18 December 2008

First Love: A Tribute to Gin

For my 15th birthday in South Kensington, one of my neighbours surreptitiously gave me a bottle of Beefeater gin. My neighbour was a buxom French-Egyptian woman with blonde hair and green eyes and two children my age who attended Wellington College and the Lycée Français Charles de Gaulle. The gin bottle was in a gift box. I hid it in my room upstairs. Over the course of a couple of months, I drank it straight. No tonic, no water, no lime. I had been drinking ale, bitter, and lager for almost a year. Even whisky and vodka. But the Beefeater was something new, my introduction to more sophisticated material, the beginning of a love affair. No other substance affected me the same way, except perhaps wine and whisky. I participated in messy pub brawls and snogged svelte public school girls. My first jail term was due to drinking too much gin. Over the years gin has served me extremely well, on the whole, and today I can attribute new horizons to drinking it. To gin, I raise my glass.


anonymous english female said...

Hear this word that the LORD hath spoken against you, O children of Israel, against the whole family which I brought up from the land of Egypt, saying,
2 You only have I known of all the families of the earth: therefore I will punish you for all your iniquities.

3 Can two walk together, except they be agreed?

4 Will a lion roar in the forest, when he hath no prey? will a young lion cry out of his den, if he have taken nothing?

5 Can a bird fall in a snare upon the earth, where no gin is for him? shall one take up a snare from the earth, and have taken nothing at all?

6 Shall a trumpet be blown in the city, and the people not be afraid? shall there be evil in a city, and the LORD hath not done it?

7 Surely the Lord GOD will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets.

King James Bible Amos 3:1-7 (5)

Admiral, if your lawyer had used the above in your defence, may be there would have been no first jail term?

columnist said...

Ah, mother's ruin. My first serious encounter with alcohol was with gin, (at my illicit last night leaving "party"). I drank so much of it, and felt so bad from it the following day, that for many years afterwards the smell was enough to make me blanche. I'm less affected today, but I rarely if ever go near it. Vodka, on the other hand...