Posts Tagged ‘Jam’

The fascinating tale of the apprentice teetotaller.

August 1, 2020

Teetotallers on the rise: Why are young people drinking less than ...

The uncorking of the Shiraz usually heralded the end of long noontides for me and perhaps many of us. The beginning of the late afternoon arrived with a predictable ritual that stood the test of time over many decades. The comfortable chair beckons in perfect sync with the sun lowering its burnished lashes in a final blaze of golden amber. Wine- time had made its much cherished entree in my household over many decades. I can’t think of a time when an afternoon and evening would pass without this delightful airing of the bottled nectar for saints and sinners alike.

It doesn’t discriminate or pretend, and is totally moral to its faithful imbibers in its almost childlike innocence. My own choice was for a drink made from grapes. Others, I believe, get this same pleasure from the fermentations of wheat and flowing waters of the Scottish Highlands or anything that through the art of experts who studied alchemy, and conjured up fermented liquids that seemed to temporarily heighten the pleasures of  dull moments that fill most of our lives. I have yet to enjoy vacuuming, eat vegemite or pay gas bills.

If the reader noticed the past tense of the above yet to be written opus on my decision to an apprenticeship in teetotalling together, and at the same time, admit my admiration for alcohol and its glorious history of joy and its polished and burnished pleasures derived from the fruit of the land, it is due to my decision to break this ritual and start another one.

There is no reasonable logical explanation how this decision was reached. Perhaps the closest I can justify it might be that the ritual was becoming somewhat sated and as predictable as  paying gas bills or vacuuming. There was no flash of insight or a harping angel beckoning me to stop. There was this ritual of getting up to get the bottle, uncap it and then pour the drink in a glass. As I said, mine was a Shiraz and my late wife Helvi, a dry white. We both loved it and had decades together of happy sipping and quaffing.  Those sweet memories are so sustaining now.

After I became a single and widowed man I continued this habit and made sure I never was without. Day in day out, the afternoon would arrive and I would sit and sip, sit and sip, till four nights ago I had the epiphany. It struck me as odd for someone who prided himself on making life as interesting as possible accepting this ritual of drinking red liquid every day. Of course, I also take my pyjamas off every day, not a pretty sight, shower solemnly, and make my breakfast on whole seeded bread (every day). One slice with cheese and one slice with berry jam from Aldi.

I broke the habit this morning with keeping my pyjamas on while having breakfast. I also defied the bread with cheese and jam. Out of the blue I had two boiled eggs, just like that! I wanted to make the start of the day a bit more interesting.  A bit more verve really. Of course, I took my pyjamas off after the egg episode and the day progressed normally. I had my coffee at the local cricket café with friends and without cricket talk. A habit that I will continue hopefully for years to come.

And that breaking of habits is the closest reason I can come to. No other that I can think off. I am baffled myself, but there you are. One has to make a life as good as possible. I am now facing the fifth afternoon without the lure of the crimson nectar. I sleep soundly, and if anything with less toilet breaks during the night, which is a blessing. The garden is starting to respond to longer days and I will soon be able to show you the flowering grape hyacinths and irises.

I gave up smoking too, when in 1994 the time had come to chuck the habit. I only managed to do this by making the promise to smoke again when turning 65. Of course, after turning 65 I had lost the urge to smoke. I sometimes think how it would be to light up again. Would I like it or get addicted again? I sure was hooked to that one. I remember well that first puff of a new cigarette. It too was ritualistic, fingering the ciggy, holding it, delaying the lighting and then finally, that first glorious puff and holding it for a few seconds. And then the delight of blowing the smoke skywards. It was so lovely.