18 August: Revenge (and world domination) take time. Drink wine whilst you wait.

Had a bad day? Feeling a bit like you’re surrounded by enemies who are continually plotting your downfall? Then today is a great day to re-frame stuff. Let’s start by looking around for a role model who could turn these types of situations into platforms to propel themselves forward to revenge.

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In fact let’s think bigger than that; mere revenge is so passé. Let’s look for someone who didn’t just get even, didn’t just get revenge but went all the way to total world domination. As luck would have it history gives us a helping hand on honing into a suitable candidate to channel as we kick back in the twilight and plot. Because today in 1227 saw the death of Genghis Khan: the greatest role model for anyone feeling a little bit wronged or hard done to. So let’s get drunk and think big.

Don’t spend the evening as you usually do just bitching about the boss – do something dastardly. Look at your work whistleblower policy – they’ll have one – and work out a way you could use it to your advantage. Claim they called you a ‘mongol bastard’ in a private meeting or some such nonsense. (This is doubly good as not only is it unlikely you’d make up such a random thing, it’s also cultural which scares the life out of companies. With a bit of luck they’ll end up so terrified you’ll sue that you can spend the rest of your work life doing fuck all.)

But, also – learn how to wait your time. Don’t rush. My friend Tony has the wonderful motto of “He who waits long enough on the banks of a river will, sooner or later, see the bodies of his enemies pass by” and Genghis understood this too. He spend quite a bit of his young life tethered to a tent by his father’s enemies until he escaped (Genghis – not Tony) and headed towards world domination and making his opponents wish they’d been a bit nicer to him. We can all learn from his steely patience and iron willed decision making.

So the next time the boss has you commuting home feeling beaten or inferior think of Genghis, a tether, a tent, a fantastic bottle of wine, the wonder of time and dead bodies floating down waterways.

You time will come. Your kingdom is vast and waiting …..

A quote:  “What contemptible scoundrel stole the cork from my lunch?”
Larson E. Whipsnade (W.C. Fields) You Can’t Cheat an Honest Man (1939)

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17 August: blowing the budget on wine and bad decisions.

Today in 1998 : Bill Clinton admitted that he had an “improper physical relationship” with Monica Lewinsky. Drink some wine to remember it because it’s a wonderful example of how our stupid little mistakes don’t define us.

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Bill probably sort of wishes he hadn’t done it. Monica sort of does also except …. look at the two of them now. Bill gets cheered everywhere he goes and Monica is worth millions. Not a bad deal actually. (They even got on a stamp in Abkhazia.) And now, with the wonders of time , having a consensual blowjob doesn’t seem that bad compared to bragging about grabbing anybody with hips by “by the pussy” and doing as you see fit. In fact, overnight, Bill has become a saint and Monica a postergirl for strong and assertive women.

So open a soothing bottle of red and think back over all your stupid infatuations, all your dumb sexual liaisons – in fact any old stupid thing you ever did – and stop beating yourself up about them That’s all history and should the other party go on to be a world leader, who knows, that story might soon be worth millions.

Don’t wash your suit. Don’t wash your dress. Keep the corks. Bag it all up and label it “Evidence.”

Wine: making all of life’s errors easier to live with since the year dot. Cheers.

A quote:

“It wasn’t the wine,” murmured Mr. Snodgrass, in a broken voice. “It was the salmon.” Charles Dickens. Pickwick Papers.

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16 August: panning for gold in a glass full of red.

Look at everything around you. Much of it is probably simply okay. Much of it – unlike yesterday’s ET inspired post – doesn’t really warrant a Wow! But somewhere tucked away in all that ordinariness there lurks something special just waiting to be discovered.

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Wine teaches us the proof of this. Just think back over your day when you were probably at work surrounded by the detritus of the world – bosses, customers, teenagers on the cusp of becoming obese, white supremacists, water drinkers etc and, understandably, when you arrived home you felt a little beaten, a little lost.

And yet ……

As you reached into the drawer to grab the razor blades for the nightly cutting ritual the Tuesday temp recommends for inner peace (and weight loss) you spotted something else, something glinting that offered a better way forward, a tiny flash that suggested that there might, just might, be a better way to find the light at the end of the tunnel. A corkscrew.

