There used to only ever be one, solitary post but ……

THIS IS THE BORING BIT EXPLAINING THE RATIONALE: TODAY’S POST IS THE NEXT ONE DOWN.

A year ago (May 2016) when I started my daily rant about stuff ( an excuse to invent random reasons to get drunk) – my idea was to celebrate the Zen like qualities of wine. It’s a drink of the moment. It’s something to stop time when time goes too slowly or too quickly.

It’s all about enjoying the here and now.  And I wanted the site to reflect that – to post something funny, moving or just me going on about some stuff and then delete it the next day. All of that is gone; move on. This, after all is the ethos of fine wine and fine company. We all fuck up, we all occasionally get it magically right. And then the sun sets and rises and off we go again.

But, it didn’t work. Occasionally I’d get comments (from my solid readership of four) and not be able to reply. Or people would look for the link from Twitter days later and it was no more. So I’m changing it.

So, this year, I’M GOING TO LEAVE THE FUCKING POSTS ON HERE FOR EVER LIKE A NORMAL BLOG!!!!!! (It might double my readership, who knows….)

Anyway we’ll see.

But, just to be different, I’m giving the site a theme tune to be played whilst reading the posts. ‘All the wine’ by TheNational. I’ll post it at the top of all the posts. Click it, it’ll open in a different tab and then read the post. Even if what I write is shit, the song is genius.

We are, after all, festivals, parades: we are drinkers of wine.

 

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24 April: a fashionable training day ahead.

Today is Fashion Revolution Day. It’s a day to highlight all the shady practices in the world of fashion – like people being whipped to make a thousand t shirts and then being paid a pittance. These companies are wankers and, as I drink tonight, I’ll encourage my other reader – Jamie The Satanist – to put a curse on their CEOs. That should sort them out.

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This site now has a theme tune. Go to YouTube and search The National All The Wine. Listen and read.

(Yes it’s a ridiculously short post today – I’ve got to go to work super early to indulge the powers that be by attending some of their ‘training’.’ Based on their past efforts, it’ll not be very good, it’ll be a bit patronising and, should anyone chip in with ideas to improve it, they’ll be shot down in flames with the firey eyes of “How Dare You…..”

But they’re paying me so I’ll be there, ‘grape juice’ in bottle, trying to nod in the right places and quietly listening to the money pile up in my bank account.

Work – it’s a bummer. (And maybe I’ll add to their confusion I’ll show up dressed in a revolutionary and fashionable way – see photo above – and see how it’s received.)

A quote: “Sometimes when I reflect back on all the wine I drink, I feel shame! Then I look into the glass and think about the workers in the vineyards and all of their hopes and dreams. If I didn’t drink this wine, they might be out of work, and their dreams would be shattered. Then I say to myself, ‘It is better that I drink this wine and let their dreams come true than be selfish and worry about my liver.” Jack Handley.

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23 April: the good familiar creature of wine.

People often think that Shakespeare is just some writer from long ago with nothing relevant to say to the modern man. But what these people forget is that – not only was he the greatest writer ever -he also knew a bit about wine. And about how, somehow, this magical liquid is the home to truth and that folk who don’t drink it are generally boring fuckwits who you’d not actually want to spend an evening with anyway.

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This site now has a theme tune. Go to YouTube and search The National All The Wine. Listen and read.

And as today is (allegedly) Talk Like Shakespeare Day, it’s a good excuse to get drunk at work whilst claiming you’re just celebrating the genius of Shakespeare. Here’s 4 quotes to shout loudly should anyone in authority approach you. (One for each bottle.)

“Come, thou monarch of the vine, Plumpy Bacchus with pink eye.”

“Come, come, good wine is a good familiar creature if it be well used; exclaim no more against it.” (My particular favourite in disciplinary meetings at work about on the job drinking.)

“A man cannot make him laugh – but that’s no marvel; he drinks no wine.” My particular favourite to explain to colleagues why my boss didn’t accept the above quote as a reasonable defence.

“The wine-cup is the little silver well,
Where truth, if truth there be, doth dwell.”

Someone said recently in an interview in The Guardian that their father had always told them that the very best part of being English was that you were the same nationality as Shakespeare. On days like today, let’s make the most of it.

(If you’re not English then wine works just as well for drowning your sorrows.)

Cheers.

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22 April: drinking wine in the dark to save the planet.

