8 August: the whisper on the street about wine.

Have you seen (or heard about) those strange YouTube videos where people whisper stuff about mundane daily events like baking / shaving / wrapping presents and lots of other stuff whilst people (who need to get out more) listen to it on headphones to get a strange tingling sensation of belonging or love or whatever they call it? They’re called ASMR videos. I don’t know what it stands for – Amazingly Sad Moronic Reenactments? Who knows. Who cares.

But –

Here’s a link to a really freaky 28 minute video of someone whispering about cutting hair which – if it happened in real life at a barbers – would freak you the fuck out and would indeed leave you with a tingling feeling – the tingling feeling that has evolved over thousands of years to give you the heads up that you’re alone in a hair salon with someone who is quite probably a serial killer. And has scissors. And a comb. And has you strapped in a chair. This tingle is not natures way of making you relax; this tingle is nature’s way of saying: Get the fuck out of there you’re about to be killed.

Well anyway, what’s all that longer than usual preamble got to do with getting pissed? So, as I wrote what follows – and was originally written as the intro – it struck me that if it was whispered in some husky tones over headphones it would sound like a ASMR video and millions of sad stay at home types would sit and listen to it on YouTube, I’d get a piece on the BBC news site about wine being the new black being the new Fab Four, women would tingle (again), the ads would come piling in and I’d retire to Paris to record Eiffel Tower soundscapes and be stinking rich and happy. But instead it’ll be read by four people on WordPress and Jamie The Satanist (my other regular reader) will tell me that “you’re fucking bonkers, you” whilst writing runic curses on scraps of paper at the desk when I next get to work. (Except he won’t because he’s in Cornwall exploring a witchcraft museum.)

Oh well. But imagine it as a ASMR thing anyway, just so that it’s ‘different.’ This is what you’ll need – you need  some wine, you need a glass, you need someone who can whisper and you need a Beatles album.

And read:

“Imagine that it’s 8th August but it’s 1969. Oh and that you happen to be in London with a bottle of nice wine, you’ve got some time to kill and you fancy watching some history been made. You could simply head to Abbey Road and wait around for a bit keeping an eye out for a long haired hippie in a white suit, a denim clad chanting disciple of someone with a sari, a guy who forgot his shoes and Ringo Star who fancied himself as a drummer. Maybe sit in a bus shelter and wait a bit, they’ll be along shortly because because this is the day that photographer Iain Macmillan took the famous Beatles Abbey Road photo. Can you feel the wind? The faint after buzz of acid?”

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And this, even without someone whispering in the corner or some inexplicable tingle, is surely reason enough to put on a Beatles song and drink wine until you feel all psychedelic. (It you want to really embrace the vibe you can click for a live webcam feed of the crossing and pretend to be whichever one of the fab four you feel closest to. Whisper “Sgt Pepper” over and over again to up the ante. )

Life is good. (It’s even better with vino.)

And a quote: “Pour out the wine without restraint or stay, pour not by cups but by the bellyful, pour out to all that wull. ” Edmund Spenser.

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7 August: celebrate the beauty of controlled violence in a play it safe world.

Sport isn’t what it was. Footballers look worn out after twenty minutes and tennis is now just a series of grunts and aces. Yawn.

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But thank God  (and Bacchus) for real sport that still makes you go “ouch” and say things like “I couldn’t do that.”.

I give you Australian Rules Football. And today in 1858 the very 1st Australian Rules Football match was played between Melbourne Grammar and Scotch College. Someone decided to just fuck all the existing rules and do what they wanted whilst holding a ball and hitting people. (I bet he was a wine drinker.)

And the birth of such dignified (and regulated) violence in such a ‘play it safe’ world is surely a reason to celebrate and celebration – as you surely know – should always involve drinking fermented grapes.

So remove your safe for work filters, type “Australian Rules Football” into YouTube, open a bottle of wine (Australian, obviously) and enjoy the action. Tell anyone who disturbs you to Piss Off in an Australian accent.

and a quote: 

“Never, never trust anyone who asks for white wine. It means they’re phonies.” – Bette Davis
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6 August: remembering 1990 – when you just drank wine without having to tell anyone about it

Do you remember life pre-1991? When we had to do DIY to pass the time, talk to people, argue with the family and just sit there silently nursing our hatred of bosses/ex lovers/ right wing scum and there was nowhere to vent all those feelings. (Unless you scrawled graffiti over a bus shelter and, even then, only a handful of disinterested people would see it and fewer still read it.)

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In some ways life was super simple then but, in other ways, it had lots of frustrations. And then – on this day in 1991 – Tim Berners -Lee released some files detailing his ideas of a world wide web where people could sit at home calling out everyone they didn’t like as Nazi scum on sites like YouTube and Twitter and where you could post naked pictures of anyone you once slept with – with a Polaroid – in 1983 and, if you’d neglected to take a Polaroid, you could just manipulate an existing image to look like them. Great! The internet was born and the rest is history.

And today I’m reduced to wasting my evening writing a daily reason to get drunk and the rest of the world watches porn, cat videos and obsesses over some two bit celebrity uploading an image to “break the internet.”  In 1990 you’d just have grabbed a bottle as soon as you got home without any thought for ‘notifications’ and been pleasantly drunk by 7:30.

