Monday, September 25, 2006


Today I ventured out with the dog in tow dragging me towards the dock. Rain pouring steadily on me and the half duck/dog who loves water, whether it's still falling from the sky or something she can dive into. So she enjoyed the walk and then a lengthy paddle. The genes kicked in and she chased some ducks who kicked water over her and laughed at her efforts to get to them. I can hope for world peace or a large lottery win, she has her hopes to one day catch a duck/ pigeon/ sparrow...what she'll do with one, who knows!

"Walk contract states a long walk....and cooked chicken. You can kick those cats out as well...sleeping in my chair."

I noticed the dock was very full so perhaps the ice sheets melting is slowly having an effect. Time to build some stilts for the house and move the electrical goods upstairs. Better still, buy an old Dutch barge and moor where we like. I can just see Mrs.C readily agreeing to that suggestion, her eyes shining and a ready smile on her lips as she reaches for a heavy kitchen implement.I blame Terry Darlington (see earlier posts) and the wanderlust that has always lain quietly in a corner of my psyche. However, I'll have to satiate it by going on a boating holiday although Mrs.C doesn't fancy it. No.1 and the dog can both swim so I think I'll look into boating holidays. Commonsense dictates that No.1 has to finish his education, etc...before we go gallivanting off in the wide blue yonder.
I'm off to drool over boats and barges.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

48 Crash...

A weekend and a half: Limited access to the net as whenever I attempted to log on, zilch, zippo, nada.It worked first time for No.1, even managing to complete some homework on it, so I had a strong desire to throw the PC out of the window.
No.1 son disappeared to his mates house yesterday and despite dragging myself from my sickbed to search town for him yesterday, no sign of him. He arrived at eleven this morning, stating he fell asleep hence he didn't phone. Yep, he's grounded again, no treats and in lieu of the full story, he'll remain grounded for the forseeable future. All in all, a weekend I am glad to see the back of...oh!The cat whose picture adorns this blog is now an outdoor cat. Despite having been de-nadgered he continues to spray everywhere. I thought we had rehabilitated him out of his spraying habit. I may as well shout at the moon as try to train a cat. Poor little sod looks so sad out there, but it's either that or Mrs.C completes the de-nadgering job. However, he had a comfortable two hours on the settee sleeping next to me before the dirty deed was discovered. I'll have to build put up a cat shelter for him, large enough for him but too small for the dog to get in. She'll believe it's meant for her because she believes everything is meant for her and keeps a jealous eye upon the cats.

Terry and Monica Darlington with Jim.
(Narrow Dog to Carcassonne).I couldn't post this earlier because the photo blogger wasn't working; better late than never.

Having been confined to the house I caught up on some DVD's, including 'Shaun of the Dead' which I'd never seen until now. Bloody hell! It was filmed where I grew up and went to school in Hornsey, North London. Finger on the pause button and much reminiscing about the area...It brought a huge smile to my face and did much to cheer me up. I then watched Wallace and Gromit again which turned the smile into laughter. I am a great believer in the use of comedy, whether cartoons, sitcoms or whatever to cheer oneself up. It should be prescribed alongside prozac but with fewer side-effects apart from sore ribs. I'm off to spot the murderer in Midsummer Mayhem...

Thursday, September 21, 2006

A sense of belonging...

At last, I can use blogger again. I had posted about moving furniture, throwing out rubbish and recycling stuff. Unfortunately, the post went off into the great void and is lost forever. The bedrooms have now been moved around and my back is killing me, so a quiet night in fast asleep reading more of 'The Narrow Dog to Carcasonne'. If I recommend a book this year it will be this one as parts of it had me laughing out loud. Great observations of the people they meet on the journey,places they pass through and the dog...
We bagged up lots of old toys, books and general crap belongings no longer needed in the Catto household. I hadn't realised I had so many books and Mrs.C was greatly amused at my efforts to give some books to the charity shop. I finally picked out several books and they've now gone before I can change my mind and rescue them.Sadly, I am very attached to books and old things. I don't view them as children but that's not far off my attitude to my belongings. I had an orange coat that made me look like an advert for Tango and as Mrs.C pointed out to me, it was falling to pieces before I finally agreed it had to go. A year on and I eventually binned it, although it's still in the bin in the garden. One day it will make it to the proper bin and meet it's demise in a landfill somewhere.
Ahh...I hear the sound of drum practice from a sulky, monosyllabic teenager who grumped his way in from school, through his tea and straight to his drum kit...via some dreadful tosh on the telly.

