Nothing ever, ever prepares you for the amount of alcohol a writer can consume.
I can put a fair amount away myself, but writers take some beating.
Sy can put away a bottle of scotch in an evening if he puts his mind to it...to be fair, he doesn't do any writing after drinking that amount (he normally sways a bit, tell me how much he loves me and watching him trying to negotiate the stairs is like watching a ball in a pinball machine)but he never seems to have a hangover either, which means he can settle down to work the next day with no serious after effects.
If we go out, i always seem to be the one who does the driving. I still haven't learnt the art of negotiation on that front.
Wherever we go, whether it's to friends, family or the pub, he will take advantage of any alcohol that's on offer.
We live in a lovely village where i became good friends with my neighbours long before Sy moved in. Every year they make their own cider- the 'Double L' which stands for 'lovely and lethal'.
Sy had been working in London- very much at home, as he is a city boy-and had come back to my house for the night. Through the wall, i heard the 'tapping of the barrel'...once heard, never forgotton.
'Let's go round', says me.
Wont they be offended?' says him.
I have to explain, on the way round there, this is a village event- everyone goes, no official invite, word of mouth.
So, Sy gets stuck in. Sat there in his Armani suit, pint jug in his hand, he looks like the cat that's got the cream.
After one pint, he asks me to take him home.
I still find it amazing that someone who can really, really pack the drink away can't cope with a pint of the local brew.
It was the same with the plum jerkum. When we decided to get married, we thought it better to do it quietly. And that was exactly how it was going to stay, until he had half a glass of the aforementioned at the yearly pig-roast.
He then told everyone.
I suppose secret village brews are different to city drinks...
Sy has told me that he writes some of his best stuff after he has had a skinful-indeed, he has actually written village plays about plum jerkum, which the locals loved.
He has written while totally stoned (a play that actually sold out it's complete weeks run)
and cannot function at all until he has had at least one caffetiere of treacle- sorry, coffee.
So, how do i deal with this drinking?
I tell him i'll buy him a bottle of scotch for every advance he gets...that normally gets him motivated.
Till next time,
Shakespeares housekeeper xx
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