It”s International Earth Day – a day to turn off lights and such like to save the precious resources of our planet. Being a raging leftie and man of science (ie not a deluded chum of Trump and his entourage of religious quacks) I’m 100 percent behind the idea. Mrs Drink Wine Today – who aspires to live in an off grid slum wearing hemp – is even more committed to it.

Earth-Day

This site now has a theme tune. Go to YouTube and search The National All The Wine. Listen and read.

And wine is a great aid to saving the planet because – once you’re pleasantly drunk – it doesn’t matter if you’re sitting in the dark as long as you can somehow find your glass. And, experience has taught me that sitting in the dark pleasantly drunk often leads to, how shall we say, the act of love. Which means you’re in bed (generally) and that you generate your own heat. And – most obviously – drinking wine means you’re not drinking water – an eco nightmare that I’m VERY STRONGLY opposed to.

The key here is not to make babies as they wreck the planet. (And, when they turn into teenagers, they wreck your head.)

So get drunk, get loved but don’t get stupid.

A quote: “A bottle of good wine, like a good act, shines ever in the retrospect.” Robert Louis Stevenson.

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21 April: Rules to travel by….

Today in 1962, the Seattle World’s Fair was opened on a 74 acre site by President John F. Kennedy. It included The Space Needle—a 600-ft steel and glass tower—which for a time, was the tallest building west of the Mississippi River.

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This site now has a theme tune. Go to YouTube and search The National All The Wine. Listen and read.

But, the bit worth opening a bottle of wine to celebrate (or not, if you read on): the building also included the first revolving restaurant in the mainland U.S. – the “Eye of the Needle,” located at the 500-ft level. A 14-foot ring next to the windows carry 260 seats which rotate 360 degrees in one hour on a track and wheel system driven by a 1 horsepower motor. The restaurant has since been renamed “Sky City.”

Now, I’ve never been to this design classic but I wouldn’t eat there anywhere. Because what I know – and the reason it leapt out at me from the history website- is that it’s probably shit. How do I know this? Well many years ago I read a book by some seasoned traveler who gave his rules for picking where to eat when in places you don’t know. And look what number one was!

1. Never eat in a restaurant that revolves or floats.

Enough said. I’ll eat my cheap pie at ground level with a bottle of stolen wine. You’d be advised to do likewise.

And, if you want to be super prepared wherever you go then here are the rest of his rules to travel by:

2. Never eat in a restaurant that is more than 20 metres above the ground.

3. Never eat in your hotel dining room.

4. Never eat in a restaurant that is recommended in any free publication you find in your hotel room – even if the recommendation appears on a different page from the advertisement.

5. A restaurant with a pepper grinder on every table is likely to be good (as opposed to a restaurant where the waiters thrust a metre-long pepper grinder in your ear).

6. A restaurant with an accordionist is likely to be bad.*

7. There is no such thing as a bad Thai restaurant.

8. There is no such thing as a good Mexican restaurant in Australia.

9. Restaurants offering “cordon bleu”, “surf ‘n’ turf”, “thousand island dressing”, “Vienna schnitzel” and “avocado seafood” are unlikely to be state of the art.

10. The longer the menu, the poorer the food – except in Chinese restaurants.

(I live by these rules and you should too. Sadly although I liked the book enough to copy out the rules I didn’t note who wrote it. . Whoever it was I’ll raise a glass to him tonight whilst eating my meal at a perfectly good stationary table.)

*In a restaurant setting this may well be true but I ALWAYS tip accordion players due to their ability to give even the dullest streets a touch of French flair.

A quote: “Age appears best in four things: old wood to burn, old wine to drink, old friends to trust and old authors to read.” Francis Bacon.

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20 April: shuffling off this mortal coil like a hero.

Ever wondered how the sober folk get through life? I think about it most days as I travel home from work watching their beaten, worn out journeys play out alongside me – those hollow eyes, that lost and broken look of a victim.

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This site now has a theme tune. Go to YouTube and search The National All The Wine. Listen and read.

And on one level, it seems that our lives run in tandem because – like them – I too return to the humble place I call home and kick off my workday shoes. But there is a difference because, whereas they get home and weep over the emptiness of life, I return triumphant; a hero among men, a crusader cast in the role of victor – because, when I get in I have Mrs Drink Wine Today awaiting (sometimes) and the magical elixir of wine ready to recharge my batteries and propel me to a (drunken) state of being almost God Like. (Okay, I’m over egging this a little bit but you get the idea – non drinkers are fucking worn out buffoons whereas us wine drinkers rule the world – or at least the 5 o’clock bus.)

