Thursday 18 December 2014

Sturdy, Stronge, Committed

Gentle giant: a sheep in wolf's clothing
Brought to you by Justin Hancock

Well I had all sorts of stories and anecdotes to trot out today, but for some reason (read: boozy lunch), they've all fallen by the wayside. It's been one of those days.

Regular readers will no doubt be delighted to hear that I got a lovely night's sleep last night. And I think therein lies the problem. It's put me right out of kilter. Would appear I'm no longer able to function properly when all is well with the world.

Which doesn't half make me think. Every December since I can remember (OK, since 2009) has been utterly batshit mental in one way or another and, as a result, the Beer Advent Calendar that accompanies the month has been suitably animated.

It's almost like it no longer works if there isn't something or other wrong with my world. Take 2010 as an example (go on, have a look at the archives). A year of genuine catharsis that saw me persevere with this pursuit despite the fact my marriage was crumbling like the East Yorkshire coastline. Yet there was some terrific writing and genuine drama to entertain readers. It's been a similar tale since then – plenty of woe and heartache to add spice to the overall experience and keep the interest levels relatively high.

Somewhat disappointingly, this year has thus far had little to offer. I have no romance that's failing; no life-changing moments to dwell on; nothing majorly significant to distract readers in exactly the same way as would a road accident. Doesn't seem fair, really, does it?

Of course, there's always time. We still have a week left and, if that's a long time in politics, it's an aeon in my so-called love life. But this year's calendar has been unblemished by such traditional carping and, for once, I reckon I'd like it to stay that way.

“Where's the fun in that?” I hear the tens of you say. To which I reply: “Here. In my own head. Finally.”

Beer: Buxton Brewery Stronge Extra Stout
Strength: A painfully unhappy 7.4%
Smell: Malevolent. Like it's an evil force shadowing your every move. And following you home down dark streets.
Tasting notes: Would that everything in life were as contrary as this. In your mind's eye, you feared for your wellbeing with the constant spectre of danger breathing down your neck. We've all felt it; the shadowy figure audibly pacing behind you. Who is it? What does it want? Why doesn't it go down another street? Well, you know what? It's just going its own way and you happen to be a few paces in front. That's all. In all honesty, it's trying to slow down so as not to freak you out. It realises you're scared and it's doing everything in its power to reassure you while still going home to its own house. A sensitive, feeling, misunderstood soul that's probably had a few too many but is otherwise harmless. Different matter when it gets indoors, mind. Then it pinballs into all the walls and can't even find its own bedroom. But by that point, it's no longer your concern.
Session factor: How appealing does the above sound?
Arbitrary score: 4,914
Sponsor: Justin Hancock

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