jamie goode's wine blog: New year

Sunday, December 31, 2006

New year

I feel a bit of a failure. No wild new year's eve parties here Chez Goode. We had our family tradition of a Chinese meal together, watched a film together (Jaws, the kids' choice, but a surprisingly good film - I haven't seen it for ages and ages), and now, approaching midnight, I'm the only one left awake.

The day kicked off at 5 am when youngest son and his sleepover chum decided it was time to get up. They woke the hound, who started howling, and that was that. It's been a fun day though: this afternoon we enjoyed a lengthy walk in Richmond Park with some good friends who also have a dog.

I won't go into detail about our 2006; it's enough to say that it was a great year, but also a difficult year, as most are. Life is mixed, and I suppose that's part of it's richness - although I could do with a little less of the difficulty in 2007.

One closing thought. The BBC news site has a piece discussing a claim by Hazel Blears, the Labour Party Chair, that Brits are not ready to drink less. It suggests that educational messages on the dangers of heavy drinking aren't working. But why don't politicians ask the following question: why is it that people want to drink to dangerous levels?

Isn't it because, to put it rather cornily, there is something missing from most people's lives? Could it be because there is a disconnect between the messages sent out by society, and the needs of human 'hearts' (to use a helpful metaphor)? All the time we are being told by society - one in which our participation is largely as consumers - that if we achieve a degree of prosperity, a significant other, and a job with a degree of status, then we will be satisfied. We play the game, jump through the hoops, and still there is something missing. Or the pressure to achieve all this is simply too much. Drink simply numbs this pain. Educational messages aren't the answer. Meeting people's real needs is likely to be a more fruitful strategy.

Happy 2007!



At 7:12 PM, Anonymous Jeremy Wilkinson said...


Interesting point. I do think that the issue of dangerous drinking should be approached much more from a root cause point of view, and that must have more to do with societal pressures that the current debate allows for. I'm not so sure that achieving all the things you list and then having a feeling an emptiness is at the bottom of people turning to dangerous drinking but worry that it's more the inability (or at least the perception of inability) to achieve those goals that may be one of the main root causes.

At 7:15 PM, Anonymous Jeremy Wilkinson said...

PS Happy New Year, I hope you have a good one. Thanks for being such a reliable source of so much entertaining and thought provoking stuff.

At 6:30 AM, Anonymous Keith Prothero said...

Yes Happy New Year Jamie. I spent mine recovering from a bite by the dreaded violin spider,and still feel very dissy,nauseous at times and even worse-----do not want to drink!! Incredible how such a small insect can pack such a massive punch!!
Hope to be back on my usual bottle a day form soon,but in the meantime I will continue to enjoy your ramblings!!

At 11:22 AM, Blogger Jamie said...

Thanks Jeremy and Keith
Keith, sorry to hear about the violin spider - sounds horrible. Hope you are back to drinking soon.

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