So where is all this going you’re thinking. (You probably think that every day as you read this for all I know.)

“Please, please Drink Wine Today,” you’re maybe saying out loud to your device, ” stop with all this rambling shit and just tell us a passable cover story to allow us to get really drunk so that those “other people” don’t rumble that we just drink too much because we like it. Give us something that sounds historical; cultural; even intelligent. And – when you do – what the heck will it have to do with all this rubbish that preceded it?!”

Well here’s the finale: today in 1888 246 people were reported to have been killed by hail in Moradabad.

Hail!

You look outside, the sky turns grey, it starts to rain, it turns a bit slushy and, the next minute, you’re dead – killed by some big fucking lump of ice dropped with random malice from the heavens.

Hail.

Think about it again- 246 people killed by fucking hail!?

So, let events such as these remind us how precious life is – it can end in an instance.

But always remember – you have a choice: you can either go to the big emptiness in the sky looking like a beaten, sober victim of life or you can go ever so slightly drunk with a smile on your face surrounded by people you like.

Here’s a great song by Warren Zevon that doesn’t mention hail or wine but is a far better version of today’s post (with music.)

A quote: “Drugs and wine and flattering light
You must try it again till you get it right” Warren Zevon.

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19 April: Raising a glass to Mae West.

If history proves one thing it’s that they – the powers that be – always turn their lack of humour (and general inability to have any kind of fun) on to people who I think would have made great dinner party guests.

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This site now has a theme tune. Go to YouTube and search The National All The Wine. Listen and read.

Today, for instance, in 1927 they locked Mae West up for ten days for obscenity in response to her play Sex. In it she played a prostitute trying to start a new life by snaring some rich man. What’s the problem there, exactly? Oh hold on – many of the powers that be are rich men who often visit prostitutes and demand ‘special services’ and the like. These people were (and remain) hypocritical wankers that no one likes or trusts.

Mae West, on the other hand remains a sexual icon. History, my friends, passes a more lasting judgement than a court.

Interestingly she was released early for ‘good behaviour’ – the only time, she quipped she’d ever got anything for being good. So, to celebrate the inimitable Mae West (and all the fun folk like her), why not buy something bubbly and set out to be utterly bad for one pleasure filled night?

A quote: “I generally avoid temptation unless I can’t resist it.”Mae West.

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18 April: The Victory Of Wine Over Boredom In The Long Cold Evenings.

I don’t – as a rule – think it’s cool to use the glorious depth of fermented grape juice to celebrate mindless acts of war but, occasionally, some amazing poet type gets involved and gives the event such an amazing title that you sort of have to celebrate it. Just for the excuse of being able to say such remarkable words out loud. (Poets win wars, someone once said and, in this age of propganda and the internet, it becomes truer by the day.)

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This site now has a theme tune. Go to YouTube and search The National All The Wine. Listen and read.

Take today: today (in Russia) is the day for commemorating (wait for it:) The Victory Over The Teutonic Knights On The Battle Of The Ice. It’s basically just some massive carnage that took place on a frozen lake in 1242. (I’m guessing that the Teutonic Knights got their ass kicked.)

A great excuse to raise a glass of something chilled and sparkling to the poets of yesteryear.

One can’t help but think someone should begin to speak of a day in 2016 as The Viewing Of The Urination Of The Prostitutes On The Bed to make it into more of a ‘thing’ than it already is. Hopefully though we’ll not have to look at oil paintings of the event. Or to ruin good wine by thinking of it too often.

A quote: “With wine in hand, one reaches the happy state – where men are wise, women beautiful; and even one’s children begin to look promising.
~Unknown Author

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17 April: Wine, a haiku in one syllable.

Two days in one for the committed wine drinker to celebrate today. (Why not have a bottle full for each and see how it goes. If you need another just remember that this whole time of year has something or another to do with good old wine drinker – and crasher of teetotal parties – Jesus, so simply say you’re “Drinking For Christ” or some such rubbish; no one will question you because of religious sensibilities)

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This site now has a theme tune. Go to YouTube and search The National All The Wine. Listen and read.

