Apparently today is the day most chosen for Christmas parties, and therefore the day when ambulance crews are most poised to pick up the pieces. I seem to remember that last year there was a lot of hysteria in the media about this, but there aren’t so many silly stories this year, perhaps because society didn’t in fact break down and the streets did not run with blood as predicted.
The Evening Standard and other related papers are having a go, though, with the story that Londoners are estimated to spend Â£120m on booze in two days (today and yesterday). However, that’s only Â£20 per Londoner (assuming 6m adult Londoners*), spread across two days. Â£10.00 doesn’t buy you many drinks in Central London these days, particularly in a wanky City bar (bottle of Becks – Â£4.20!!!!!!!!!**)
Given the hysteria about binge-drinking at the moment, Â£120m seems surprisingly low.
*Figure derived from the Office of National Statistics estimates in 2006. The figure of 6m includes the over 16s (because apparently they’re all drinking a bottle of wine a week) and excludes short-term migrants.
**That’s about a million dollars for our readers across the pond.
Accountants get a lot of stick from home-brew books, beer blogs and the like. Apparently we’re responsible for everything bad that has ever happened in beer, such as the move from cask to keg in the UK, use of rice as an adjunct, and the development of high-alpha (i.e low-flavour) hops.
I’m fed up with this laziness. Firstly, as anyone with any business experience knows, the job of the finance team is to support the goals of the company. If the company wants to sacrifice quality for profit, that’s the board’s call. And of course the board will take that decision based on (a) shareholder opinion (b) analysis of the market. So it’s all the fault of the consumers really…
Secondly, in my experience, real-ale lovers are well-represented within the accountant population. Maybe not that surprising given our reputation for being pedantic bores.
Thirdly, we just don’t have the (diabolical) imagination for the crimes we’re accused of.
Now the marketing team – that’s a different story…
WARNING: Contains generalisations presented as facts without evidence to back them up.
Galicia is a fascinating part of Spain, tucked away above Portugal. It has its own language (between Portugese and Spanish) and some uncanny parallels with Ireland.
- It rains all the time and is consequently very green.
- It’s battered by the Atlantic.
- Weird similarities in traditional music.
- According to some, there are more people of Galician origin in America than Galicia, due to famine and poverty in the 19th century.
- Getting onto the beer angle. Their major beer is seriously over-rated. Estrella de Galicia is probably my least favourite beer in Spain. How can you manage to have smooth flow lager? I also tried their 1906 “Reserva” which was actually worse than the normal lager.
- The reputation for being twinkly-eyed, salt of the earth types. Particularly when it comes to bars. It’s a broad generalisation (I warned about those) but Galician bars in cities like Madrid and Barcelona are often extremely friendly places, with very good service and excellent atmosphere. What’s interesting is that I think we’re seeing the start of the “Galician theme bar” (i.e. like O’Neill’s in the UK), cashing in on this reputation. I certainly visited one in Burgos.
The food choice tends to be more exciting in Galician bars than Irish bars though…