I have two days off and contrary to the laws of science they will be gone in the blink of an eye and I will be back at work. 15 minutes at the dentist seems to last a lifetime whereas enjoyable time just flies by. Never mind, I'll try and enjoy them and I have planned a trip to the municipal dump tomorrow. Oh joy!

Monday, September 18, 2006

A brief interlude...

A moments interlude leaving me enough time to post. Work is extremely busy and I have been flying around the county saving damsels and chaps in distress. Plus the odd drunk in between genuine customers looking for a comfy bed for the night. Suffice to say it has been all work and little time to play. I caught up on my favourite blogs this morning and saw the Shazza Osama bin Osbourne interview with The Girl.
Happily she came across well and will win more readers for her blog and book. She is also damned attractive: Good looks, intelligence, warmth and an adventurous spirit and lust for life.
I must away as I've work to head orf to and I'm on call for the next two days.

Flying to the rescue...


Friday, September 15, 2006

The Real Amber Nectar...

That pint of Hewitts Ale, hmmm... it was bitter, especially in the aftertaste.Initially, I didn't like it but as the pint warmed up the flavour shone through and I enjoyed it. Would I try it again...yes, I would. Having a pint immediately after work was especially enjoyable. Straight home to cook some excellent pork snorkers, peas and boiled potatoes....sometimes the simple meals are the best ones! The temptation for me now is to head over to the Tap and help to empty the barrel. However, I'm mindful that the drum kit has left me short of the readies for the next couple of weeks (12 days to payday!) so I'll have a quiet night in.

Fridays nice bloke.
Can you guess who?
No cheating!

I'll curl up with a good book and a glass of Hobgoblin to keep the cold out, maybe a few games of backgammon on the net.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

At long last...

One very happy teenager.

Vampire flies...

What he is hoping for!

I finally gave up on the ebay 'seller' of the drum kit and I bought a secondhand kit locally. No.1 son has no idea that there is a drum kit sitting in his bedroom awaiting his return from school. He believes he will get a kit at the end of the month. I can make a few,CD's,food...I can live on lentils, pulses and vegetables. I'll tell him he has to eat the same and enjoy the look on his face.Mind you, he'll be on packed lunches for a month!
Ear plugs needed!!
I have another bloody bite on my leg from some winged beastie and the infection has started to go now without resorting to antibiotics. Something similar happened two years ago and the GP treated me for an infection. After a few days and my left leg looking like a prop from 'Casualty', I had to go to A&E where it was decided I had DVT. Cue several injections to thin my blood and treatment over a bank holiday weekend. The consultant finally saw me and announced it was an infection and shoved me on a second lot of stronger antibiotics. It frightened the life out of me at the time and still makes me cold to think about it. All of that from an insect bite, possibly a horsefly. That time I was at a BBQ in a friends garden near a pond and wearing shorts. This time, I was dressed for work and some beastie bit me on my left ankle. Although the infection has lessened there is a hole in my ankle and a huge purple bruise surrounding it. Maybe I need to eat more garlic and spray myself with lemon oil to keep the buggers away. Any sensible suggestions are welcome.
Quiz tonight but for me the excitement centres on tomorrow and a new beer brewed by Fugelstou. It is Hewitts ale which, apart from a one off brew a couple of years ago, was last brewed by Hewitts in Grimsby in 1968. The Tap and Spile has one barrel in tomorrow and I'll be there after work to try it. I will have to be quick because the local Camra will be there or at the 'No.2' pub in Cleethorpes and it will go quickly. I have some reservations about the local Camra branch because they appear to favour a couple of local pubs at the expense of others which do more than meet the high standards expected by Camra. I guess I'll have to get off my arse and attend the local branch meetings if I am going to express an opinion or find out if my perception is true or not. I have to remember it is a broad church and all members are not necessarily like the loony fundamentalist who put me off the last time I attended.I'll have to look at the work rota and request Monday evenings off to attend.
I'm off to put more TCP on the wound and get myself a cuppa.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Today is the 'moment of truth' for the ebayer who is selling his drum kit. I use the term 'selling' in its loosest possible connotation because I have yet to hear from this bloke. I'll email him and we will see what happens. Otherwise I now have the next two days off before another week of shifts. No plans made but a trip to the vets is called for (Frontline and the battle against fleas!) and possibly a visit to a real ale pub I haven't visited for many years.No.1 son still excluded so I'll be offering sage advice and guidance re. homework..."Just get on with it, now!"
Update on the drums to come later.

