Light, carefree summer drinking gives way to grim, determined winter drinking

THIS weekend marks the official end of Britain’s relaxed, airy summer drinking and the beginning of a hard winter of grim-faced serious drinking. 

The August bank holiday is the last occasion during which opening a bottle of Prosecco at 5pm can be considered joyous and nonchalant, following which it is only permissible when you have had a bitch of a day at work or it is Christmas.

Health expert Dr Helen Archer said: “Where’s the harm in a few beers in the sunshine, or a picnic glass of wine? Summer drinking is so easy and casual, it’s barely drinking at all.

“So enjoy that this weekend, because from midnight on Monday drinking’s serious business. It’s coping with stress. It’s whisky from the bottle to warm you up. It’s not fun. It’s necessary.

“People ask, how can alcohol be a delightful accompaniment to an al fresco lunch one day, and the next be downed only as a swift route to oblivion? When it’s the same stuff?

“These people have clearly never looked down the barrel of seven months of work, darkness, freezing rain and probably another lockdown. Dismiss them. And get me a double gin.”

Susan Traherne said: “It’s so fun, uncorking a chardonnay on a sun-dappled evening. Not like next Friday, when the only reason I’m drinking the first bottle is to get to the second.”

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Five romantic heroes who would definitely not be like that in real life

DO you find the leading men in romantic films completely unbelievable? That’s because they are. Here’s how they’d be in real life:

Jude Law’s character in The Holiday

A widower looking like Jude Law, with two adorable children? There is no way Cameron Diaz would have found him forlorn and loveable in a Surrey village at Christmas. He would have already been snapped up by a brittle divorcee in a giant SUV halfway through his wife’s funeral.

Alex Fletcher in Music and Lyrics

Men are not typically known for writing hit songs to apologise for arguments in front of a crowd of thousands. In real life Drew Barrymore would have cried for a week then tried to patch things up before realising Fletcher had already started dating a glamour model.

Emma Thompson’s husband in Love Actually

Are we actually meant to believe that wizened old Harry would have been so relentlessly pursued by his aggressively sultry PA? If it was real life, she would be out clubbing with people her own age while he went gratefully home to his lovely wife and popped on a Joni Mitchell CD to listen to whilst they made dinner on their expensive Aga.

Mark Darcy in Bridget Jones’s Diary

Confronted with a girlfriend who arrives at parties with eyeshadow on her cheeks and runs around in her pants in the snow, any human rights lawyer worth his salt would ditch ‘just as she is’ Bridget for almost anyone else, leaving Bridget to sell her inexplicably centrally-located flat, move to the country and get a cat.

Jake Ryan from Sixteen Candles

It is not entirely convincing that gorgeous Michael Schoeffling would have noticed cripplingly shy Molly Ringwald over his bombshell blonde girlfriend, but it’s preferable to focus on that than the secondary character Long Duk Dong, who makes the Chinese gangster in The Hangover look like a nuanced portrait of Asian manhood.