The Anonymous Widower

Mojitos On Display By The Tills In Dalston Marks And Spencer

As this picture shows, the well-publicised Mojitos are handy in Dalston Marks and Spencer, which is perhaps thirty metres from the London Overground at Dalston Kingsland station.

They are the two light-blue cans on the left of the shelf.

I had just relieved the shop of two bottles of my favourite 0.5% Southwold Ale.

Incidentally, I have never drunk any alcoholic drink out of a can, without using a glass as an intermediary.

These days, I don’t even drink soft drinks directly out of a can.

If Transport for London allowed sponsorship of rail lines, perhaps the North London Line would be sponsored by Marks and Spencer, as they have stores very close to the following stations.

  • Richmond
  • West Hampstead
  • Hapmstead Heath
  • Dalston Kingsland
  • Hackney Central
  • Stratford

I think there will be more.

May 5, 2019 Posted by | Food, World | , , , , | Leave a comment

Scotland’s New Alcohol Pricing Laws

Scotland now has new alcohol pricing laws, as is detailed in this article on the BBC, which is entitled Scotland Ends Cheap Booze As Minimum Price Starts.

A minimum price on alcohol of fifty pence will certainly have effects, although my preferred drink of Suffolk-brewed low-alcohol gluten-free real ale from Marks and Spencer, which is just 0.25 units for a half-litre bottle at £2.60, would not be affected. I don’t think it’s even sold in Scotland, as it’s a very soft Sassenach drink.

I feel that the minimum pricing will either work very well or be a disastrous failure.

I think it depends on how law-abiding, the average Scot is!

The article in the Guardian is entitled Smoking Rate In UK Falls To Second-Lowest In Europe .

This is said.

In 2016, 15.8% of adults in the UK smoked, down from 17.2% in 2015, according to data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

Some 15.5% of adults currently smoke in England, rising to 18.1% in Northern Ireland, 17.7% in Scotland and 16.9% in Wales.

I suspect the Scottish government hope to see similar falls in the sales of alcohol, that the various smoking bans have brought.

If I walk into all the local shops round here, cheap booze is prominent, but I rarely see anybody drunk on the street and never on the buses.

On the other hand, I can’t help feeling that the higher booze prices will be just another tax on those, who can’t afford it.


May 1, 2018 Posted by | Food | , | 2 Comments

Thoughts On Alcoholism

In the last month or so, I’ve done something that I’ve never done before in my life.

I’ve drunk perhaps half a bottle of beer when I’ve got up. Admittedly, I’d left the bottle half finished by my computer.

It was good.

In the 1960s, I could drink a lot of beer. I just seemed to need it.

About that time, I decided I needed to drink large amounts of fluids and swapped to tea and Coke.

My doctor understands my needs for fluids and the practice nurse has the same problem. The nurse puts it down to leaky skin, which he has.

I actually love walking in the rain, so that might help explain it. We all live by the laws of physics.

My father warned me off alcohol in a practical way, by giving me halves of Adnams down at Felixstowe Conservative Club, whilst we played snooker, when I was about fourteen.

My father drank a lot of fluids, but I never saw him drunk and most doctors would say he was a sensible drinker. Like me, he also drank a lot of tea!

He had a reason to control his drinking! His father had died from complications of being an alcoholic at 40, when my father was about twenty.

My grandfather had lived just around the corner from where I live now and my father had once told me, he had drunk large amounts of beer and had moved on to whisky.

Around 1900, there was very little to drink except beer, so did my grandfather’s need for fluids mean that he turned to what was available?

Now I like a good beer and know of its properties to slake a thirst when you’re dry. I’ve worked in foundries in the 1960s and beer was always available.

So is there a type of person, who needs a lot of fluids and if beer is available they turn to it. In some cases does this lead to alcoholism.

As to myself, I must have gluten-free beer and because I’m on Warfarin, I must keep my alcohol consumption down.

So I now drink a gluten-free beer, that is just 0.25 of a unit and tastes like real beer from Marks and Spencer.

But then it is real beer, as it is brewed in Southwold by Adnams.

My life has come full circle.



March 18, 2018 Posted by | Food, World | , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

The First Off Licence In Frinton

Frinton had a reputation that it was a town, where the buying of alcohol was difficult and there were no pubs or shops selling the demon drink.

In the early 1980s, C was a pupil barrister in Ipswich and she was asked to do a case, where normally barristers would not be required.

She was asked to do an off-licence application for the Co-op, who were opening a small supermarket in the town. They thought that they wouldn’t get the licence, so that had approached her Chambers for some heavy weaponry to do the necessary.

When she met the man, who would actually hold the licence, she knew it would be a forgone conclusion.

He was a charming man, of Asian origin, who had been chosen well by the Co-op to knock down the barriers in the oh-so-genteel town of Frinton.

Whether she played the race card in Court, I do not know, but from fellow lawyers, who’d faced her in various cases, I know she had a subtle skill with words, that told those that matter, what she would do if she lost.

That was the last she ever heard of the case after the application for an off licence was approved.

August 5, 2014 Posted by | Food, World | , , | 2 Comments

The Train From Hell

I won’t talk about the match at Blackburn, as Ipswich lost.

But I had one of the worst train journeys I’ve ever had returning from Blackburn to Manchester.

It was one of Northern Rail’s scrapyard specials, or a Class 150 or similar to name it correctly.

But the real problem was that it was full of drunken twenty somethings, who were drinking bottles of Foster and other rubbish. The noise was horrendous.

Until corrected, I would assume everybody was going from Blackburn to a night out in Manchester.

Such behaviour on the Underground, would have resulted in many taking a walk home.

I was glad to get off the train at Salford Crescent to get another train to Piccadilly.  But that wasn’t without its contingent of drinkers.

April 5, 2014 Posted by | Transport | , , | 3 Comments

Wetherspoons To Open A Pub On The M40

It looks like Wetherspoons will be opening a pub on the M40 according to reports like this one from the BBC.

I have no view on whether it would increase drink-driving, but surely it would be just as easy to drink in a pub just off the motorway, than one in a service area.

But what I would like to see is better rail interchanges on motorways! Very few railway stations are close to motorways with large amounts of parking. Personally, I’m not too badly affected, as I don’t drive, but sometimes when I want to meet someone driving along the motorway, finding a suitable station is difficult.


June 4, 2013 Posted by | Food, Transport | , , , | Leave a comment

What Is Royal Stag?

The New Zealand cricket team, seems to be sponsored by Royal Stag.

It appears it’s an Indian made whisky!

Enough said!

May 25, 2013 Posted by | Sport, World | , , , | Leave a comment

Ladies’ Day At Aintree

As ever the weather didn’t cool the ardour of the Liverpudlian ladies at Ladies’ Day at Aintree yesterday.  There are pictures here.

There is no truth in the rumour, that the Royal Liverpool Hospital, had to deal with ten thousand drunken young ladies with hypothermia.

April 6, 2013 Posted by | Sport | , , , | Leave a comment

The Cruise and Duty Free

I never bother with duty-free, as I don’t smoke and don’t want to  carry heavy bottles of booze that I might break.  I did once drop a bottle of Bell’s on the floor at Dulles Airport in Washington. And it broke!

But when duty-free sales were announced on the Tannoy on Oriana, I was very surprised at the rush.

April 2, 2013 Posted by | Transport | , , | 1 Comment

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 | , , | 3 Comments