Madly you dig away and yes – it is it’s a corkscrew urging you not to listen to the Tuesday temp with the scarred to fuck arms and teeny tiny wrists but to find a different path to salvation.

You rush into the front room and spot – praise the lord / allah / shiva / Bacchus / Random Chance – a bottle of wine. And a glass. And some olives. Jesus / mohammed / krishna – you’re a guru, a happiness pioneer! Many people wouldn’t have even looked, many people wouldn’t have pursued it and have just gone with the hopeless temp advice of cold steel on skin and binging on chocolate biscuits until they were sick. But you, you’re better than this. You saw through that hopeless masquerade and saw this whole thing through to a happy ending.

That glint, that feel of the corkscrew, that satisfying pop as the cork slipped from the neck, that audible gasp of the contents pouring into the glass and then  the orgasmic mainline rush of the nectar in your mouth.

But you, my friend, you did. And this, this is living; this is wine.

Life is like this – you have to dig through the day to day shit (and avoid the fools gold strategies of self harm, selfies and drinking water) to eventually find the gold. And that gold – on most days – will be fermented grape juice.

So why all of this?

Because on this day in 1896 two old timers hit gold in Klondike and the gold rush started. Drink some wine to commemorate their dogged persistence and maybe open a second bottle to show true solidarity!

You’re worth it, you’re a precious nugget! Your liver may be scarred but your arms are fucking perfect.

A quote: “The best of life is but intoxication: Glory, the grape, love, gold, in these are sunk the hopes of all men, and every nation; without their sap, how branchless were the trunk of life’s strange tree.” Byron.

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15 August: converting the newcomers to wine.

Imagine if there was alien life out there – what would you do?

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Some people overthink this and start to talk about developing languages built around binary or excavating worm holes in time so we can develop closer ties and complicated shizzle like that. (Although, obviously what would happen in reality is humankind would develop some strange prejudice against alien life – presumably because it was green or believed called their god a different name or because their clothes were a different cut and set about bombing the shit out of them at every opportunity. Oh well; no wonder the days are easier to get through slightly drunk. )

But actually, if we managed not to instantly hate their guts – simpler (and cheaper) than worm holes or binary or even just mindless war – surely we could just organise some intergalactic summit, sit them down and open up a bottle of the finest wine we had (or even something that’s on cheap down at the supermarket)  and then watch as their super advanced brains marveled at how something so simple as grapes could end up so complex. Just the way you once did when you were younger and some genius mentor at a party leaned forwards with a glass full of something that was hypnotic and scarlet and, over the pumping bass line,  whispered, “Try this.”

Life: it suddenly seemed, to be just about as good as it could be.

And then years later someone served you it with some sublime risotto or some super vine ripened tomatoes and mozzarella or alongside some olives and a baguette. The  magnificence of the universe reflected through wine seems – just like the actual universe – to be never ending, to be an infinite canvas of culinary and drunken opportunities. Forget all that “Power of Now” mumbo jumbo – it’s wine that turns up the volume on living.

We have a duty to show this to other intelligent life forms from wherever they originate.

And we should really start airing the bottle because it could all happen sooner than you think:  today in 1977 the SETI programme received what is now called it’s WOW signal back from outer space. They’ve never found it again since but – although some unromantics think it’s got more to do with comets than aliens – I like to think they just bleeped out a message that said: Open the bottle we’re on our way.

Best get the corkscrew, they must be really close by now.

Bonus Content:

An additional soundtrack. Read the whole think twice. “Smooth like a tidal wave.”

And a quote: “There is a communion of more than our bodies when bread is broken and wine drunk.” M.F.K Fisher

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14 August: Flying high with the timeless buzz of wine.

On this day in 1901 Gustave Whitehead claimed the first ever powered flight in his Number 21 plane near Bridgeport, Connecticut. He flew for 800 metres.

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The “powers that be” disputed it. But – as you know – this site detests “the powers that be” and always sides with the little guy because, most often, TPTB only have a problem with stuff just to have a reason to piss on people’s dreams. So, for that reason we’ll be drinking wine tonight in honour of Gustave rather than whichever trumped up wannabe decided to suggest the flight was nothing but fancy.

Gustave, I suspect celebrated with wine (or Champagne) in the middle of a bracing field and riotous late night sex  with an aviation groupie whilst Mr Disbeliever drank some chilled glass of joyless water in a sterile office and  speculated on the dangers of fornication. I know where I’d rather be .

