Tuesday 24 July 2018


If any video doesn’t open, click on the link below it. 

All photos are copyright Runningonempty.

RIP Amy Winehouse, the world has lost a great musician.

 I was watching a video unrelated to alcoholism recently, and came across a complaint about England, from an immigrant from South Africa to UK. He said there was nothing to do there much, except (something else, I forget what) and going to the pub. He said, the weather is so bad, that they are the only places to go. That’s his opinion. I do know from TV, there is a big pub culture in the UK, and that that is the main place where people socialise, their local. So, today I went Googling to see if there is a drinking problem in Britain. It seems there is. I’m wondering if the pub culture is to blame or if there are other reasons?

Beyond the health risks and potential harm, that’s the more insidious aspect of Peak Booze: the mental baggage. A fair few of us are more dependent than we’d like to be on that cold glass of white wine or cheeky gin and tonic at the end of the day. It’s important to me to know that drinking is a choice, not a need. But if I choose not to drink for one night out, I find myself rambling an explanation, assuring people that, no, I’m not pregnant. The fact that staying sober for a month is seen as a feat of willpower and the subject of charity campaigns such as Dry January shows just how embedded alcohol is in our lives. It’s the grease that keeps many of our days moving.”

- BBC.

That’s from a very interesting article, which you can read at the end of the post.

In Brigid Jones Diary , she is trying to cut her drinking, but she and her friends mostly meet in pubs and bars. The book is very funny. An excerpt from the film:

Warning, a graphic reference to sex is at the beginning of this, if offended skip the first twelve seconds (not including any ads):



 We have an alcohol problem here in Australia too, indeed many countries do, but there are many more places to go here than pubs, even indoors. 

Here in our small town, we have 6-7 cafés, in addition to our two pubs. Many of the men at my husband’s job do go to the pub on a Friday night, after work which is fine, but we seldom drink alcohol, and don’t like standing in a crush, so we go to the library more often, or cafés. 

The quality of the coffee and food in cafés here is excellent, which is a big drawcard. 

People are to be seen socialising in these coffee shops, sitting with friends or family chatting for quite long periods of time. (Photo taken before they redecorated)

In the smallest café, run by an Italian/Australian, 

(photo taken before he redecorated)

total strangers chat and laugh together, with the staff, which is convivial. He also has regular groups that meet there. 

One never sees scenes such as bar fights in cafés. We don’t often see them in pubs in Australia that much, since the responsible drinking laws were enacted, and every bar staff member had to get qualified in how to refuse alcohol to drunks. Most alcohol problems in the community, to my first hand knowledge, especially from neighbours here and in Sydney, seem to be due to the 2 for 1 offers on take-away alcohol. I read somewhere that Scotland had clamped down on that, and improved their situation with alcohol related community problems. 

I know it’s hard to ditch alcohol, as an alcoholic, when your friends all drink, and pubs and bars are where the party scene is. 

Дария Ставрович «Chandelier» - Полуфинал - Голос - Сезон 5 :


I do empathise. Being in bars can lead to unbearable cravings, for an addict.

The cafés here in town are shut at night, and some on Sundays, but my husband and I have never been refused a coffee or soft drink in the pubs. If I were an alcoholic I wouldn’t go there, however, as that’s not recommended. I would go to cafés though, with or without my friends, also the cinema, bowling, yoga, line dancing, to play a game of squash, to see a show, a museum, a library, etc., all the things that are available indoors in Australia. My family often pop into the local free art gallery, or antiques shops. When we travel we like to visit attractions. We have visited wine growing areas, and found other things to do besides wine tastings.

As long time readers of my blog will know, I have no issue with moderate drinkers. I have no problem with pubs, I’ve featured a few right here, and will feature more. 

It helps if you have a good meal with your alcohol, though that can be expensive for families like us. My Dad paid for this meal:

However, much as pubs are important to Australian life, I can’t imagine considering them the first, or only option for recreation and socialising, at all. 

“When looking at the full costings around this issue, the profits generated from alcohol sales need to be included with a view to implementing a hypothecated alcohol tax. The cost to the NHS should be laid at the door of this industry, pure and simple; polluter pays. Only then will they take responsible drinking seriously.

Cllr Vaughan Thomas 

Labour, Norwich city council

• I don’t suppose the government inaction over alcohol consumption has anything to do with the alcohol industry donations to the Conservative party?

Jake Fagg


The Guardian


Opinion from an Italian:

Binge drinking in Britain

BBC article:


Alcoholics Anonymous UK

The Link


Jeanie said...

Intersting observations. Didn't know that about the UK.

Running on empty said...

Me neither, Jeanie. The BBC article is very interesting.

Pam Richardson said...

This is very interesting, Cath. I do know pub life is very big in England.

Ellen Hawley said...

My sense is that anyone who says there's nothing to do in Britain but drink isn't looking very far afield.

Running on empty said...

Maybe habit keeps them imprisoned? It’s not like there are big distances to cover, though there might be heavy traffic.

sadylaatsch said...

Mens Black Titanium Wedding Band Wedding Band and Dress - iTanium
In this wedding ford edge titanium 2019 ceremony, you will be titanium teeth k9 welcomed by the wedding team as your name says it, but you can have titanium plate flat iron your bride's wedding in the titanium mug hands of your oakley titanium glasses