If ‘sober is the new vegan’, thank heavens for this salty pair…

Blind date womenMEANINGFUL is the word of the day, but for the grain-weary life of me I have nothing new or meaningful to add this morning. Instead here are some reflections on life as inspired by one of the Saturday magazines. Two items caught my eye, one a reader’s letter, the other a popular feature that sets people up for the night. Both appear in Weekend, the supplement that comes with the Guardian.

One of these was almost comically depressing; the other was an uplifting guffaw of humanity.

First, the gloom. Dissociating with the booze and other bodily sins is a thing around time of year. A friend who treated me to lunch the other day is having a dry January; my wife has gone vegan for the month.

The letter I spotted sang the joys of living without alcohol; it was signed “name and address supplied”, so we can only guess why the writer did not wish to be identified as a born-again follower of temperance. The phrase that jumped out was: “Sober is the new vegan, get ahead of the curve.”

What a gloomed mantra: sober is the new vegan. Not wishing to be either, I will keep my toes behind that curve. It’s not that I wish to be non-sober, just to enjoy a few drinks at the weekend, before slipping into weekday sobriety (apart from a rare night of personal rule-breaking).

I don’t wish to hop on the vegan bandwagon as it rolls by on wheels made of carrots or whatever. My meaty leanings are more modest than many, but I’d struggle without the butter and the cheese. Besides, there is always the matter of the vegan lasagne my wife made the other night. It was not, as she readily proclaimed, a success, although my second-day helping was improved with a cheese topping.

Being vegan is fine if you want to eat that way, certainly easier than in the past. My wife is ticking over fine, but misses the milk in her coffee, and our daughter’s gone the whole hog, if you can say that about turning vegan.

Now to the uplift. Blind Date is a great little column in which two strangers are set up for the night, and then offer their separate reports. Sometimes there is a spark, often there is not; sometimes the temporarily hitched admit to a parting kiss, often they don’t even get that far.

This was not the case for Joanne, 24, a barista, and Morgan, also 24, a children’s social worker. These two women, pictured with grins of conspiratorial enjoyment, admitted to having had a high old time, drinking loads, having little memory of what they’d eaten, kissing a lot, then inviting themselves to a party. “I left my knickers at a house party we crashed,” says Joanne.

In these threadbare times of Theresa May droning on, and Jeremy Corbyn tearing himself away from his allotment to drone back, it was heartening to read about these two young women having a naughty night out. The reason for the lost knickers was not given, but that only added to the salty mystery of their spirited union.

Often these daters can’t wait to leave each other’s company, but this pair had a riot, each scoring the other a ‘ten’, and they are due to meet up again right about now.

I discovered this lively pair on old-fashioned paper, still the best way, but their encounter had new life online, where it instantly went viral. Good luck to them: they sound a lot more fun than the sober vegan letter writer.

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