Anyway – back to today. Today is one of those strange internet invented days -Blah Blah Blah Day – and the more cultural sounding Haiku Day.  Blah Blah Blah Day probably celebrates all the nonsensical shite that management teams across the world put out in e mails. (This doesn’t warrant opening wine about but as I’m about to send my own managers a blistering e mail about their ineptitude in my “Union” role just drink to that instead.)

But Haiku Day – I like that. I’m a fan of Basho the great Japanese Zen monk haiku writer and so, shall use the day to remember him as I drift into a drunken state of Enlightenment. A “real” haiku (by Basho) is

Girl cat, so thin, on love and barley

and I think it’s absolutely awesome – echoing down through the centuries and as clear as a temple bell. It rocks my boat.

A (lesser) haiku (by me) is

This bottle, green but this wine, red, deep,  some magic – a taste of the night.

(Quite rightly mine will be forgotten within days but the nobleness of fermented grape juice will follow Basho through eternity. Let’s drink and stand up to Blah Blah Blah whenever the powers that be throw it in our direction.)

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16 April: silently (but theatrically) getting drunk.

Today, 1889 and cinema legend Charlie Chaplin is born. I like Chaplin – his autobiography is a great read and I always think my ultimate dinner party would be Casanova, Chaplin and Errol Flynn. (It’d not be a dull affair; Chaplin and Flynn didn’t like one another and Casanova would, inevitably, be eager to trump the two of them.)

City Lights (1931)

This site now has a theme tune. Go to YouTube and search The National All The Wine. Listen and read.

But nontheless, Chaplin’s birth is well worth uncorking a bottle for; I like Chaplin because – as I said in some other post about some other similar type person – he grabbed life by the balls and lived it. From total poverty in London ( virtually living in the shadow of the slaughterhouse) to virtually ruling the world in Hollywood and then being somewhat left behind again by the talkies.

Oh well – a real life isn’t all branding and endorsements and trying very hard to say absolutely nothing about anything like Beyonce and co – it’s fucking up a few times and coming through it; it’s knowing what it’s like to soar and to wallow in self pity in a gutter. (And knowing that, luckily, wine perfectly compliments both of these states. I shouldn’t imagine Jay Z or Bey would be too much fun over dinner anyway.)

Let them have their own dinner party with all the boring fuckers they know – they’re not invited to mine! (And I suspect Errol Flynn will happily throw them out should they try to crash mine; they can come back when they’ve failed a few times and have interesting stories to tell. )

So cheers Charlie. Happy birthday.

A quote: “As I walked after them it came to me as a kind of sudden surprise that I was drunk, actually drunk, glowing and grinning and staggering drunk for the first time since the Army, drunk along with half a dozen other guys and a couple of girls—right on the Big Nurse’s ward!” from One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest.

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15 April: unlocking the code of drunkenness.

Well here’s an interesting – and, for a change, genuinely cultural reason – to get absolutely bladdered today. In fact her’s two reasons. You see today is both International Culture Day AND Leonard da Vinci’s birthday. (As always I’m ever so slightly drunk but I’m thinking – through the tantalising blur of booze – that this juxtaposition might not be entirely accidental.)

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This site now has a theme tune. Go to YouTube and search The National All The Wine. Listen and read.

And also, having stepped aside from all the hype a bit, it’s fair to say that although an undisputed genius and supreme artist, old Leonardo did have some character traits not a million miles away from that of a very dedicated wine drinker.

Leonardo: A slight paranoia that the world was out to get him. Me: my fucking boss truly hates me;

Leonardo: an eagerness to blow things out of all reasonable levels and descend into mad fantasy that never comes true. Me: when I started this site (current readership: 4 or 5) I thought that big wine companies would sponsor me to hype their wine and I’d retire to France to live it up in a drunken state surrounded by hot French women who’d call me Monsieur Vino.

and

Leonardo: a pathological failure to finish things and a mad need to move on to new and seemingly better things.

Me: I started a dissertation on “The Reasons Scarlett Johansson Would Be Sure To Fall In Love With Me” after seeing her in that Avengers film in something tight and black but gave up after 16 pages when Halle Berry became a mutant. (Halle Berry dissertation only ran for ten pages.)

So, in short, he’s my kindred spirit. He might be yours too. Let’s get drunk in his honour and watch Tom Hanks run around Europe panting like a dog on heat shouting about the Priory of Sion.

Cheers.

A quote: “The discovery of a new wine is increasing better for mankind than the discovery of a new star.” Leonardo.

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