So today – to celebrate Tim’s amazing idea that catapulted us to here – just go to the shop grab something cheap, come home and drink it and don’t tell anyone about it. Who knows maybe it’s just as nice that way …..

And a quote:

“Give me books, French wine, fruit, fine weather and a little music played out of doors by somebody I do not know.” -John Keats

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5 August: Waiting for the green light to open a bottle of red.

Looking for a great and succinct reason to drink two or three bottles of wine today? I got one!

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Today in 1914 in Cleveland,  Ohio they installed the first ever electric traffic light. But WTF has that got to do with wine?

This:

Red means Stop, right?

So STOP what you’re doing – it’s unlikely to be important anyway.

Amber. means gets ready.

Grab a coat, some money and line up a glass, a corkscrew and some olives on the table. Maybe get out the number of that hottie from work for when you’re feeling braver later on.

March to the nearest shop and buy some wine. (Push any teetotalers out of your way. Violently. Whilst swearing.)

Get home.

GREEN: Phew you made it. Open that wine and slip into a delicious vino drunkenness to celebrate the genius that is Ohio.

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4 August: The patron saint of obscure reasons to get drunk.

Imagine being made responsible for all the woes of young girls! What a nightmare – they’d be coming round at all hours to talk to you about One Direction’s break up, Kim Kardashian’s eye shadow and lamenting that none of their clothes had pockets. You’d be barricading your door in a week – it’s enough to try a saint’s patience.

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And funnily enough today is Saint Sithney’s day who, as you’ll discover, had a narrow escape from such a nightmarish fate.  I’m no fan of religion but I do like it when it tears off down wild and surreal alleyways to deliver crazy saints of this and that. (I like Catholic kitsch as well but my love affair with flock Virgin Marys and shell grottoes are stories for another day.) Sithney then – and all his madcap ilk of random saint days -should be celebrated with wine. (Drink one from France with a St. on its label if you want to be clever. It impresses the opposite sex as do ones with an X somewhere in their name.)

But I’m digressing; giving away valuable lifehacks as if they’re candy to allow yourself to seem cultured wherever you are. 

So, to return to today’s post and old Sithney the boyband hating priest. You see, God  (allegedly) approached Sithney and told him that He’d highlighted him to be fast tracked to the top and appointed in the ‘highly desirable role’ of The Patron Saint of Young Girls. But Sithney – obviously a cool, never flustered, straight thinking wine drinker – declined and said that actually, on balance, he’d rather be the saint of mad dogs than young celebrity/clothing obsessed girlies who spend their days pouting on Insta.

And – as on this occasion we appear to be dealing with the New Testament Hippie God rather than the blood crazed psychopath of the Old Testament – God agreed and Lo, Sithney was made The Patron Saint of Mad Dogs.

And – even today, in his Cornwall parish- there’s a well where they take mental and otherwise unwell dogs to to be healed. (The young girls go to chat rooms and talk about Snapchat filters so he obviously made the right choice.)

We’ll not bother with well water though – or snap chat filters –  we’ll just go straight to the vino.

Cheers St Sithney.

And a quote,:

“Wine is the sort of alcoholic beverage that does not destroy but enriches life; does not distort but clairfies perspective; does not seduce except in a way worth humanly being seduced.” – Bill St. John

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3 August: Celebrations, birthdays, gods and Tony Bennett.

Some days are so positively made to be celebrated by drinking wine that only a zealot teetotaler would dare to accuse you of ‘just drinking for fun.’

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(This site now has a theme tune. It’s HERE. Click it and read. It adds a majesty to the crap I write.) You could – of course – just listen to Tony Bennett.

Birthdays are especially good for uncorking something special – especially if it happens to be the birthday of a legend such as Jesus or Mohammad or Tony Bennett.

Well I’ve just checked – there’s no presents at the foot of my bed, Mrs Drink Wine Today hasn’t randomly suggested she loves me and I haven’t heard an extra melodic call to prayer so that can only mean one thing – it’s Tony Bennett’s birthday. He was born in 1926 and went on to be a cool, mean ass singer who can show all today’s young pretenders a thing or two about interpretation and style. And, by all accounts he’s a nice guy – look at him in the photo supping wine and having a whale of a time with a chef called Salvatore from a restaurant called Naples 15 in Wisconsin which is very probably the best restaurant in Wisconsin. (I’ve used their photo so I’m giving them an unashamed plug.)

So pop over to YouTube,  (or Naples 15 if you’re lucky enough to live in Wisconsin!) wear something stylish, spin the disco ball and listen to him singing “The Very Thought of You” with Ana Carolina. The song is obviously about wine and guarantees that all the care of your day will drip away sip by sip.

Happy birthday Tony!

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2 August: On being a fool for wine.

Someone’s got to say it: most Saints seem pretty dull and certainly not the type of people who’d be invited round to drink wine with on a Sunday night. I like my dinner guests to have dipped and soared, to have occasionally been on the brink of greatness and then suddenly just thought – for no apparent reason – Oh fuck it, let’s go to the pub. And generally to not give too much time to religion.

