TONIGHT WE HAVE cleared the kitchen to make way for the decorator tomorrow. As I cleared the room I discovered these fine beverages.
When we catered the reception for our civil partnership in May, we had wine left over, and received some alcohol as gifts too, so for a while we had an unprecedented and indecent amount of booze in the house!
Now, through a combination of consumption, hospitality and redistribution, just a few bottles remain.
The 12-year-old malt whisky on the right was a civil partnership gift, and a very fine one too!
The 16-year-old malt was a gift from my partner’s former boss when he left to start a new job just a month before the civil partnership!
The bottle of rum was a gift from an elderly Jamaican woman we know from church.
And the exotic pink liqueur on the left is ‘a traditional blend of prickly pear, honey and herbs, long savoured by the Knights of Malta‘, a souvenir from a friend’s holiday which we have not yet dared to open.
Alcohol is one of The Deadlies’ I mentioned yesterday in The Artist’s Way tasks for this week. It has never been a big issue for me – apart from some youthful excess as a student I have never been a big drinker. I now drink moderately and infrequently. When I do, I enjoy it at the time, but I am often left with a low mood the following day. Despite relaxing our inhibitions the night before, alcohol is a depressant, and I have really begun to notice it can have that effect on me. As I can be susceptible to depression anyway, this is an unwelcome side effect, and an inhibitor to my creativity. I haven’t yet decided to give it up completely – more careful moderation may be enough. But if the inhibiting side effect of post-alcohol depression the day after outweighs the disinhibition of enjoying alcohol the night before, then perhaps it is time to stop.
The headline ‘Drink!’ is a catchphrase of Father Jack, the elderly alcoholic priest from the Irish sitcom Father Ted. When I was a seminarian (training for ministry in the Roman Catholic Church for three years in my twenties), a school friend suggested I would go through three phases of priesthood – the Dougal phase (after the idiot curate in the sitcom), the Ted phase (after the extravagant main character who is sent to an island parish after absconding to Las Vegas with money raised to send a sick child to Lourdes), and the Jack phase (a drunken retirement).
As I only spent three of the usual six years training for priesthood, I barely entered my Dougal phase, and never saw a Ted phase. And you can be sure that these bottles would not have lasted six months in the kitchen if I had entered my Jack phase!