Sunday, September 10, 2006


I just tried to comment upon the latest post on Seany's Blog but my long, sensible and erudite comment was 'swallowed up'and disappeared into the ether. So I'll comment here instead rather than leave a long and tedious comment littering up his excellent blog.
It is a conundrum, regarding the question of British and English identities. As the son of Irish parents and born in London, I regard myself as British. I support England in football and rugby although I do have a great feeling of discomfort when watching Ireland play England in both games. A quiet voice at the back of my mind mutters 'Traitor' whilst I cheer England on. To most people I am white and I speak with an educated London accent. The assumption is that I am English. When I go to Ireland and there is an awareness of my family and history, the general consensus is that I am Irish but I had the misfortune to be born in London. My name gives it away, a very Irish name and the Gaelic version is generally mispronounced by English speakers. When my name is known in England it is often only then that people realise I come from an Irish background.
So what must it be like for a Pakistani or Nigerian born in London and whose parents came over for the very same reasons that my parents did: economic, to earn a living and better themselves. Their colour of skin is the immediate difference between themselves and me. Whereas I may be assumed to be white indigenous English,many people would question whether they were looking at a British person until conversation showed otherwise. Yet there is no real difference between myself and the son of Nigerians or Pakistani's born in this country. Yes, cultural, religious, etc... differences, but we are British and we have the right to call ourselves such.
Are we English? That is a more difficult question to answer, it is fraught with difficulties and is likely to upset the more rightwing Englishmen out there. I am British, I have an English accent and for much of my life I grew up in England. But I do not consider myself English. I have a concept of having an Irish heritage, history and sense of self that is not and cannot be fully English because I feel Irish. I define myself as British with a sense of also being Irish. I suspect the theoretical sons of Nigerians and Pakistanis would do the same.
There is then an impact upon patriotism and for me the 'Last Night at the Proms' is an anachronism, a sense of hanging on to something that is nebulous and changes according to the person and situation. It is a good chance to sing along and wave flags as being British, which all British people can join in if they choose. I believe it was Norman 'On Yer Bike' Tebbit who accused British born Pakistanis of betraying England because they supported Pakistan during a cricket test match. At the time I thought it was an interesting comment to make but that Tebbit had completely misunderstood those Pakistani cricket fans. Of course they will and do support Pakistan. That is their culture, heritage and history...their sense of identity. They may be British and define themselves as such but also as Pakistani. This in one way lies at the root of the debate about Islam and 'The War on Terror'. It cannot be a patriotic 'war' because it is not a war against one country as was the war aginst Germany and the ideology of the nazi's. But by attacking Iraq and Afghanistan, by aggressive language towards Iran and Syria as well as 'ignoring' Lebanon, there must be a sense of Islam and Islamic cultures/ countries under attack. I am by no means an apologist for terrorists nor do I excuse sad, deluded twats using Islam as their excuse to blow people up. Nor do I have any desire to live in an Islamic state or be subject to sharia laws. For those who do desire that, they have a multitude of places to live in from Algeria to Saudi Arabia, Pakistan or Malaysia. How much freedom is there in those countries to criticise the state or political process there! However I digress and that is another discussion entirely albeit related to this 'un.
To quote Samuel Johnson..."Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel".
By that remark he meant politicians and others using patriotism as an excuse for their behaviour and beliefs, generally to mistreat and attack others. i.e. George Bush, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Osama Bin Laden, Tony Blair... Of course there are Islamists who want a Jihad and seek power and to extend their form of Islam into other countries. Just as there are white supremicists, Christian evangelicals, flat earthers and other fundamentalists who want to grab power and take over the world. They are all dangerous but the majority of people want to get on and live their lives in peace.
Patriotism can also be a refuge for easy, simplistic and glib answers to complex problems. i.e. 'All Muslims are dangerous...the French are cheese eating surrender monkeys...the Irish are drunks....Romanians are thieves..etc...'So by extension of Dr.Johnson's statement patriotism can be more than a pride in or celebration of one's country, it too easily becomes nationalism. It is often used by those in power or who seek power as a weapon to attack others who are different. But there is no longer one standard English stereotype these days. there is a multitude of stereotypes which is ever changing, hence my sense of Britishness and not English.
To end with another quote before I diasappear up my own arse with these opinions:
"Patriotism is a lively sense of collective responsibility.
Nationalism is a silly cock crowing on its own dunghill"
Richard Aldington (1931).
So keep up with the 'Last night at the Proms'. It's a celebration of British music and culture for all Brits.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

East Coast Chill.

