Posts Tagged ‘alcohol’

The sweet taste

Tuesday, June 26th, 2012 | Photos

One of the drinks I missed most since I stopped drinking alcohol is Rekorderlig. It’s like Kopparberg, but a lot nicer, there is more of a fruit taste in it. Luckily, when you are in a country full of alcoholics, they cater for such a niche.


Alkoholiton is Finnish for alcohol free. It’s amazing! Devastatingly, since returning to the UK I had a search around on the internet to see if anyone imports it, but it seems not.


Tuesday, December 6th, 2011 | Thoughts

Alcohol is an interesting creature. As Gijsbert points out, it makes us feel really ill every Saturday morning and yet we all go out and drink it again next Friday night. That is in large part due to how addictive alcohol is, and leads it to be classified as a more dangerous drug than cannabis, LSD, ecstasy and many others.

Some groups are so afraid that their members will go off the rails if they drink the Devil’s Nectar that they are banned completely. Some groups are even so intolerant that they refuse to enter buildings which serve alcohol, even if they aren’t participating themselves.

A few months ago, I started to wonder if my life would actually be better without alcohol. I don’t really get hangovers because I always take a lot of time to sober up before going to bed, but that none the less brings its own problems with sleep deprivation on school nights.

I hadn’t wondered enough to actually give it a go, but as a result of recent events I ended up giving up alcohol as a side effect of some health issues. I also have up caffeine and have made a few other small changes to my diet and lifestyle as well.

However, having been trying all this for a few months now, it turns out that it isn’t any better.

Actually, your life is much better with alcohol. Alcohol is something which can bring real, measurable benefit to our lives. Of course, if you abuse it there are consequences, much like chocolate, credit cards, gambling, vitamins and basically everything in life ever. But enjoyed responsibly, drinking alcohol is really a pleasurable experience.

So learn from my experience. Alcohol is great and there is little to be gained from this clean living nonsense. As with everything else in life, the best path is responsible usage.


Thursday, November 10th, 2011 | Life

Despite little success last time I complainted to Sainsbury’s, I decided it was worth one more go when I had another complaint.

To whom it may concern:

Earlier today, I visited your branch located on The Headrow in Leeds.

Upon arriving at the tills and scanning my items I was asked to produce identification to complete my purchase. I have recently turned 25 and therefore was expecting not to be flagged by your Check 25 policy, given I have now been able to legally purchase alcohol for 8 years and nice as it is to think, there is no way I look 9 years younger than I actually am.

More to the point, however, is the fact that I was attempting to purchase non-alcoholic wine. It therefore baffles and frustrates me that I would have to produce identification to prove I am over the age of 18, for a product which is alcohol free.

I asked the assistant who approved the item for me why such a product would be classified as restricted, but she said she didn’t know.

I believe such a restriction should be removed from such items, to avoid further aggregation for your customers.

Look forward to hearing from you.

Best wishes,
Chris Worfolk

Luckily, this one was slightly more fruitful. Well, I say that, this time they said that it was indeed a problem and generally a bit silly, but there wasn’t exactly a promise to do much about it.

I contacted the store and spoke with Lisa, the Customer Service Manager, who advised the checkout automatically prompts colleagues to ask for identification when items are scanned. Lisa apologises if this has inconvenienced you and advised she will have your feedback logged for future reference.

We appreciate you taking the time to make us aware of this issue and look forward to seeing you in store again soon.

Still, better than nothing. And way better than Co-op who don’t even respond to your complaints.

Another point down

Wednesday, July 13th, 2011 | Friends

Last Friday was Simon S’s last day at Buzz, which was unfortunate as, as a Leeds graduate, he was one point in favour of the Leeds side of the office (as opposed to the Leeds Met side). Never the less, he is leaving to return to the university to undertake a PhD – something the other side doesn’t really suffer from ;).

We saw him off in the usual manner – by hitting The Original Oak for lunch and getting the shots in. At one point Rebecca suggested we should do one shot per week – something that worries myself and Jason, who would now have to do over 100 shots to leave!

Sainsbury’s, guardians of all that is good

Saturday, May 14th, 2011 | Thoughts

A few weeks ago I went into Sainsbury’s, accompanied by my girlfriend Elina, who was there to keep me company as I did some personal shopping. We were throwing a soirée that evening, so included in my long list of food was a bottle of champagne.

I got to the checkout and scanned everything through on the self service checkout. I had to call an attendant over because, as usual, the system went a bit crazy and my bags needed “verifying.” While he was over there I asked him to approve my alcohol purchase.

I’m 24 so on the boarder line of whether you really need to ID me even on a Check 25 policy, but he decided to, to which I quickly produced my driving license clearly showing I was no less than six years past the date in which I was legally allowed to buy alcohol.

That would have all been fine, but Elina, who was hovering behind me, not actually helping me in any way with my personal shopping, was then asked to produce ID. She didn’t have any. As such, I was declined the sale of the alcohol.

Now, I don’t mind carrying round ID, even though for me to be under age you would have to believe that I looked seven years younger than I actually am. While that’s quite a nice complement, there is no way any rational human being would look at me when playing guess the age, and think “that man is probably about 17.” Not least of all because people who are under 18 and are trying to get hold of some alcohol to go drink in a park somewhere don’t buy champagne. But I’ll overlook this, let’s pretend it’s a sensible policy.

When it really does get mental, is when everyone who is with me has to carry ID as well. As it happens, Elina is 23, but what if she wasn’t? What if she was 17? Does that mean that I shouldn’t be allowed to by alcohol with my personal shopping?