Anyway the technical, geeky bit:

The Number 21 was a wire based monoplane with bat wings and two engines / propellers so – depending on how ambitious you feel – you can either drink 1 bottle for the mono bit or aim higher and go for 2  for each of the engines etc. See if you can find one with a bat or a plane on. Better still, see if you can find an aviation groupie.

Good luck.

A quote: “His lips drink water but his heart drinks wine.” e e cummings

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13 August: In which I declare today International Otto Witte Day.

Some people are just great – are just total one offs who should be remembered and publicised at every single opportunity. Meet our new friend, the acrobat and carnival fire eater Otto Witte.

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Because this day in 1913 he conned his way into Albanian high society and managed to get himself crowned as the king of Albania. During this time he claimed to have had an harem AND to have declared war on Montenegro. (It’s hard to know which one would bring greater pleasure.)

Some people claimed he made it all up but, hey – what does it matter if he did!(It matters even less now than it did then – the internet, after all,  is no place for the truth.)  And whilst being made a king in some random country is cool so too is making up preposterous claims that simply pass the time of day.  I do it all the time and would recommend it to anyone as a fantastic way to level the playing field between the wankers that run the world. Gossip – it’s my favourite currency.)

Anyway back to Otto, The Times reported his story as true so let’s just assume it probably was. (This, remember,  was long time before Trump and his fake news kingdom populated by a harem of Kellyanne Conway dolls. These days who knows what early morning tweets it would inspire.)

And Otto lived the story to the hilt arranging with the Berlin police to have the words “Former King of Albania” on his identity card and ensuring that the title was also put on his gravestone – pictured above.

So Otto was clearly one of us – a cool and interesting individual who’d have been fun around the table getting drunk and telling fantastic tales of life, love, lies and everything else that matters. And because he was one of us he deserves to be remembered.Wikipedia declares him ‘a fantasist’ as if this is some bad thing – my favourite people are fantasists. They have a spark lacking in dull fuckwits, water drinkers and Kellyanne Conway.

And – because of this and my self appointed position as The King Of All Wine Drinkers – I therefore declare today as International Otto Witt Day – Patron saint of acrobats, talented liars, accidental kings and all purveyors of entertaining fake news. Just what the world needs. This day is celebrated by getting absolutely sloshed on fine wine, making up an interesting story about yourself and spreading a bit of entertaining gossip about someone you don’t like. Oh and maybe listen to this song by Colin Hay HERE which must surely be the soundtrack that Otto would enter the room to, breathing fire, performing flips as we prepared for tales of his brilliant feat. Unless you have a better suggestion?

Cheers. To Otto.

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Otto’s Theme: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pgizT2om-4s

And a quote: “I like on the table,
when we’re speaking,
the light of a bottle
of intelligent wine.”   Pablo Neruda.

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12 August: Drinking Wine with Tom Cruise.

Scientologists – they’re a bit weird . Do they even drink? Do they read this site? Who knows.  (Well actually I do now know because I’ve just returned from an internet black hole of making the mistake of Googling Scientology. Don’t do it – before you know it you’ve wasted 45 minutes watching TomCruise behave in the thoroughly bizarre manner on chat shows because somebody suggested anti depressants might work for some people or, alternatively, act like someone who’s lost the plot on Oprah Winfrey – a masterclass in the type of manic wide eyed stares and hyper laughter that should be shown to all children in schools in the class “Understanding The Body Language Of People You Should Not Trust As Far As You Can Throw Them.”

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I’ve no more against Tom and his ilk than I have against any other religion and to be fair to Scientology it does appear that they are at least allowed to drink. But not during ‘auditing’ as it interferes with the results which, as we all know are nonsense anyway. (We know this because it uses a bonkers Electrodiagnostic Device called an E meter. Seeing as Tom likes to read up on stuff before he fixes people who disagree with him with his steely eyes of doom he might like to read this on the fantastic Quackwatch site.) Contact me Tom, we’ll chat and Mrs Drink Wine Today will audit you properly (and for free) with her “Where the fuck have you been til this time” eyes.

