|My poor, poor toe...|
Last weekend I was at the Lancaster Music Festival. It was a lot of fun, but bloody busy. I was in one of the fine Luneside hostelries, which was so busy that they had to open up one of the back doors to let air circulate and keep things cool. I was sat near this open door and got a whiff of the old casks that must've been out back. As I was breathing in the smell of sour beer, all I could think of was how much I miss bar work. The dirt, the physicality and the camaraderie you get with your workfellows, and the customer interchange as well.
Obviously the times could be very hard. Too hard, in some ways. I remember a bank holiday shift once where the kitchen staff were rushed off their feet [I think one out of three of them was ill, so they were down to two anyway] and one of the remaining guys walked out. I had to go around and tell anyone who'd ordered that they wouldn't be getting their food, and telling anyone who wanted food that they couldn't get it, all the while having to contort my body to squeeze myself through a solid maze of customers that at least doubled my journey between gantry and glasswash room. But you knew you'd done a good job by the end of it. And, dare I say it, I wasn't the worst bar person in the world.
Also, as I've been in work at The Wineyard, I've been evaluating things. I've been asking myself the ol' question of whether I should give it up altogether. But, as pointless as it sounds, I like the chat with people about flavours, about appreciation of the products, about facilitating people having fun.
The point is, I'm a part of the alcohol trade. I have been almost all my working life so far, and though it has its downsides [which I will wisely not mention here...] there are many good facets to it. And many of them don't require you to necessarily partake in the drinking.
Well my original intention for this post was to write a hard line on how much fun there is on the world, even within the industry, that doesn't need booze consumption, and how I, or even we, could be very happy without it. But I've written a worm in there, the whole thing about being able to talk about tastes, which usually involves me drinking. And really, it's obvious that all one needs to do is spit out the drink afterwards and avoid getting drunk, but I have to say I can't see myself spitting out pints [especially not in the pub - could you imagine?]. But then, to be honest, I couldn't imagine myself doing this Sober For October thing a few weeks ago either.
Haha, how typical of me. I had a good idea, a simple one, and I was all ready to just put it down and maybe make you think. Instead, I've made myself think - too much - again, and now I'm not sure. Can I work in this trade without drinking alcohol? Sure. Reasonably easily, in fact. Can I work in this trade and enjoy not drinking alcohol? Much harder. For me at least...
Again, it's a terrible argument, but I always come back to 'humanity'. Yes it's more than probable that because of the decadent country I live in, it's rather easy to push this idea, but life's full of things we don't need, but more than keep us living, they make us feel alive. Passions in any area, you know, they're all a part of us. Beer especially just happens to be mine. I know it doesn't have to be as I can derive joy from many other areas of my life, but I do get something out of it. Right now this just feels like me trying to justify going back on the sauce to me, so I'll just stop...
I tried to make a positive case for abstinence, I really did. Right now, though, the positive case is your donations. They're keeping me sober throughout this month, so if you can and want to chuck a bit of money towards Macmillan's work, you can either do it on my page or just in a can somewhere...