‘I would not put a thief in my mouth to steal my brains.’- William Shakespeare, Othello
12th September- an interlude
In taking a brief interlude from the regular order of this column, I decided to write about Alcohol. This stems from both a desire to avoid detailing June-September on any thematic basis, and my growing addiction to alcohol.* Two years on from uni, I still have my friends, my knowledge, and alcohol (by knowledge I am referring to the growing pile of history books stashed under my bed that I am hoarding for no apparent reason). Recently I have taken up several activities to avoid alcohol. Namely learning Italian, attempting to cook, reading and yoga. I haven’t actually started yoga yet but it looks nice on the page. When blaming alcohol on ‘London life’ it is easy to wonder; is alcohol a British cultural constant?
Alcohol is relied on universally in many cultural contexts. Many countries demonstrate a stereotypical notion surrounding one alcoholic beverage or another; Ireland, France, Russia. Alcohol has transcended history and geography to the present day; shots, cocktails, a glass of wine; a drink for every occasion. Where does all the liquid go? Several documentaries have demonstrated the rise of ‘British drinking culture’ and Saturday- morning- vomit on street corners; in truth, alcohol belongs to all age groups, indoors and outdoors. Alcohol transcends financial status, political views and occupation. Alcohol is responsible for good and bad; new friendships, romance and visits to A+E. Alcohol pervades ‘British reserve’, if it ever existed, and unites individuals in social situations. Alcohol remains there in anti-social situations, causing you to fall asleep on the back of the bus for the day, lose your shoes and/or get arrested. At what point did it say stop? The addiction to ‘liquid-confidence’ is well researched, and so students are praised for drinking games in Freshers’ week. Drink responsibly.
If you are what you drink, then I will continue with Sauvignon Blanc. Moving to London is a test for an addictive personality; particularly in terms of Ronnie Scott’s Jazz club. Walking past several saxophone players on the streets of Piccadilly is no different in terms of talent, and is a welcome distraction from ‘tube behavior’** which lingers up the escalator and onto the street in rush hour. If New York is the city that never sleeps, London is the city that never waits. In learning that London is also the city of opportunity, I am currently completing my published portfolio in the hope of securing an additional column. This would be extremely successful if there was not currently a pen stuck in my printer causing it to make sounds only known in wildlife reserves/delivery rooms in hospitals. I don’t know where I am going with this but that is the irony of drinking a glass of wine in lieu of writing a column about alcohol. Until next week.
*N.B. This is not a real addiction mum, and next week will actually detail ‘the Corporate Circle’
** To be continued