 

But what has all this got to do with the matter at hand, the matter of having some mock reason to open up some wine and get drunk? Well today is Sea Org Day and, apparently, it’s a big day for Scientologists. According to Wikipedia :

“Sea Org Day is a special event for all Sea Organization members, with rank and rating promotion ceremonies. It has been alleged by former members that recreational Sea Org Day events are mandatory: one ex-Scientologist claims “the one day a year you are supposed to get the day off, you are made to go on a bus to the beach, be there for roll call, participate in group games, etc.”

I’ve no idea what sort of ‘group games’ Tom and the clan participate in either but the ones I like best include an assortment of wine glasses, a big cardboard box* of wine and some friends with the same mindset as me that orbits around various states of being pissed. (I’m not bothered if they’re on anti depressants or know Katie Holmes.)

Who knows we might watch Top Gun or something as well just to make the whole thing seem more authentic.

(Apparently Scientology monitor the net for stuff about them. I hope they find this and forward it to Tom with one of those High Importance flags on it. Luckily my kids are schooled in the aforementioned  “Understanding The Body Language Of People You Should Not Trust As Far As You Can Throw Them.” and he’ll get exactly the same treatment of other peddlers of fairytales who turn up at the door and be politely told that we are not a house of peasants scrambling around in a land of omens and superstition and he should therefore be on his way. With a bit of luck we’ll be so drunk we won’t even hear the doorbell.)

* Once you’ve finished with the box you can use it to make your own e meter and, on another drunken night, use it to measure how many ancient aliens are living inside of you. #Result.)

 

And finally a quote from the genius of Jim Harrison (who I suspect would not have had time for Scientology:)  “The only advice I can give to aspiring writers is don’t do it unless you’re willing to give your whole life to it. Red wine and garlic also helps.”

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11 August: Steaming headlong into drunkenness.

Some older things are classic and timeless. (I tell this to Mrs Drink Wine Today when she takes me for granted.)

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Take drinks – what’s exciting about fizzy soda or over sweet alcopops when all you actually need is the wonderful timelessness of beautiful wine to get you through anything that life throws at you. Modern youth are turning into sloths before our very eyes and no one does anything about it because the sugar industry calls the tune. (This, though, is the wonder of science and evidence – young lanky kids drink sugary energy drinks all day whilst connecting their brains to the internet and, lo and behold, the world is suddenly full of  fat fuckers who think everything is caused by the Illuminati. Quod erat demonstrandum and all that. As Ben Goldacre says in his wonderfully titled book, “I think you’ll find it’s a bit more complicated than that”, everyone is entitled to their own opinions but they’re not entitled to their own facts.

And also, transport. Modern cars! All shitty, all style and no substance designed to remind the Viagra obsessed world that they could once have sex. (Again – nothing to do with sugar.) Pah – give me something with a starter handle on the front.

And then, finally,  there’s trains! You can keep your clinical speeding bullet trains that smell of disinfectant, give me something that chugs and smells of soot; something that had the innate power to cruise up hills for ever and a day.

Today in 1968 the last steam hauled train ran on British Rail. What a loss.

So let’s get all nostalgic. First, ring in sick as you’re gonna need a full 12 hours and buckets of wine. Click on this tremendous YouTube link to an unbelievable 12 hours of non stop chugging, stinking, awesome steam train noise and then set about drinking. Turn it up. Pretend it’s 1926.

We might be old but we’re better than the youth and their lardy arse electric never -run- on- time trains. And we are powered by steam and wine.

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

And a bonus soundtrack – to enable you to read the post three times and be entertained differently each time.

1 Click below the photo. Read.

2 Click the 12 hour chugging link. Read.

3 Click this:”You know your culture from your trash.” Read.

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10 August: wine, sinking ships and the wonders of time. 

All the things that orbit around you in the modern world – bosses, people in general, Kanye West in particular and all of that fucking tech –  can often seem like a bit of a nightmare. Projects tumble and good intentions slip away into the night and, before you know it, you’re ordering ANOTHER bottle of wine in some plush bar at two in the morning with that hot Turkish creature who only started at work last week. They’ve fallen for – or at least they’re pretending to have fallen for –  the line that you’re 34 and in a bit of an ‘awkward phase’ that is the fault of everybody else but you.  But, no worries, idiotic situations like this are exactly the type of things that wine was created for – to make all life’s disasters easier to stomach and all the (inevitable) triumphs even sweeter.