I put this to Sainsbury’s customer service team. They gave me a prompt but fairly nondescript reply, going through their policy in vague detail stating that…

If a group of customers go through the checkouts together, all may be asked to provide identification. If any member of the group is unable to provide ID when requested, we will be unable to complete the sale.

…and ending with…

Sometimes it can come across as over-zealous but it’s really important that colleagues don’t risk age-restricted products being used by anyone underage.

This argument, simply doesn’t hold up to scrutiny however. Requiring everyone who goes through the checkout, even if it is just one person actually buying anything, to produce ID in no way limits the sale of alcohol to people underage because as only the person buying something is actually required, everyone else can just wait outside.

I could easily come along with some underage, make them wait outside, go in and buy nothing by alcohol for them, come outside and give it to them and Sainsbury’s would have effectively just sold alcohol to someone who is underage, according to their thinking.

Yet, when I come through making a purchase for myself, clearly as part of my weekly food shop, clearly not for underage drinkers to get drunk because it wasn’t White Lightning or Sainsbury’s Basics Table Wine, I am unable to complete my purchase because, for perfectly understandable reasons, Elina wasn’t carrying an ID (or money, or anything), because she wasn’t buying anything, she was just keeping me company.

In such situations I could of course just ask her to wait outside while I go in and do my shopping. This is probably a valid option if you don’t consider the idea of her coming to keep me company and then spending most of the time waiting outside the store, beyond ridiculous.

But of course this isn’t always an option – take for example a mother who is doing her weekly shop and wants to buy some alcohol. Her kids genuinely are under 18 and she can’t just leave them outside on the street while she completes her shop. To me, this seems like discrimination as their policy is clearly victimising a specific group here.

I asked them what their policy was for such situations in my original email, to which they ignored it, so I pressed them for an answer in my response. This is what they said…

We have to leave the judgement to ask for ID up to our colleagues, as it is them who can be prosecuted and fined for selling alcohol to underage customers. It’s important to note it’s also an offense to sell alcohol in the knowledge it will be passed on to someone underage, which is why we look for ID from the whole party.

If you were shopping with your daughter we would hope that our colleagues would use their judgement, but if they were unsure they would err on the side of caution and ask for ID.

So their policy seems to be that they don’t have a policy, but train their staff to ID people as often as possible, even at the risk at denying perfectly legitimate purchases or discriminating against people with children.

Fair enough (well, not really), that is their policy, but I disagree with it because I think it because I don’t believe that it actually prevents the sale of alcohol to people who intend to give it to underage people but I do believe it unfairly targets legitimate customers and even implies criminal behaviour when they suggest I could be buying alcohol for someone who is underage.

So I asked for the contact details of who I could write to, to express my concerns about the policy. My request was declined.

I’d like to be able to provide you with the contact details you’ve requested, unfortunately, this isn’t possible. The Think 25 policy wasn’t a policy created by one person or a group of people, it’s an initiative that Sainsbury’s as a whole has created and it’s something we all stand by.

As mentioned, this policy is supported by the British government and as such, we feel confident using this system.

So far, I’m not impressed. Supermarkets have a reasonable duty of care, and this seems way past the line of reasonability to me.

Cuthbert’s January sale

Saturday, January 9th, 2010 | Humanism

On Tuesday we headed down to Cuthbert Brodrick for the usual Atheist Society Tuesday night social. Wetherspoon’s are currently running a January sale which includes meals for £1.99 and a pint or a glass of wine for 99p!

The truth is out there

Thursday, October 29th, 2009 | Friends, Humanism

On Tuesday Rich delivered an updated version of his talk to A-Soc (not that he bothered to update the title slide lol). This was a rather good lead in to the night’s social at Vodka Revolution in which several people managed to work their way through several sticks of shots (a stick being a variety pack of 6 shots)! A messy, messy evening.

Rich Stick of shots Nicola and her sister Kerry


Monday, September 21st, 2009 | Friends, Life

After years, upon years, we’ve finally got Si drinking! I can’t help but feel this would be a highly appropriate time to revive Sarann’s Bad Influence Diary but the possibilities running through my head as to where to go from here and just keeping me too busy at the moment 😉 .

We also got Jewish Dan to put in a long awaited appearance. Good times.

Cocktails Tom and Si Dan


Wednesday, July 29th, 2009 | Humanism, Life

One of the perks of city living is the ability to walk to the pub and home again, finally removing my need to drive to Tuesday night socials.

It’s a bit of a walk up from my apartment though with the way back being down hill it feels a lot shorter at the end of the night which is always a positive. In any case it felt really good not having to worry about how much I was drinking for once, a great improvement on the situation.

George and Chris Zoltan and Tom Norm and Liz

No Vices Week

Sunday, March 8th, 2009 | Life

Last week was No Vices Week which was a week (well, 5 days lol) in which we avoided takeaway and alcohol and donated the money we saved to Rationalist Week. There wasn’t a huge uptake but some of us actually managed most of it.

It almost killed me to be honest. Day after day I was like “aww, I can just get McDonald’s on the way home” and then remembering I couldn’t. I drove Norm to work on Tuesday morning thinking I could just go for breakfast to fill the gap before I started work and then realised I couldn’t so I headed for “non-takeaway” breakfast – which was closed! Needless to say, I was not amused.

The other worry of course was that with me and Lil not eating McDonald’s we would put on a lot of weight (we are of course living proof that McDonald’s keeps you thin). Luckily Lil came up with the answer in us just sugaring our bread and eating a loaf a day. Seems to have worked.