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Showing posts from February, 2020

The Three Pint Buzz and Low Alcohol January

I sling my bag over my shoulders, put my earphones carefully in, push play on my new January playlist and begin the familiar post-work ten minute walk to the pub. Here I take a seat at the bar, order the bottled non-alcoholic beer offering and settle in for at least the next hour as per.  Less than ten minutes in I can tell that something isn't right. The surroundings, scents, atmosphere and voices are all familiar. The beer has a surprisingly decent bitter finish to what I am used to in the low-alcohol style. It is slightly thinner in body but in terms of taste is more than acceptable for this slightly-dryer-than-December January.  What it isn't satisfying though is that usual post work desire for relaxation. I am still agitated in my bar seat; anxious as ever. My eyes are skittish. I'm neither comfortable in conversation or just staring at my phone in solo bliss. I quite fancy a cigarette for the first time in about seven years.  Beer is my vice. B

"Something they call their Weekend." Asterix and British opening hours.

RenĂ© Goscinny was a genius at satirical stereotype. His Asterix volumes, memorably illustrated by Alberto Uderzo, took aim at some of the familiar perceptions of people in Western European nations and beyond. Though perhaps considered a little too close to the bone to be originally published in 2020, even 7 or 8-year old Mark could recognise the satire. If anything, they were a good indication and early guide to the idea of stereotypes and how ridiculous they can be. This was identifiable in Goscinny’s version of the British stiff upper lip that I could recognise as humorous without it being distinguishable in the British people I knew. It was even my first introduction to the Brits strange lust for "warm beer."  However, 55 years on, there are elements of the British characters that Asterix met that are still recognisable today. I can quote the scene directly from the excellent 1986 film adaptation that sees the British warriors stop fighting at