Skip to main content

After Lent

I've just had a glass of wine. I didn't really want one but I had to, because Lent is over.
Giving up alcohol for lent is not easy. I don't mind abstaining from the drink, it's the explaining that's difficult. People can never understand why an atheist would do something for Lent. So I have to explain that as I eat a shit load of chocolate at Easter and masses of food at Christmas without being questioned about religion, that it is only prudent to adhere to the fasting traditions if one is also tagging along for the feasting ones.
Alcohol - if you are Irish you will probably have an unhealthy attitude towards alcohol. Most people drink too much or don't drink it at all, neither of which are healthy. The ones who drink too much are either raving alcoholics whose whole life has been destroyed because of drink, or alternatively, people who function at about 60% of what they could be, but because they 'enjoy a jar', and pay a massive price to do so.
Those who don't drink are either 'recovering alcoholics' (which to me is an oxymoron), who go to AA meetings and talk about drinking and live their lives thinking and talking about drink but just not drinking it. Alternatively they are crashing bores who chose not to drink and have a slightly condescending attitude towards those who do, but pretend that they don't. And there are the pioneers, but if you're not Irish you won't understand, so just imagine people who are clueless about drink and don't want to taste it because their mammy, or teacher or local priest said so.

I should be one of the above, but the secret German in me causes me not to always fit in to Irish ways. So I gave up drink for Lent. I like a little tipple I have to admit. A shot of rum in my hot chocolate, a glass of wine with dinner a few pints in the pub and the odd mouldy night. So it's not as if I were giving up lollipops or condoms or sauerkraut. The first week was the worst. But then, the less you drink, the less interest you have in it.
I only remembered today that I could have had a drink yesterday, so I had a glass of wine at dinner.
And that made me feel that the whole thing is a bit silly. I'm just not a black and white sort of person.
I'm also not a very balanced person either though, so it was good to see, just as a test, if I actually would miss alcohol. I didn't really, and I remembered that I've often been off it before as I never drank whilst pregnant.


So now what? I've decided to open a bottle of wine and have another glass, to celebrate my successful lenten fast. A nice red rioca reserva. And then because it's open I'll have some more tomorrow and then finish it off on Wednesday. It's good wine, I can't let it go off.
All the same, I'd love a nice cup of tea...


Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Letter to a Boy, who Died aged 18, by Suicide

Dear Tiernan,
I shouldn’t be writing you this letter. I should be hearing about you from my son, your childhood best friend. It should be about some course you are doing, or a plan that you all have to meet up. But that’s all gone. Now there’s just that awful day that you went missing. The day a boy was seen jumping off the bridge. Next time I saw you, you were in a coffin, your body, bashed up by the waves; bruised, broken, dead. The boy who told me ‘be nice to nerds, you’ll be working for them some day.’ The boy who I watched grow up, who I held great faith in. Dead at 18. And what’s left? The rest of us. Your inconsolable friend, his sister and his mother, travelling back to the West of Ireland for your funeral. Sitting in your home. Going into your bedroom and picking up your things. Yesterday this was your camera, these were your pyjama bottoms, that was your sketchbook. Now they feel strange to the touch. Relicts. And we, who never shut up, are silent. There are no words for ou…

A Packet of Solpadeine and a Lecture Please

Years ago I was a respectable lady married to a nice German doctor, and it was he who brought to my attention that in Germany you can only buy pain killers in a chemist and not in a petrol station, pub or supermarket and that there was not a chance in hell that you could ever buy a pain killer with codeine in it directly from a pharmacy, which in Ireland, you can - Solpadeine.
Then a friend of mine who is a pharmacist told me that Solpadeine was her best seller. So lucrative were the sales that she did not have enough room to store the stuff in her pharmacy. But that was also back in the time when I was respectable, and in the meantime the Solpadeine police seem to be out on patrol.
Now if you ask me, I think it's pure madness to sell substances with codeine in them over the counter at a pharmacy, and I'm also a bit iffy about buying paracetemol in the supermarket, given that any 13 year old can go in and stock up on a drug that is lethal in relatively small doses. But there a…

The MoMa, a Beggar and my Limp

There’s a woman who walks up and down the streets around West 82nd and Amsterdam Avenue asking people if they’ll give her a dollar. I’d put her around 80. Small, wiry, bent, wispy hair. Brittle bird legs in black tights, but still a follower of fashion in a knit skirt with a tartan pattern, more the kind of skirt you might see on a 20-year-old Asian student. Pale pink lipstick, and a crimson red blouse topped with a cream overcoat despite the muggy August New York heat. I wonder what she does with the money she collects. She doesn’t look like she eats anything, can’t tell if she drinks. She’s sober when she pushes her trolley bag up and down 82nd, asking ‘do you have a dollar for me?’ I don’t give her one. I keep my dollars for the MoMa. My feet are killing me after walking into the city, but I’m scared of the subway. I did make a weak attempt, but have no idea what they mean by uptown and downtown. Both of these expressions mean the same thing where I come from: Uptown – as in, I’m…