1973

1973

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I am from the generation of women that embraced drinking as a national past-time.

I am from the generation of women that drank purely to get drunk, as drunk as it was possible to get.

I am from the generation that finally broke into the male preserve of pubs and bars.
For years they were dark, dank, smoky all male domains that only very loose women dared enter.
They were a place that men retreated to, to discuss the football or the racing, they served pints of beer next to overflowing ash trays. But in the 80′s the alcohol industry realised they were missing a whole segment of the population they could sell booze to.
Before this, women drank at home or in the company of a male companion at a suitable establishment. Then bars and pubs realised they had to change in order to get women in of their own accord…

Image courtesy of imagerymajestic at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of imagerymajestic at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

By the time I hit my peak drinking age, they had been transformed into chic, tasteful, gastro pubs. Large glass windows meant you could see the friendly faces within enjoying ‘Sex and the City’cocktails and Tapas. It’s somewhere women felt comfortable going in on their own, sitting at a table with a glass of wine whilst waiting for friends to arrive.

I am the generation that invented ‘vertical drinking’. Vast spaces with loud music you couldn’t talk over, deliberately limited seats and 2 for 1 drink specials.
There was literally nothing else to do but grin at the person you couldn’t have a conversation with and drink cheap booze.

I am the generation that embraced the nighttime economies that Thatcherism unleashed onto our city centers. All of a sudden ‘going out’ was the most important part of being in your twenties. It was an industry of itself.

I am the generation that embraced drinking as a national past time.
I am the generation of cheap, cheap booze.
I am the generation that took cheap flights to Europe, stayed in cheap resorts, drank cheap booze and behaved in ways that I never would at home.
I am the generation that embraced illegal narcotics so much that it launched the UK to the top of the charts in cocaine use.
I am the generation that grew up listening to Sara Cox and Zoe Ball on the radio droning on about how much they drank the night before and what a blinding night they had.
I am the generation that embraced the concept of the ‘ladette’, women who wanted to drink like men, as the truest demonstration of our equality.
I am the generation that believed that was something to aspire to.
I am the generation that discussed their hangovers as if they were medals to be displayed.

I am from the generation of women that is now dying in higher numbers than any other, because of our relationship with alcohol.

Because I am from the generation that normalized abnormal drinking.

 

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