Sunday 7 December 2014

Backstage passage

Autograph munter: Signature Brew's functional
yet not entirely beautiful beer
Brought to you by Kirsty Chestnutt

Pathetic fallacy. The literary term for ascribing human emotions or characteristics to aspects of nature, for example, sullen clouds, dancing leaves,etc.

You could add moody weather to that list. And today it's been in a weird one, generally reflecting how I've been feeling too. Grouchy in the morning due to lack of sleep, toast and coffee chasing the early clouds away, lunch bringing the sunshine and, before an impending return to London and the inevitable pre-Monday fear, the arrival of grey, threatening clouds.

Sounds not too that dissimilar to my year, in all honesty. A slow start to the year gave way to an upward curve that just kept getting better till the end of August. September held that particularly sickening feeling you get when you've reached the top of a roller-coaster and are about to plummet groundwards.

The descent began in earnest that month and, apart from the dead-cat bounce of an unexpectedly lovely November, the feeling it's downhill from here on in is never far from my mind. Still, at least I have this calendar to provide welcome succour.

Shame, really, that however many so-called surprises life throws at you, it can for the most part be entirely predictable. I've written about this before and will doubtless do so again. The idea of life being some kind of great big pathetic fallacy – its staid, dull, uncharismatic self just plodding from one day to the next like a broken husk of a slave trudging inexorably to its death – is one that's appealed for some boringly repetitive years.

But I couldn't have predicted this. Random placing of beers is one thing and a haphazard approach to assigning sponsors to each day (unless they specifically requested a particular date) another, but to pull out such an apposite beer several hours after I'd tipped off an eagerly awaiting readership that today's was brought to you by Kirsty was quite a thing.

I first knew Kirsty as a stage manager at the Big Chill, so what should emerge but a Backstage IPA? Marvellous. Almost enough to make you chuck all that fatalistic bullshit into the dustbin where it belongs, really, and start smiling again. Almost.

Beer: Signature Brew Backstage IPA
Strength: A predictably mediocre 5.6%
Smell: Overly sweet and vinous, like a decaying bunch of grapes in an old Sainsbury's bag.
Tasting notes: While nothing amazing, I'm taken aback by how little the smell has portended here. Perhaps the aroma was the surly bouncer checking you really were on the AAA list. But now your credentials check out, you're in – though really just ligging it – and mingling with those of dubious notoriety in comparitively pleasant surroundings to those you were in before. Once you've glad-handed a couple of other marginally more recognisable folk and one or two other fellow liggers, there's no real reason to hang around, lest the free warm lager and risibly monikered catering draw you in and make your stomach live in a world of regret the following morning. In all, not a bad night out, but one you probably won't remember this time next year.
Session factor: You could. Whether or not you would, only you could ever know.
Arbitrary score: 51014
Sponsor: Kirsty Chestnutt

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