It is not my intention to preach here - just to make aware. I like alcohol - I like the way it makes me feel; it makes me more creative; it is another guest when good friends visit. It can add a warm glow to life or it can be the stuff of nightmares You can control it or it can control you.
There are many quotes attributed to Churchill in regard to alcohol, such as "Always remember I have taken more out of alcohol than alcohol has taken out of me" and "My rule of life as an absolutely sacred rite smoking cigars and also the drinking of alcohol before, after and if need be during all meals and the intervals in between them."
There has been debate as to whether Churchill was an alcohol abuser and historians would contend that he was not so, but alcohol dependent. Alcohol abuser or dependent - he was undoubtedly a great man and a great leader.
Alcohol has been a common feature in those that have occupied Number Ten. Tony Blair confessed to using alcohol as a prop during his time as prime minister; Nye Bevan and Micheal Foot were hard drinkers; Harold Wilson was a bit more secretive about brandy consumption; Maggie liked her Scotch an HH Asquith - the last Liberal PM was nicknamed "Squiffy." Other party leaders or deputies such as George Brown, Charles Kennedy and John Smith have/had problems with alcohol; Brown and Kennedy's careers being seriously affected by same.
Handel, Bach, Schubert, Brahms and possibly Mozart were all dogged by alcohol abuse and in most cases it was the death of them. These were great men and think what more they could have accomplished without alcohol - or maybe, alcohol fired and enhanced their genius?
Other great alcoholics in the field of writing are Dylan Thomas, Ernest Hemingway and Brendan Behan; WC Fields, Richard Burton, Liz Taylor in the world of acting: Elton John, Eric Clapton and Robbie Williams in music and George Best and Paul Gascoigne in football - in both instances, alcohol ruining their careers and in Best's case, taking his life.
All of the above are people of great talent - but they are remote from us. They may touch our lives with their music, their writing or we may love/hate them as politicians; but they are not part of lives as family, friends or neighbours.
In some of our lives, the effects of alcohol are close enough to touch a raw nerve. We may be an overt/covert alcoholic ourselves; our partner might be one, our father or mother, our friend or workmate. In some way, our life might be affected by alcohol abuse, and if so, it will probably be our unwanted little secret.
Alcohol can be a good companion or our worst enemy. Out there, in that big wide world, there are many hidden victims and following posts will focus on their plight.
Do you think alcohol can inspire and enhance genius?