What a lovely day out!
The sun shone with a good seabreeze to stop us feeling too hot. The sea was cold and refreshing...invigorating. We flew a kite and did plenty of walking plus an excellent fish, chips and mushy peas lunch...more paddling and relaxing to the sound of the surf. I feel chilled and refreshed with warm feelings towards most of humanity. Even the drive there and back was quite relaxed.

There weren't too many people about and for once I saw Mablethorpe in a good light, i.e. Non work related. By 'eck, that breeze really clears out the lungs and Mrs.C found it very bracing after a fag. What I like most of all is the space and the sound of the waves. The combination of the two is a wonderful destressor and flying the kite was the icing on the cake for me. I also cannot resist paddling in the sea...full on reflexology with the sand and salt water.

So I am going to chill out further with 'The Modern Jazz Quartet' on in the background, a cold beer and a good book as photo blogger is now playing up.
So ciao for now...

"Oh! I do like to be..."

A day off today and I was up at the proverbial having had an early night...10 pm, on a Friday night! Bloody hell, my age is showing and after one beer I was spark out.
On the plus side: I was up early, dog walked/swum and shopping done. The decks cleared and after Mrs.C has finished work we are off to the seaside. Mab Le Thorpe Sur Mer. A paddle in the sea, fish & chips and the camera. It might wake me up from the sleeping sickness I seem to have acquired over the past week.
I can also wave to the few remaining work colleagues (not away on their hols) if we see any down there. Marvellous.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

"I hear the sound..."

Hooray! I received a reply to my final email...the owner of the drum kit is on holiday and is not back until next week...we'll see.
Otherwise training today to protect ankle biters from their nearest and dearest as well as ne'r do wells and assorted nasty people in society at large. The training turned out to be informative and useful, not always the case with statutory training.
No.1 has completed his first day of exclusion and judging by the level of whinging he is bored already, especially when I sent him in the direction of his science homework. He's on whinge factor 3 currently but he hasn't yet reached kevin levels yet. Maybe I'll need some of the following by this time next week....

Dont ya just love advertising...

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Diem interruptus...

There I was ready to go to work and then the god of malevolence and lost dogs interferes. Phone call from No.1's school:He's been a very naughty boy (He's not the messiah) for reasons I won't go into but he's now been excluded for the next week. Cue my having to arrange time off work at very short notice and sort out various things with the school, etc...It feels like one of those weeks where the crises occur outside of work and in the very place you do not want home.
Suffice to say he has now been grounded and other dreadful punishments will be found.
Listening to Barry Manilow for an hour a day will be the least of them or is that child abuse of the worst kind? It would certainly abuse my ears!
The drum kit update: I have again emailed the seller and asked him to contact me or at the very least admit he is not selling the drums. I suspect he has not realised a good price and won't sell them. I've given him a time limit and then I'll give up on it and post a negative comment.Maybe I should go and visit him...

Intriguing name on the tank!

Those damn drums Carruthers...

Three emails sent to the seller of the drums and still no response. If it has scales, fins and gills it is a fish. This is starting to smell fishy. I will give him until tomorrow although I will send another couple of emails. If no luck, I'll have to contact ebay and resort to the negative comments and pay the local witch to curse the genitalia of the seller....that's if he has any.

"I can endure my own despair,
But not another's hope". William Walsh. 1663-1708 (English Poet).

That is the problem, my son's hopes have been raised but if this particular transaction fails because of the sellers intransigence, I can always buy a drum kit elsewhere.In fact I have been offered the chance of a Pearl kit but the price is high; negotiations may be needed.
Just the one TTFN.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Drumkit update.

Hmmm...I have apparently won the drumkit but no reply to the two emails sent to the seller. I am hoping the seller is out at work or too busy to reply,but I have a thirteen year old bouncing off the walls and ceilings because the kit is not here NOW! We'll see how things turn out.
But I have this picture of No.1 turning out like the following gentleman...

I can only hope No.1 has the talent and passion for music without the madness and insecurity, or the passion for booze and drugs.He has always wanted to play the drums and he did briefly have a small toy kit as a six year old until the little psychopath next door broke it. The common perception of drummers is that of the lunatic, the animal or the monster at the back. No.1 seems to have his feet firmly on the ground and I am more than happy to support him in drumming. However, I may need to put down a couple of thick rugs and soundproof the walls...eggboxes are supposed to be good. I can just see Mrs.C agreeing to eggboxes on the walls in a nice shade of pink. However, No.1's desire to drum and his love for metal music (death, thrash, whatever it is called today) may prove interesting....We may need earplugs!Or better yet, a large shed but the danger is that'll attract a band to practice there.