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And, most importantly,  your awkward ‘things not working out phase’ really isn’t your fault. (As you told the hot Turk, it’s everyone else. Obviously. They’re all bastards.) Because this sort of thing can happen to anyone, even sometimes to whole nations. Things just sometimes creep up on you or implode in front of your eyes and make you look a right dick. But history tells us that there’s no reason to let these type of little hiccups get you down: with time (and copious amounts of wine) you’ll recover and get on with it. (The hot Turk will likewise discover you’re not 34 and wander off with some 26 year old tosspot who can’t cook, drinks lager and is fascinatingly generic in bed. A vanilla life beckons…..)

Question: How do I know this?

Answer: Sweden.

Today in 1628 Sweden turned out in droves to watch as their brand spanking new warship the Vasa sailed out of Stockholm harbour under a glittery cloud of hype. They’d no doubt convinced themselves that within a few short months they’d be ruling the waves, all the disputed land masses and the whole world would be waxing lyrical about ten year old fermented fish served on tree bark.

20 minutes later it sank.

Cue Sweden being the laughing stock of planet Earth for a little while.

But then – less than 500 short years later –  they’ve pulled the whole thing back and given the world Abba and Mamma Mia and silver jump suits. Who, exactly, is laughing now? Who, exactly, ever mentions ‘the awkward Vasa incident?’

No one. That’s who: no one.

And that’s why we can drink, party and lie to hot Turks as much as we like because our drunken perspective has shown us that the same “Stockholm Mechanism” will sooner or later kick in for us and all our ‘Vasa Moments’ will be forgotten in the genius of our upcoming ‘Abba Triumph.’

The winner takes it all. (And all that…..)

So have faith:  drink some wine; toast the disaster of the Vasa! And have faith that your genius will one day ride the waves of glory.

Because you, after all, you rock! As does wine. As does time. Together we’re invincible.

A quote:

“There is nothing like wine for conjuring up feelings of contentment and goodwill. It is less of a drink than an experience, an evocation, a spirit. It produces sensations that defy description.” — Thomas Conklin, Wine: A Primer

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9 August: drink enough wine + everything suddenly starts to look okay.

This day in 1173 the construction of the campanile of the cathedral of Pisa began. You probably think that you’ve never heard of it but, rest assured you have – it’s just that the whole world knows it by the far catchier name of The Leaning Tower of Pisa.

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It took two centuries to complete and now gives an iconic reminder to the world that – sometimes – stuff that doesn’t go as you planned, stuff that suddenly seems to slip away from your intended direction – is actually okay. In fact – just sometimes – it’s a whole lot better than what you had in mind anyway. Pisa would be a meaningless backwater had it’s erection stayed erect. But as it is – it’s full of happy tourists standing on the grass in ridiculous poses all pretending to push the tower back up as wandering tradesmen hang around on the edges selling knock off Rolexs whilst little stalls sell pasta shaped like penises in it’s glorious slipping shadow. I ask you – what’s not to like?

My daughter got accosted there by a bunch of giddy Japanese girls who signed that they wanted their photo taken with her to show they had seen – not an iconic European monument – but a real life Teenage Western Girl and had actually stood next to one and smiled, almost touching her whilst saying things like “denim” and “crop top.” Living the dream. And all because nobody bothered to check the foundations. It’s fantastic how things work out.

So use today as an excuse to recreate that pleasant lopsided buzz that being drunk can give you – usually just before everything starts to spin and get slightly out of control. That’s the point to stop because this is the zone where suddenly nothing appears as rigid or as set in stone as it did when sober; the point where you can see through mistakes and unlock the genius within. Suddenly there’s a magicalness to the world again. Oh the glorious wonder of booze.

So let’s celebrate the whole wonder of stuff that’s not quite right: if you’re lucky enough to live in Pisa you can grab a bottle of Italian wine and sit on the grass beneath the tower and live the dream. (Watch out for Japanese teens.) And if you don’t, simply boil up the penis pasta in a rich tomato sauce, pull on your cheap Rolex, open some bottles of Chianti and dream away.

Wine: making wonky great since at least 1173.

And a quote:

I intend to die in a tavern; let the wine be placed near my dying mouth, so that when the choirs of angels come, they may say, “God be merciful to this drinker!”

Walter Map. 1140 – 1210
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