Sunday, July 28, 2013

a moderate lush

I know, I know, there's plenty of fun to be had without alcohol. But the fact remains there's plenty of fun to be had with it too.

In these fast paced days of child-rearing and minimal adult relaxation time, nothing changes gears faster than that first gulp of wine of the evening. Literally washing away the horror trauma craziness of the afternoon and making for a much nicer Mummy (and a much more animated reading of the bedtime story if I've succumbed to the call of the vine while they're still up).

At Frieda's 6th birthday party recently the first gin 'n tonics started flowing at 11 am, and the last guests left at 6 (it was supposed to a be a 2 h party). Related? I think so.

One of my favourite moments of the last month or so was barreling through the dark streets of the town I grew up in - an unofficial high school reunion - 3 of us crammed into the back seat of a friend's car singing (and I use the term loosely) along to Bohemian Rhapsody at the tops of our voices. For a moment I was 17.
Was alcohol involved? You betcha.

Nothing says Friday evening like a gin cocktail, or in summer a tall sweaty glass of beer.

But interestingly since I started this post yesterday evening (I had to break for wine) I've had a bit of a sobering experience.
The news that a South African filmmaker, a man much older than me, has won a prestigious local film award for his first feature film in 20 years. I've not seen the film, I'm not even sure I want to, but it was the news of this man's success which really moved me.

When I met Andrew Worsdale 13-odd years ago, he was such a sick alcoholic that people were telling me he wouldn't live for very much longer.
He'd fallen off the wagon repeatedly, looked like it had ridden over him a couple of times, lost his home, most of his possessions and almost all of his friends. He had one of those horrific chemical implants which was supposed to make drinking unbearable, but yet he drank.
My boss at the time was one of his last remaining friends, giving him small film review jobs and other bits and pieces to try and keep him going. Andrew would hang out in our offices occasionally, and I was horrified by how damaged he seemed.

How remarkable that he's made it back from that.

My taste for alcohol could never compare to that kind of disability. I can't imagine having to battle those demons or fight that kind of fight. I'm so proud of him.

But I'm very grateful to be able to use booze to my advantage every now and then!

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