This is the sort of kit No.1 would like.

I finished the autobiography of John Peel and miss the man more than ever. Truly an original and too few of them on the radio these days. Johnny Walker comes close and I do like Mark Lamarr, but Jonathon I tend to dip into various radio stations, mainly BBC 2, 3 and 4. Also local stations and folkwaves on Monday evenings, as well as Talksport.As I write this I have 'Listen again' and Zoe is talking about her blog. It's worth listening to a few of the bloggers although hearing them might disillusion the carefully crafted mental image one has built up of the blogger.
Having finished the JP book, I am now reading the 'Narrow Dog to Carcassone'...worth it for the comments about the dog. Made me laugh out loud!! Fingers crossed for the reply...

ebay virgin..

Geting ready for work but I am also currently bidding for a drumkit on ebay for No.1 son. I am quite apprehensive about it but I am currently the highest bidder and the auction ends in 4 hours time.It is also the first time I have done this through ebay and my fears of being ripped off, etc... rise to the fore.
We'll see how it goes although I shall be hovering around the PC's at work at the appointed time sneaking a look at progress or otherwise!
I'm off to work now.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Swearing alert!

Another cycling entry but this one concerns my son.
Cycling home yesterday after a day spent at the skate park and some piece of excrement decided to drive his car deliberately at my son. No.1 came off his bike but apart from the shock of the accident he is unscathed. No.1 is a careful cyclist and stated he had checked the road before cycling away from the junction. Unfortunately nothing in the highway code or in my teaching him to ride safely had prepared him for the psychopath who moved away from the kerb and deliberately drove directly at my son and kncked him off the bike. The same piece of shit drove away knowing full well he had knocked my son off his bike. The back wheel is buckled but No.1 himself is thankfully fine.Unfortunately, my son has no idea who this scum is and didn't get a good look at him or the car.Little chance of the police catching the cunt but it means it could happen to some other kid in the future.
Me:"What did the driver look like?"
No.1: "Some chav wanker in a Vauxhall...that's what they usually drive".
The ID parade would take a week of Sundays to complete.

It cheered me up when I saw it and greatly needed after the above.

Two days back at work and it remains much the same...but the dog was miserable yesterday because she sensed I was returning to work. She sat curled up in a ball on her chair and sulked because she can't come to work with me. Shame really, a bit of canine therapy works wonders for some people.

I don't think A&E would appreciate an excitable mutt racing around the place shoving her nose into the most unexpected places. She's a typical's usually bottoms or crotches they shove their noses into! I must away, I'm on call again tonight and Midsomer Mayhem is on again...My prediction is two murders tonight and Mrs.C suggests three as it is a new series. As well as predicting the number of deaths we'll play spot the villain. Houseprices in Midsomer must be low...

Friday, September 01, 2006

Le boogie...

After the earlier rant something for the weekend...

Just imagine being in a position to do just that....there, doesn't the weekend feel better already! You could even add a flower of choice...mine would be a daffodil but I feel sorry for the poor bugger who picks the rose.
I am off out tonight on my last night of imaginary freedom, for who among us is truly free (send your answers to yer man especially if said answers are long and you are studying politics). I intend to do a little of what this crowd are doing albeit with apint of beer at hand and my clothes will be of a more sober hue.

My half hearted attempt at dancing/foot tapping will be as a result of this chap Claude Bourbon. I'm off to enjoy myself so TTFN.


