Tag Archives: alcohol

Satisfied Saturday Six

The SSS celebrates six things that have gone well, or at least okay, in the past week. It is the creation of Terry Egan, who is all things wonderful.

1. My sister and my nephew have been down staying locally this week. SO nice to spend time with them.

2. Also, my sister and I scandalously Went To The Pub. I think it’s the first time I’ve been out to do that for… um, at least six months. Probably a lot longer. It was splendid, even if I did drink too much (both wine and water).

3. I feel mean for being pleased that Lovely Partner’s fencing clubs have stopped for the summer, but it’s very jolly having him home a bit more.

4. I’m not the speediest writer ever, but the new novel is plodding along. Next week Child has a football club, so I will try and get a bit more done then – I’m going away next Saturday (YAY!) so it would be nice to go with the knowledge that I’m well on target (which in my terms means ‘definitely ahead of target so I don’t panic’) to get the first draft completed by the end of September so I have all of October for editing.

5. And, as above, I’m going away next Saturday with Child, to stay with incredibly excellent and splendid friends! Excuse me whilst I bounce a bit just thinking about it (*bounce*)

6. I like summer. I like light evenings. I like no school. I like the laid back feel. I like summer.

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Satisfied Saturday Six

The SSS celebrates six things that have gone well, or at least okay, in the past week. It is the creation of Terry Egan, who is all things wonderful.

1. My knitting is getting on quite well. I’ve taken it down to the park and knitted whilst watching Child play football, which is a lovely restful pursuit.

2.  I’ve written about half of my article about Regency Period cranks and quacks, and I’m thoroughly enjoying the research for it!

3. Ooh, I bought a bottle of Bollinger champagne last Sunday! I felt very outrageous. Sadly, it’s not for me, but a present for a family member having an Important Age birthday. But I don’t mind – it’s the entertainment of having bought it at all that I was very much amused by.

4. I might as well mention it here, as it is soon to be properly official: I am in the process of losing my employment (as opposed to self-employed writing). This is, obviously, not something to be satisfied about but after a meeting on Tuesday, I was reassured that the quality of my work had never been a problem – the problem is simply that through no one’s fault, I am simply too ill to go out to work. It’s nice to know that I did a really good job whilst I was there (and even I can’t doubt the sincerity of my ex-work on this matter). It is very sad – I was, and remain, passionate about the job; but I can’t hold my workplace to blame for needing someone who can actually be there, nor can I magic myself better in order to go back.

5. I seem to have lost a bit of weight this week. It probably just means I’ll put it back on again next week, but it’s still quite pleasing.

6. I had to take Rory-cat to the vet on Thursday for his booster injections. She told me he was “perfect”. OF COURSE HE IS – but it’s always nice when someone else mentions it!

Friday Fiction (Article)

Author’s Note: An excerpt from an article I wrote for Jane Austen’s Regency World magazine a few years ago. On the ever popular subject of alcohol.

 

Alcohol!

 

“Does [Mr Allen] drink his bottle a day?” the obnoxious John Thorpe asks Catherine Morland in Northanger Abbey, going on to say that “at the last party in my rooms… upon an average we cleared about five pints [of wine] a head”. Now, even taking into consideration that Thorpe invariably exaggerated everything he’d ever done, there was still a note of truth in the comment. Alcohol was known to flow freely at the universities. Drunken students are not merely a modern phenomenon!

 

But drinking a surfeit of alcoholic beverages was certainly not limited to students. Jane Austen herself wrote in a letter to her sister that “I believe I drank too much wine last night at Hurstbourne; I know not how else to account for the shaking of my hand to-day. You will kindly make allowance therefore for any indistinctness of writing, by attributing it to this venial error.” And as to the parties of the ton, it was positively expected that the wine should flow freely throughout the evening and into the early hours of the morning. The Prince Regent, predictably, took drinking alcohol – as he took so many other things – to excess. Indeed, he was not sober even at his own wedding, and his new wife Caroline would later claim that George was so drunk that he “passed the greatest part of his bridal night under the grate, where he fell, and where I left him”.

 

Even away from the upper classes, however, it was common for adults to start drinking with their breakfast. Ale was a common accompaniment to the large plates of black pudding and other meats which constituted a Regency ‘breakfast’. Indeed, small beer, a phrase used to describe the second, weaker, brewing of an ale, was even drunk by children. Whilst it was low in alcohol (approximately 0.8%), it is nevertheless difficult to imagine anyone but the most hardened drinkers nowadays starting quite so early in their libations. And even they would be unlikely to give it to their children. Of course, the dangers of drinking untreated water meant that it was actually safer to drink beer than fresh water, which may give some measure of defence to the Regency drinkers.