Claire Black: You’d have to be permanently smashed not to know we have a drink problem
KATE Middleton must be wondering how she managed to get herself involved in the Scottish Government’s new alcohol awareness campaign.
There she was thinking she was posing for her first royal portrait and instead she’s been revealed as the postergirl for the Drinking Mirror app. Dreamed up by some wheeze at Healthier Scotland, the app lets you see the ageing effects of 10 glasses of wine a week for 10 years. It’s not flattering. I bet they were chuffed when Kate ignored their plea to be brave and share the results on Facebook and just went straight for the National Portrait Gallery instead. Brave indeed.
Oh hang on, what? Those two things have absolutely nothing to do with each other? It’s just a bad portrait. Oh. Sorry, my bad.
I’m not arguing that nothing needs to be said or done about Scotland’s drinking culture. You’d have to be permanently smashed not to know that we’ve got a problem. Of 6,000 Scottish men, those who drank more than five units a day were twice as likely to die from a stroke as the non-drinkers. Four in 10 women exceed the “sensible drinking guidelines” in a typical week. The chronic liver disease rate amongst 30 to 44-year-old women in Scotland has trebled since the 1980s.
But warnings like this –“Deeper wrinkles, red cheeks and weight gain... some of the visible effects of regularly drinking too much are not a pretty sight” – are not helpful. The sexism and the trivialisation of such a serious issue is beyond irritating. Shrieking “A large glass of red wine contains almost as much [calories they’re talking about] as a slice of cake!” doesn’t make me think about my health and wellbeing, it makes me feel murderous. That the gem informing us “Research shows that excessive alcohol consumption can even lead to increased hair loss” ranks two places earlier in the slideshow on the drinksmarter.org website than the fact that alcohol is linked to domestic abuse leaves me speechless. Good to know we’ve got our priorities sorted.
As of Friday, there were nine ratings of the Drinking Mirror app giving it a frankly generous two out of five stars. The comments hit the nail on the head though: “It just gives you a huge square double chin and some lines on your forehead,” said Mattmate plaintively. “I hope no taxpayers’ money was spend on this childish app,” said Ghost of Christmas future.
I THINK I may have stumbled upon the cure for Scotland’s ailing high streets. Online shopping is the scourge of real shops, but do you know what is the scourge of online shopping? It’s the fact that every time you buy something you end up being subscribed to an email newsletter. Nothing is more likely to drive us back to the safety of proper shops than receiving an email every day about products in which we have no interest simply because we were kind enough to buy someone a Christmas gift. You heard it here first.
AS JOB ads go, it’s intriguing: Tom Cruise recruiting an estate manager. I think I could do it. I mean, how hard can managing an estate be? I used to watch Monarch Of The Glen, I’ve got an insight. The only stumbling block might be that when invited to the all afternoon interview at the Scientology Centre in Los Angeles candidates were asked what they would do if they saw a fully occupied car stranded on some train tracks with a train approaching. I’m sure there was never such drama in Glenbogle. «
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Wednesday 19 June 2013
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