Today is the last day of my hols, yes it did rain this morning. I didn't get the two weeks of sunshine I had hoped for but, I have had two weeks away from the woes of other peoples lives. Do I feel refreshed, batteries charged up and like the little rabbit, drumming for all I am worth? Do I fuck as like...I'm hung over today, too many late nights catching up on FilmFour movies for free and I have eaten too much. All self induced and sympathy is not asked for or expected; money...yes please. So I am back at work tomorrow and on call over the weekend. A return to the grit of life which ensures I enjoy the sweeter smoother passages of life (days off!).
Mrs.C and I have been talking about having a month off from the alcohol and next week I will be joining Slimming world. Happily for me I will generally eat anything and I genuinely enjoy cottage cheese, lentils, etc...Mrs.C does not but agrees she may join in with my dieting without joining fatfighters. Having talked about going to a club, I found this on the net and it does look more attractive. I can access the site at any time from home or work and I would feel more in control. I will give it some thought over the weekend. I had a month off the booze last March and felt quite good at the end of it. Although I don't drink too much, there are evenings where I certainly push the boat out and have several pints of ale. Not too often because I feel dreadful the next day and I prefer to drink quality rather than quantity. I would far rather have two or three pints of a well kept real ale, also usually more expensive, than several pints of a pseudoAussie/French/Danish bilge water. Followed by a couple of alcohol free days.But there is the occasional evening where I will have several pints and as a grown, responsible and generally sensible adult I know I am drinking too much during that evening.
According to govt. statistics that makes me a 'binge drinker'. I know of people who do the same as me, nothing for a few days because of work , etc... but a weekend off and several pints/ glasses of wine on a Friday night. Equally, I also know many people who drink every day. At work one of our biggest problems is that of people presenting with 'excessive alcohol use'. They may well have drank moderately but over time the moderate amount has gradually crept up and up. It is then a problem because they need the alcohol, it is causing problems with their work, relationships, friends, etc..Generally such problems don't come our way until some imbalance occurs, usually a marriage breakdown or debts, there is then a suicide attempt and we are asked to intervene. We can wrap it up in jargon, sugarcoat it, etc...but it boils down to the same thing: Stop drinking or control it sensibly. Our remit is working with people with a mental health problem who present in crisis. If someone takes an overdose of paracetamol and is directed our way, usually on a medical ward, we assess and look at how the person might be helped, supported, etc...But alcohol problems are not our remit; no clinical mental health problems present therefore we refer on. If we didn't, our service would be swamped.However, there is very little in the way of support or help for people with alcohol problems unless the person is heavily addicted to and effected by alcohol. Rather than nipping the problem in the bud (sic) and offering support in the early stages, people have to reach the stage of drinking huge amounts each day (i.e. one-two bottles spirits per day) before the pitifully few services on offer can intervene. Even then, unless the person wants to stop there is little anyone can do.
Having targetted smoking as a major health issue, the govt. is now focusing on alcohol and I do have mixed feelings about this. I enjoy beer and I am a member of Camra. However. I see via work and on our streets the damage done by excessive alcohol drinking. The youths who caused the problems last Friday were all pissed up on cheap cider and wine. I and several neighbours had seen the same youths earlier in the day walk past carrying cases of cheap beer, strong cider and wines. From experience, phoning the police elicits no interest and hours later, teenagers drunk on booze and full of bravado do stupid things that they would think twice about if they were sober. So I applaud suggestions about sensible drinking by the govt., brewers, pubs,etc..but taking a closer look at the problem. Advertising that promotes alcohol as sexy, cool, macho, happenin'...happy hours where drinks are ridiculously cheap; large sheds with bright lights, loud music,dark corners and cheap booze full of 15 - 25 year olds;supermarkets 'pile 'em high and sell 'em cheap'to any sentient being walking on two legs;and a govt. that is happy to impose high taxes upon alcohol. My concern is that the usual response by the govt. is to bring in draconian laws and rather like the 'hammer and walnut' analogy, miss the whole point and end up hitting the bejasus out of other nuts in the vicinity rather than looking for sensible ways to address the problem.
Why do people drink? It is enjoyable, a social lubricant, relaxant and tastes nice...except for Stella...bloody awful stuff. So how to address the problem of excessive drinking because prohibition is not the answer. How about education and at an early age: in schools; currently for adults who frequently are public nuisances as a result of drunkeness;ditto domestic problems which bring the police out; raise the age to 21 years for anyone who wants to buy alcohol in shops but keep it at 18 for pubs; encourage community pubs where there is a mixture of people of different ages as opposed to the noisy barns which encourage binge drinking amongst testosterone fuelled young adults to fight.
Above all...accept that people will get drunk but few people become alcoholics. There will always be some people who have a problem with alcohol and history shows numerous examples of this.But I look at Hogarths Gin Lane and see similarities to some of the scenes we see each weekend around the UK. Call it Heroin/Cider Lane today.

Hence the first Hogarth picture where people stick to beer and the picture shows happiness, plenty and industry, as opposed to the Gin Lane picture. However, I await the first bottles with 'Alcohol in excess causes liver damage, brewers droop and kills' as the first step towards massive govt. overkill instead of a thoughtful measured approach which also examines the reasons for the increase in alcohol drinking. However, such an approach might ask the govt. to look closer to home at their failures as one of many underlying causes for the binge culture.
After all of that ranting I could murder a pint nice cup of tea.