He says, she says - On the pleasures and dangers of drinking

Ian Fleming once wrote that to James Bond, “the best drink of the day was the drink he had in his head, before the first drink of the day”, writes Daniel Wainwright

He says, she says. Dan Wainwright and Liz Joyce
Dan Wainwright and Liz Joyce

I think that sentiment is about the only thing I have in common with 007, aside from my Roger Moore-like raised eyebrow.

I’ll be honest, I like to finish off the week with a tipple. I’m sure many of you would too, especially if it’s my round, which it isn’t.

Soon there could be a minimum price brought in for alcohol, something intended to cut the number of drink-related deaths and crimes.

Good, I thought. Nothing is worse on a night out than treading in the regurgitated remains of someone’s kebab or watching a couple of boozed up yobbos tearing chunks out of each other, knowing that the precious resources of the local A&E department will be used patching them back up ready for them to do it all over again.

At first the price hike didn’t bother me because I thought the only change would be increases for the cheap, own brand lager and big two-litre “cider” that appears to have less in common with an apple than a bottle of turps.

But if shops have to sell at minimum prices then I’ll lose out on special offers.

It’s not just alcoholics and binge-drinking teenagers that like a three-for-two deal.

Most people are perfectly capable of knowing when enough is enough. It’s usually the bit after you start telling anyone who will listen how much better a job you’d do as the England football manager than Roy Hodgson and before you put your arm around a complete stranger and tell him what lickable facial stubble he has.

I don’t need some nanny state initiative to price me out of one of life’s little pleasures when I’ve spent all week working.

It’s time we stopped feeling guilty for enjoying what precious free time we have and accept that, as long as we’re sensible, there’s no shame in a drink or two to toast surviving another week in austerity Britain.

Now, as Tony Christie might have said, show me the way to Amaretto.


I am a lightweight. While Danny boy over there is all loved up with his comforting end-of-the-week tipple, I’m at war with the demon drink, writes Elizabeth Joyce

After thousands of pounds, countless embarrassing moments and hangovers from hell, I’ve decided the time has come to be sensible and cut back on the booze.

This means no more mid-week wine or weekend bingeing and only “grown-up” drinks like the odd glass of red or flute of bubbles. My body and mind can no longer cope with Bakewell tart-flavoured vodka shots from Revolution or jugs of Woo Woo from Wetherspoons. Oh, the shame.

Each and every time I go out with the intention of sipping sophisticated cocktails at the bar, looking like the Black Country version of Mad Men’s poised and polished Betty Draper, and each and every time something goes wrong. I end up being pushed down the street in a shopping trolley, locking myself in a toilet for three hours dressed as a witch or “playfully” biting a colleague’s nose during a particularly heavy Christmas party. Yes, all of those actually happened. And yes, the colleague in question was Dan.

The unfair and brutal arrival of two-day hangovers now I’m in my (very) late 20s was the final nail in my boozing coffin. My skin was blotchy, my hair lank and the inside of my head a veritable Motörhead concert of noise, pain and confusion. Not a good look. Especially at 8am on a Wednesday.

So, for the past week or so, I’ve been a clean-living kinda gal (ish). My bank balance is happier, my appearance is healthier and I feel ready to take on the world from the moment I spring out of bed.

There’s only one problem. Seeing as I’m so clearly a weak-willed dependant, I’ve swapped one vice for another – chocolate.

I’ve eaten my way through what feels like seven branches of Thornton’s recently. In fact, I’m munching on a Toffee Crisp as I write this.

So, it’s decision time, do I want to go all Dean Martin or Augustus Gloop?

What’s that? I could go to the gym instead? Ha! Now you’re the one who sounds like they’ve been on the sauce.

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