Visitor]

I used to love the punchiness of new-world wines, but since ruining my entire digestive tract I’ve not been able to cope with the tannins in Shiraz grapes: they just make me belch and reflux like some machine out of the original Willy Wonka film.

An alternative that I’ve found recently though is Carmenere, which has the added distinction of having an amazing back-story: it was thought extinct from oidium and phylloxera until the same grape was rediscovered in Chile. One of the few (very) drinkable Fairtrade wines is a Chilean Carmenere, and it’s wonderfully smooth.

Sun 9th March 2014 @ 17:30
Comment from: [Member]

Yes… Tom the lodger–who’s been to Argentina more than once–was talking about this last night, and when I’m allowing myself to drink again, in just under two weeks time, he said he’ll get a nice Chilean or Argentinian Carmenere to break the fast.

Shame to not be able to stand the tannins any more. They’re one of the highlights of wine for me. A good stiff, green Madiran is a great pleasure.

Sun 9th March 2014 @ 21:32


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looby, n.; pl. loobies. A lout; an awkward, stupid, clownish person


M / 56 / Bristol, "the most beautiful, interesting and distinguished city in England" -- John Betjeman [1961, source eludes me].

"Looby is a left-wing intellectual who is obsessed with a) women's clothes and b) tits." -- Joy of Bex.

WLTM literate woman, 40-65. Must have nice tits, a PhD, and an mdma factory in the shed, although the first on its own will do in the short term.


There are plenty of bastards who drink moderately. Of course, I don't consider them to be people. They are not our comrades.
Sergei Korovin, quoted in Pavel Krusanov, The Blue Book of the Alcoholic

I am here to change my life. I am here to force myself to change my life.
Chinese man I met during Freshers Week at Lancaster University, 2008

The more democratised art becomes, the more we recognise in it our own mediocrity.
James Meek

Tell me, why is it that even when we are enjoying music, for instance, or a beautiful evening, or a conversation in agreeable company, it all seems no more than a hint of some infinite felicity existing apart somewhere, rather than actual happiness – such, I mean, as we ourselves can really possess?
Turgenev, Fathers and Sons

I hate the iPod; I hate the idea that music is such a personal thing that you can just stick some earplugs in your ears and have an experience with music. Music is a social phenomenon.
Jeremy Wagner

La vie poetique has its pleasures, and readings--ideally a long way from home--are one of them. I can pretend to be George Szirtes.
George Szirtes

Using words well is a social virtue. Use 'fortuitous' once more to mean 'fortunate' and you move an English word another step towards the dustbin. If your mistake took hold, no-one who valued clarity would be able to use the word again.
John Whale

One good thing about being a Marxist is that you don't have to pretend to like work.
Terry Eagleton, What Is A Novel?, Lancaster University, 1 Feb 2010

The working man is a fucking loser.
Mick, The Golden Lion, Lancaster, 21 Mar 2011

The Comfort of Strangers

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16.1.19: Further pruning

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