Tag Archives: alcohol

A booze filled hole

23 Dec

A while ago i caught a documentary that looked at each stage in a woman’s life from “underage” through “student” to “mother” and even on to “grannies” and reflected on their relationship to alcohol. Yes it was a rehash of a lot of what we’ve seen before about the booze culture that pervades these shores. Yes there was vomiting and drunken girl on girl snogging (yawn) and the drunken female equivalent of “winding” (ewww).  Yet, for some reason this one was even more depressing than usual. It managed to portray an even bleaker, more tragic picture.  Why?  Because you got to know the people as individuals, and started to see that, pretty much, they all drank due to some deap-seated psychological issue. Usually because they hated themselves.

I’m not even talking hopeless drunks, though there were some of those of course. I’m talking people who just enjoyed a drink, most days, a laugh with their friends, you know not much different from me and you. But watching from the outside in, it was obvious. Issues of loneliness, worthlessness pervaded.

What is it about the Brits that drives us to fill a hole with booze, a hole that should rightly be filled with self-belief?  Why do we forever feel we need “dutch courage”, “one for luck”, “one for the road”  just to get up and on with our lives? To have the confidence to do stuff we don’t, soberly, believe we can do.  Is drinking for confidence as normalised for children growing up as the idea that a good night out must always involve copious amounts of it? Are we a nation of tattered egos, broken spirits, lost souls desparately on the search for something to fill that hole, whether it be alcohol or armfuls of big macs? Or are we simply complicating it. It’s a good laugh, freely available, and quite frankly we’re all just a little bit addicted…. (including those MPs pussy footing around the issue because they’re too scared of having their own crutch taken away).

It’s all a bit depressing really, and nothing more than having to watch those girls again with their pants around their ankles. Girl power? Makes you wonder what my heros The Spice Girls fought so hard for.

Better go drown my sorrows…..

is it acceptable to get pissed as a fart?

20 Jun

The other day a friend recounted a story about her neighbour. She had been at home one evening when she heard her neighbour’s burglar alarm go off. Seeing her front door was wide open she decided to dial 999. But something caught her eye and on peering through the front door she saw her neighbour, pissed as a fart, struggling to switch her alarm off. Her neighbour was paralytic. She couldn’t remember her alarm code.

As this woman swayed, fell over, got up, fell over again, another neighbour turned up asking what was wrong. And then another. And another. By the time she had decided, in her drunken state, that the only solution was to dramatically rip the burglar alarm from the wall, about 10 or so neighbours had congregated in her hallway.

My friend hadn’t seen her since.

Now this woman’s children were staying with her ex-husband. So really she was perfectly entitled to get into whatever state she saw fit. Or was she?

I’m no teetotaler, but even I have to admit to being mildly surprised that a mum would indulge to quite this level.

Perhaps my reaction was a bit more justified when attending a friend’s wedding and seeing a mother and father of two young children becaming more and more sozzled. This lot weren’t falling down drunk, but they were at the swaying, stuttering stage. They did have their children with them, and were doing a pretty poor job of pretending to look after them.

And surely it must be cut and dried when you hear about people that are still indulging in the harder stuff when given the least opportunity.

Putting aside the questions of dignity and maturity that accompany any discussion about enthusiastic inebriation, is it ever morally acceptable to get pissed as a fart when you’re a parent? Can you ever really be “off duty”?

Sure you can leave the children with the grandparents and go away for the weekend. But can you ever really switch off? Turn your phone off and answer only to yourselves?

I’m not going to take this to the extreme my husband once did when he asked me whether we should both be drinking at the same time, lest we needed to drive to A & E unexpectedly (we were paranoid first time parents after all). But surely there is a line? Somewhere between being over the limit to drive and needing someone else to do your walking for you?

Or can a parent do what the hell they like once their children are in the safe hands of a trusted relative or friend?

For once, i think i’m sitting on the fence on this one. I’m going out on Saturday and i wouldn’t want it to come back and haunt me.

Alcoholic mother in training

18 Mar

When I first saw these on bottles I had just given birth to my second son. Second time round it had been hard. I had found pregnancy pretty miserable – struggling 40 miles into work each day, coping with a demanding toddler, trying to stay balanced. Yes, I had enjoyed a couple of drinks here and there just to keep me feeling “normal”, less fed up about all the things i couldn’t or wasn’t allowed to do.

As far as i knew that wasn’t illegal…..in fact, I had pretty much followed the UK guidelines to the letter. (no more than one or two units a couple of times a week.) So when i saw this new labelling I was pretty annoyed. How patronising, condescending, sexist. Were women incapable of making their own informed, sensible decisions? Apparently not. Perhaps all those pregnancy hormones running around our bodies do turn previously well-adjusted, sensible women into irresponsible nutcases? In any case, surely it’s a question of closing the stable door after the horse has bolted? Presumably by the time women see this label they’ll have already purchased the bottle, and as they say, once purchased always consumed. (or is that what i say?)

As far as i know under 18s still can’t buy alchohol, and it’s definitely illegal to give any to the under 5s, so where are the symbols of small kids with a line through them? And what about the fat-arsed, beer- bellied men who regularly put themselves at risk of heart attacks? Perhaps they couldn’t fit those on the label.

Apparently staying at home can make mothers drink. According to Dr Toni Galardi we are most likely to turn to alchohol to cope with the demands of children if we have previously had a successful career. Weary, dejected, we turn to alcohol to dull the boredom. No hope for me then.

So perhaps this drinking lark during pregnancy is beneficial after all. It must be good practise to have a few just to get into the swing of things for what’s to come.

Click here for referenced article.

In all honesty it is a pretty interesting article, and probably quite truthful, if only we had the time or energy to put the wine glass down and read it.