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But then – every so often – even sainthood manages to pull up a total dude. A one of a kind. An eccentric like no other. (I sense my second blog reader – Jamie The Satanist – beginning to tune out and roll his eyes ….)

But let me try to convince you. I give you – Basil  the Fool for Christ. Today is his saint day. Russian, he shoplifted, slagged off authority figures and randomly walked around in chains. Oh and he looked after the poor and spoke a whole lot of truth about how the rich ripped others off. He’s my kind of guy – especially the shoplifting bit at the self scan area. (Everything will scan quite successfully as carrots – even (or especially) wine.

So have a drink for Basil tonight, maybe even steal your lunch from a big multinational and say something in Russian whilst you do it.

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1 August: always be prepared to get stupidly drunk.

There are some strange international days out there if you’re bored – or drunk – enough to look for them. Today is World Scout Scarf day for instance.

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Now, of course in strictly academic theory in theory this has nothing whatsoever to do with our chosen specialist subject of drinking wine everyday and convincing the world we’re doing it for cultural / intellectual reasons.

But, hey, wait a minute! Isn’t the scout motto to “Always Be Prepared.”

It sure is and – therefore – that means by a perfect journey of logic that, whoever that first ever genius was who fermented grape juice, was the world’s first scout. Because suddenly – whilst the rest of the cave dwellers sat around the fire bitching about the head hunter or sharpening an ever increasing pile of arrow heads for an ever dwindling amount of praise – that genius suddenly had a way out; they had a liquid that wiped out the day just gone and turned them into a super charged machine for the next day. That liquid, we now know, was wine.

And, ever since, our tribe has continued the tradition of preparedness. Isn’t that the reason you bought the car with the big trunk to put in all those fantastic offers on cases of wine? The reason you have a coat with massive inside pockets to carry bottles of wine home? The reason your keys are attached to a corkscrew? Isn’t that the reason you subtly pour white wine into your soda bottle everyday just before you go to work? The reason you look at this site so you’ve got you’re reason sorted when the wankers ask why you’re drunk again?

Of course it is! We – the wine drinkers of the world – are always prepared. These people – setting fires and hitching tents – are our people. In a few years they’ll be just like us and today we have a duty to celebrate and to be a role model. (More so that Mr Trump was with his rather bizarre ‘Drain The Cesspit” motivational speech earlier on this week.)

So let’s chuck on a scarf and get drunk.

Also I bet Baden Powell could knock a few back when he needed to.

(Wine, it’s connected to everything if you think hard enough.)

A quote: “One should write not unskillfully in the running hand, be able to sing in a pleasing voice, and keep good time to music; and, lastly, a man should not refuse a little wine when it is pressed upon him.” — Yoshida Kenko, Essays in Idleness, c. 1340

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31 July: who knows what joy lurks in the bottle of wine …….

This day in 1930 the radio mystery “The Shadow” aired for the first time. It’s a perfect anniversary to celebrate with lashings of deep, dark mysterious fruit of the vine. If you click HERE you can listen to an episode on YouTube. (It’s fantastic – as is the out of place Goodyear advert at the beginning. And, fantastic as it is – add wine and becomes fantastic to the power of a hundred and sixty two.)

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This is when drama was drama and families sat in dark rooms at night huddled around a wireless shitting themselves at the mystery of it all rather than all huddled around mobile devices boring themselves  rigid with how mundane it all is and how they don’t measure up to everybody else (or to every other body.) Fuck it – let me tell you some wisdom – these people are self obsessed fuckwits who believe their life is inherently interesting to others. I prefer the mystery of wine though so they’re wrong. I’m not part of their love affair.

So, to show them how little you care about their pouts and glossy photos of what they had for dinner, why not recreate the olden days tonight  by opening a bottle of red wine, turning the lights off and listening right through to the end to see if you can guess what The Shadow’s advanced methods are and why that hat looks so damn good on him! And – as if there’s not enough reason to drink here already I should mention that, at one point, the mighty Orson Welles voiced The Shadow. (That calls for a second bottle, right?) And, if even that doesn’t grab you I’ll tell you that the “Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of man, The Shadow knows …” line is my text message alert and puts an entire room on edge.

To mystery, to radio, to heroes, to wine. Cheers.

A quote: “Mystery is the wine of the universe. It makes us dizzy and makes us feel happy. Man needs enigma so that he can get rid of the dullness of reality.” Mehmet Murat Ildan.

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30 July: Oiling the wheels of friendship with wine.

It’s International day of friendship. And how do we cement friendships?

 

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That’s right we get together with stupid amounts of wine, drink it and tell each other that we love one another. Sometimes we shout a bit at each other, sometimes we explore crazy ideas that make us who we are but we ALWAYS drink wine. And something magical in that super liquid makes all the space and boundaries between us disappear. This is (one of the many) wonders of wine.

So let’s do it, let’s open bottle after bottle and drown in the love.

A quote: “It is better to hide ignorance, but it is hard to do this when we relax over wine.” Heraclitus.

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