So summer is here (apparently) and one thing I’ve noticed now I’m sober is just how much a little sun makes people go a bit nuts on the booze.
The few days where we have had some sunshine I have been out and about and certainly noticed the difference in how many people are drinking in the city centre.
I remember from my working days the 4pm text from colleagues on a sunny day suggesting a quick one in the beer garden after work.
It seems us Brits see the warmer weather and longer evenings as prime drinking time. It is little wonder though when you see how alcohol brands advertise summer. Whether it’s Pimms during Wimbledon, lager to accompany the family BBQ or one of those fruity ciders with a backdrop of a sunny pub beer garden; advertisers certainly want us to associate fun summer activities with the alcohol brand they are trying to flog.
I noticed even the supermarket ‘recipe’ magazines always feature a selection of cocktails to accompany the picnic feast feature.
I’m aware I’m sounding like one of those reformed bores. I can imagine the Star’s comments section with angry cries of ‘just because you’ve had a problem doesn’t mean the rest of us can’t enjoy a drink’.
And you’re right, I’m certainly not suggesting that every summer people take their drinking to the extremes I did.
But there are a couple of common sights that might ring a few bells.
For example the classic lobster-coloured skin of someone who’s been drinking in the sun all day and hasn’t realised (or doesn’t care by that point) that they’re burning.
It is much harder to recognise the heat is getting to you when you’re already under the influence of four white wine spritzers.
Enjoy the sun and all the social aspects it brings but remember that alcohol dehydrates you and can seriously affect your judgement.
Take it from someone who has spent their fair share of mornings waking up outside in random places after a heavy day’s drinking in the sun.
n The writer is a volunteer at Sheffield Alcohol Support Service Sheffield Alcohol Support Service
Sheffield Alcohol Support Service (SASS) has been providing community alcohol services in Sheffield since it formed in 1978. SASS is a registered charity and its projects are designed to work towards enabling people to change their lives through specialist alcohol, drug and family services.