LIFE | Alcohol and I … the early years

Before we start can I just say it’s not big and it’s not clever to drink and get drunk … but let’s be fair it is bloody good fun!

I can remember my first experience with alcohol like it was yesterday …[ not including the Baby Cham mum used to let us have on special occasions and the glass of Sherry I had with my Grandad on Christmas Eve ] … it was actually 30-odd years ago!

Let me take you back. It was my first and only Jamboree [Brownie/ Guide/ Scout Camp] over in Luxemburg. I was only 13 ; I guess Mum and Dad thought I was in safe hands.

On our first night of freedom my friend Jackie [ lived next door but one, year older than me, pretty, big boobs, all the boys loved her] and I bought a bottle of Advocaat each . Luckily Jackie looked older than her years and like I said –  boobs. She got served.

Advocaat was thick and creamy like custard and I remember I didn’t really enjoy the taste. We hid in a bush just off camp and necked it all. Let’s just say half an hour later I had literally turned green and began throwing up. I was sent to bed … the Camp Leaders believing I had picked a bug up while travelling. [Face of an angel me …far too sweet and innocent to even consider I had been drinking ]

That was the same trip I had a ‘tay- tar-tay’ with Greg. He was gorgeous – a Boy Scout who was a few years older than me. I was awkward, naive , and extremely shy . We tended to meet up, sit together on coach trips and hold hands. It was all very innocent but every time he went in to kiss me I’d freak out and pretend to be asleep. He was so cool and even at his young age was a bit of a ladies man. I’d never had any experience with the opposite sex at all . He got fed up after a while and dumped me before we even touched home soil. The reasoning; I didn’t snog … and as far as he was concerned I had bloody sleeping sickness !

When I got home one of the first things I did was go to see my friend Justine for advice [ 4 doors down , slightly older than me, extremely pretty with boobs and experienced … as in she had a boyfriend ] She told me it was easy and showed my how to kiss by snogging the back of her hand. She then made me copy on the back of mine while she judged my technique. I refuse to believe I was the only teenager to do this !

As I hit my 20’s my drinks became a mish-mash of Hooch [ alcoholic lemonade] Smirnoff Ice [lemon flavoured vodka] Cast Aways [ fruit flavoured wine based drink ]and Bacardi Breezers [ Bacardi Rum & fruit flavouring] Aptly named alcopops because it was basically just like drinking pop … plus they were cheap and cheerful.


Alcopops – the main contenders. Photo from Google

Most Saturday nights 3 or 4 of us would congregate around at Becky’s house. We would stick on some Barry Manilow [always Barry] , discuss boys, and have a bottle or two of ‘whatever’ for Dutch courage before the taxi pulled up and we went ‘out out’. We were half cut before we even made it to the first bar.

Do any Sheffielders remember Berlin’s and the infamous spinning wheel . If we were lucky the DJ would spin the wheel and it would land on the Hooch – Buy One Get One Free or Smirnoff Ice for 99p. Those were the days eh?! My weekends during the 90’s are very much a blur and I’m blaming Berlin’s!

I also went through a Guinness and Black phase… I used to tell everyone I drank it because I lacked iron and it helped my condition ! [My Gran had low iron and was told to drink half a Guinness a day … I kinda liked that idea and rolled with it]

I’ve never really got on with wine. I can drink most things but wine sends me over the edge ! One glass and I feel decidedly wobbly. Red sends me batty; a woman possessed . For mine and everybody else’s safety its best I stay away.

I’m sure I’ve already related to you the story about the time I was at my ex-brother in laws house for a party where I had drunk copious amounts of red wine. As we [ me and my then husband ] left to get into the taxi, the fresh air hit me,  I felt decidedly dizzy and proceeded to be sick all over the next door neighbours rockery.

The rockery he was extremely proud of AND had just replanted with beautiful shrubs and succulents.

The rockery he was stood next too as I projectile vomited all over it! Oh my days !!

I’ve never touched a glass of red since.

Just typing all this is bringing back such funny memories, some I’d rather forget but nether-less they make me me and its all part of the big learning curve I guess.

I’ve fallen drunk off a booze cruise onto a packed beach in the middle of the day which resulted in a sprained ankle and sun-stroke. I think we’ve all probably done that … I’ve thrown a pint of beer over a woman’s head who was blatantly talking about my friend [beer makes you brave] AND I mean who the hell is sick into a plant pot outside a plush bar in Marbella, takes 5 minutes to recompose herself then goes back in and starts all over again!! [hangs head in shame]


So, so many more stories … so many memories.

I’d like to think over the years my taste in drinks has become more sophisticated and that maybe I have too !

My main tipple used to be Jack Daniels and Coke and I am rather partial to an Expresso Martini.  In fact Cocktails in general float my boat.

Strangely as my Mum’s health  got steadily  worse I’d join her for a Gin and Tonic. I say strangely because I never drank it before . There is an old wife’s tale that says Gin made you cry. Being the complex and emotional girl I was I always envisaged I would be the one balling her eyes out in the corner!  Mum loved her G & T’s and it is one of the last things she asked for.

I’d go as far as saying a G & T is probably the drink I enjoy and drink the most these days. Never had a Brockmans and Fever Tree Tonic …your missing a trick. Its delicious.

Maybe I drink and remember. I think of Mum sat enjoying a glass, see her beautiful face and in a strange way it makes her feel close.

I guess not all drinks leave a bad taste …

Tracey x

4 thoughts on “LIFE | Alcohol and I … the early years

    • lizandtracey says:

      Thankyou you Prue.
      I was such a geek
      So many funny stories… one day I might write about Tracey does Kavos … which mum found hilarious but made me promise I’d never tell anyone x

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