Once Works Well was pure technology. Now it seeks merely to divert.
Pansy subjects - Verse! Opera! Domestic trivia! - are now commonplace.
The 300-word limit for posts is retained. The ego is enlarged

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Alas, I cannot claim to be limitless

A question arises: is Rouchswalwe a toper? Definitely not. Toping is drinking to excess and although beer flows through her blog like the Drac flows through Grenoble, she remains clear-sighted – even starry-eyed – enough to produce vigorous, allusive prose, and poetry, unaffected by alchohol.

Recently I scientifically tested her consumption and she cheerfully responded. See http://5fingerplatz.blogspot.com/2011/09/me-gustaria-una-cerveza.html

I now return the favour.

Until recently this itinerary was bi-annual. My companion, C, is fifteen years younger, physicist turned website designer, creator of a web-based library, a fairly extreme left-winger, enormously articulate, widely read and a forensic conversationalist. Since the mountain must go to Mahomet I turn up at Lewisham (SE London), we taxi to Greenwich and order a meal at Davy’s Wine Lodge. An absorbent meal with a mature zinfandel. I choose the wine since for all his abilities, C lacks a retentive palate.

We then stroll past the Cutty Sark to The Trafalgar, the best pub in London. Which at 2.30 pm, is empty. In a bow-fronted window overhanging the Thames we may look upstream to the heart of London, across the river to the financial skyscrapers and downstream to The Dome (which we watched being built). We then each drink five pints of real ale, The conversation is broken only by increasingly frequent absences at the Gents but a graph of consumption resembles the discharge rate for a capacitor (ie, one sharp peak followed an endless visit to the plains). Drinking ends at about 10 pm.

This is my limit since beer turns me into one of those maths problems involving a bath, a tap and a plughole. A mere conduit. The conversation is demanding, stretching me like Peter Rabbit to bursting point. It is an admirable justification for boozing.


Rouchswalwe said...

It occurs to me that both the length of time spend in-pub and the content of the conversation are both very important to the imbibers' rate of pint lifting. A solid, satisfying conversation will slow the rate. Using your scientific test, your beer flow rate would be about 5.56 ml per minute compared to the 14.29 ml per minute calculated for me. But here we would need to adjust for timespan. Your 7.5 hours compared to my 3.5 hours. So if we take the average ml consumed, 2,750 and divide them by the average time, 660 minutes, we reach about 4.2 ml per minute, or 252 ml per hour ... that doesn't sound right. Only about a half-pint per hour? So much for math. It's the conversation that's important!

Barrett Bonden said...

Did you include the 75 cl of zinfandel? I knew I lagged, but I am old now - bladder and brain are not what they were. Yet the beer is essential (as with my sessions with Plutarch at The Blogger's Retreat) bringing with it that intensity that makes listening just as important as saying.

I think averages are something of a delusion. The first two pints disappear (are converted to steam!) à toute vitesse; eveything changes, slows down following the first visit to the loo. But even writing about it, as I do now, I am aware of an event that is chemical, metabolic and uplifting. A willing feverishness that is, magically, controlled. But here I am, talking to the converted, lyricism at her elbow. Can't you move Azores so we could meet halfway? But then who knows what kind of beer they have there?

herhimnbryn said...

And so our Bonden hied himself to London. At a tavern there, he and his companion did partake of succulent victuals and much ale.

You are a modern day Pepys BB!


Barrett Bonden said...

HHB: So long as I confine myself to Old Sam's purely gustatory pleasures. Must check the Hereford Times and see whether any public hangings are listed.

Rouchswalwe said...

See, this is another reason to move the Azores! I could learn more about English historical personalities. Don't worry about the beer, BB. I'd brew up several barrels and bring them along for us!