As Ash Wednesday is almost upon us (1st March 2006), my thoughts have turned to the subject of Lent. As always, I have been pondering over what to deprive myself of for the ensuing forty days.
A few years ago, at this time of the ecclesiastical calendar, I turned to a friend and neighbour of mine for advice. As he is a senior cleric within the Church of England I felt sure that he would be able to offer some sound guidance. The conversation went something like this (though out of deference I have changed his name):
Dr T (leaning on garden fence): ‘Now then, David, I am at a loss as to what to deprive myself of for the period of Lent. Do tell me, what are you giving up?’
David (looking sternly towards me): ‘I always think it has to be something one is particularly fond of. Therefore, I always stop drinking gin.’
Dr T (looking surprised): ‘Goodness, David, I am impressed.’
David: (with less gravitas): ‘Yes, a great sacrifice; though I do find that whisky makes a very acceptable alternative!’
So, dear reader, with the wisdom of the venerable cleric ringing in my ears, I have decided to stop drinking my favourite evening tipple of Grouse whisky and dry ginger.
I will just have to suffer tackling some of those single 12 year malts residing in my cellar. Anyone care to join me?