Saturday 14 April 2012

Abstinence makes the heart go fonder

My preferred kind of wagon
As I reported a few days ago, I've had a cough and sore throat for a couple of weeks that has affected the taste of beer. Fortunately they seem to be going now, but last week I began to get vertigo, unrelated to drinking before you say anything, and I've been given a 28-day course of tablets. I read the leaflet, and I'm sure you can guess what it said: strongly advised not to mix with alcohol (probably the only bit most of us look out for). I could have thought, "That's not an absolute ban", and even the doctor said to cut down rather than cut out, but I want these to work, so that's it until 10 May.

I should have been on CAMRA Wigan Branch's trip to Ulverston today, which included a visit to the brewery and a tour around that picturesque town's pubs. Pity, as I was really looking forward to it. The week after next, I'm off to London to visit my friend (and sometime songwriting collaborator), Geoff. I'll still go, but the pub visiting side of the trip will be curtailed. I've never spent much time in London and the knowledge that I won't be paying London beer prices is a sort of compensation (well, that's what I keep telling myself), so I'm sure I'll still have a good time.

It's slightly strange being a beer magazine editor and a beer and music blogger when you're not drinking. I attended a CAMRA meeting on Wednesday in the Conservative Club in Formby to give an update on our magazine. The others had decided that I wouldn't turn up because of the venue, probably because I have previously stated that I don't believe we should have meetings in political clubs of any description, an argument some of them regard as spurious because the Labour Club is all keg so we wouldn't be meeting there anyway. I went in the car as I knew I wouldn't be drinking, otherwise I would have caught the train and had a few pints, but I did wonder whether anybody had assumed I was refusing to drink there because it was a Tory club.

On Thursday we had our usual singaround in the Lion in Liverpool. It turned out to be a particularly lively affair, with someone who hadn't turned up for the session - he'd just come in for a pint - proving to have a large range of songs, Irish mostly. As luck would have it, the licensee bought two rounds of drinks for the singers. Not only that, a group of visitors from Birmingham were enjoying the evening so much that they were generously keeping the singers in beer all night. And I couldn't drink.

Timing - never my strong point.  But I predict it will be just right on 10 May.


  1. Sorry to hear about the illness and antibiotics. We missed Ulverston too because I was working. Messes my life good and proper!. Had a lovely walk round Upholland in compensation. London beer prices are really not that much different from here, though I suppose it mounts up over a few bevvies. I love London pubs and have just bought a new book of London pub walks - really looking forward to checking them out

  2. Hi Nev,

    Did feel rather sorry for you on Thursday! I was impressed that you could perform "Sealed with a kiss" with a straight face without a few drinks in you though... Hope to see you again soon, by which time I fully expect you to have become a signed up member of the temperance league


  3. The next singaround is on 10 May - my first day off the tablets! So I've no idea what I might be like!


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