A recent study compared the mental health of women who abstained from alcohol, preferring to sip mineral water, and women who consume moderate amounts of fermented and distilled spirits. It was a rock water vs fire water study. The question posed was; does alcohol boost women’s mental health? Easy answer – depends why you’re drinking. If you start or keep drinking booze because you’re not happy it doesn’t matter what spirits are in the glass – they aren’t going to lift yours – you lose. Research articulates the obvious – researchers found that drinking alcohol won’t make you a better physical specimen or improve your life. But if you are miserable and drinking a lot of fire water then quitting drinking will make you just about as happy as the rock water crew.
It’s the equinox. For a brief celestial moment, twice per circle around the sun, we Northern Hemispherers acknowledge that day and night have equality. This equinox is the apex of balance but just like reaching the peak of a Ferris wheel it’s a fall from here. I’m prepared. I just bought a coat that would’ve been coveted by Shackleton’s crew of the Endurance (during their endless winter on Antarctica). I don’t study wooly caterpillars to forecast winter – I count sweaters. Knowing that summer lies a ‘stern and winter always follows fall – I’m really content to enjoy the changing foliage, shuffle through leaf piles, saturate my olfactory and taste senses with pumpkin spice, and slide on down to winter. Then again, whether I’m quaffing rocks or hops, I’m generally a happy person.
With a steady eye on the research study, at around 5 o’clock one evening this weekend I’ll join the surviving members of the Cold Beer Club to issue and partake in an extra tot of spirits; we will splice the mainbrace. We’ll toast the change of watch as summer turns to autumn. We’ll pluck a posy and hoist the next round to Rosie, who promised us, in endless rounds of song, “we all fall down.”