The Anonymous Widower

Is There A Teetotal Gene?

Thinking about the last post about the about of fluids I’m drinking, I do wonder about the drinking habits of my family.

My father wasn’t a heavy drinker and he probably got through about four small bottles of Guinness or cans of Long Life in a week or so.  There was a time, when I used to walk round to The Merryhills in Oakwood to pick it up from their off licence.  But that was all stopped, when they said you had to be sixteen (?) to buy alcohol. He would probably be classed these days as a light social drinker.

I am probably that now, as I like a glass of wine or a bottle of beer with a meal.  I can’t think the last time, I drunk a pint of anything.

But it hasn’t always been thus.  At University, I drunk fairly heavily and I probably did too in my late teens, when I served in The Merryhills.  I remember one night, I had thirteen small bottles of Guinness.

C had a similar drinking pattern, in that she got very drunk once just before I met her and probably twice or so, when we were together. She only drunk wine and the occasional whisky. Even as she was dying, she didn’t turn to the bottle, but partly because the drugs she was on had ruined her mouth.

What about my children? By twenty, none of them were drinking and only one ever drunk heavily.

So there seems to be this pattern in the male in my family, where  drinking is responsible. I was also introduced to alcohol at an early age of about eight, by my father and I did the same to our children.

But where did this responsible drinking come from.

My paternal grandfather, who I never met, as he died before the Second World War, was a serious drinker and a heavy smoker.  He died of pneumonia and asthma, but my father used to tell tales of picking him up at the Conservative Club every night of the week, when he was very much the worse for wear.

My father would always talk about the terrors of alcohol, with reference to his father.  I suppose it hit home because I’d never met him and he had died in his forties.

There may or may not be a teetotal gene in my male line, but it’s more down to parental behaviour.

February 3, 2013 - Posted by | Food | , ,


  1. My Library has your answer : “YOUR GENES UNZIPPED” Prof Tim Spector {Consultant St Thomas Hospital London} University of London 2003. Publisher : Robson Books, The Chrysalis Building, Bramley Road, London W10 6SP.

    “How Your Gentic Inheritance Shapes Your Life”, “Have you ever wondered to what degree your personality, experiences and Illnesses are predetermined by your genes ?

    Prof Tim Spectoris a regular broadcaster, has over 300 articles & several academic books published.

    I recommend this book & his other works . . . look forward to your comments of his work, in your blog.

    Comment by Steam Lover | February 3, 2013 | Reply

    • I know him and have actually had dinner with him in the House of Lords.

      Comment by AnonW | February 3, 2013 | Reply

  2. Another reason for your to review his work again . . .
    I have this book for my work why Aboriginal Australians . . . they did not have Alcohol over 60,000 plus years . . . so their genes could not covert Alcohol, and hence became drunk due to their gentics . . . they did have Nicotine from a bush in central Australia [which was traded widely along the trade routes to all of this vast continent].

    Comment by Steam Lover | February 3, 2013 | Reply

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