Thursday, 16 April 2020

This Happy Breed

So in the last few days:

- I listened to an oddly chaotic radio programme fronted by Melvyn Bragg, in which gin and the gin craze of the eighteenth century was the subject. Almost everything that was said by Melvyn and his guests has now escaped me, except for the chant No Gin, No King, which was apparently taken up by enthusiasts of the drink whenever they felt it to be threatened by vested interests.

- We Zoomed some people in New York who reckoned, quite blithely, that they’d probably both had the coronavirus. Which meant they probably gave it to us the last time we saw them a few weeks back. Which might explain my current lack of focus.

- We went to a small local Tesco and asked for the cheapest whisky they had.

- It was also claimed that, among its many sovereign properties, gin ‘Revived marital bliss’. It emboldened the warrior and kept out the cold as well, but we knew that already. Marital bliss, though.

- I’ve started drinking screwtop rosé with a chunk of ice in it to make me think of happier times in the South of France. Top tip: be careful when pouring the rosé into a glass already containing ice - if it tumbles from the neck of the bottle straight onto the ice cube, it can bounce off the cube and out of the glass, ending up all over the table. I’ve lost precious centilitres this way, through clumsiness and inattention. I don’t like to think how many.

- I stared for some minutes at what’s left of the wine rack. It’s mostly spaces, now.

- In fact things have got to such a pass that I forced myself to open that second bottle of Lambrusco, the dry variety that’s been sitting around since Christmas, the horrible one. Bit of roast chicken to mask the taste, I thought, that’ll do the trick. Chilled the awful beverage in the fridge, wrestled the cork out with an accompanying whiff of sulphur springs, poured some out, tried it. Still unspeakable.

- The guy next door has, it seems, got a large order of wine coming to his house, plus painting and decorating supplies. I am seething with envy, although I don’t know which I want more - the wine or the painting and decorating stuff. Probably the latter.

- Should I acquire a hair trimmer? My hair is already out of control; by the end of the month it’ll be preposterous. At the moment I’m trying for the Ian Gillan out of Deep Purple look, but I think it’s going to end up that bloke out of Hawkwind, the one who wasn’t Lemmy.

- I even tried pouring the Lambrsuco straight onto an ice cube, half-hoping it would splash over the side of the glass and deal with itself that way. Tragically, no. Still undrinkable.

- We Zoomed our two sons for a family conference. The younger of the two made a Bolognese sauce while talking to us. It was as good as watching TV, the way he did it.

- One of the many downsides of excessive gin consumption is of course, spontaneous combustion. The body becomes so infused with alcohol that almost any increase in external temperature is enough to start it burning. Studies were carried out in both the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Elderly women who also happened to be chronic alcoholics were thought to be at greatest risk. I make a note to myself to ask my wife - if she finds me spontaneously combusting, somewhere around the house - to use the Lambrusco to put me out.

- I think I might be coming down with hay fever. No wonder I can’t get anything done.

- And we might be running out of box sets to watch. I mean, friends recommend new box sets all the time but I’m not sufficiently gripped. I bet our next door neighbour, with his wine selection and his tins full of paint, is hooked on everything that comes up. He can afford to be.

- On the other hand, we have got some cheap Tesco whisky.

- I really must do something about the gin that’s been sitting there for a couple of months. Apparently, people once took it in their tea. Now that’s got to be worth trying.

- And only another month of this to go!



  1. I am loving the "poor man's Abbey Road" homage. How about trying a tea-infused gin in your tea for starters? Should theory.

  2. Actually I'll go for anything infused with gin rather than the other way round...