Quarantine Diaries XVIII
Wednesday April 15th 2020
Wednesday was an Emotional Day. As someone with ridiculously fallible mental health at the best of times, I’ve surprised myself by my ability to actually get out of bed and do things since lockdown began. Writing this blog has been a hugely positive mental catalyst, but equally significant has been the amazing support and camaraderie of our online beer community. As an internet-naysayer (who has never had a Facebook account), getting onto Twitter five years ago felt like a huge risk, a Pandora’s-box of disaster-potential, and taking that first step was probably harder than my actual first step (unfortunately reliable witnesses are absent). Of course, I could never have predicted the way the world would turn to leave us so dependent our virtual communities for the emotional sustenance of day-to-day life that has been so brutally stripped from us, but I am (not to sound like a twat) grateful and humbled by the how many lovely people take a few minutes or seconds out of their own strenuous day to say something kind, funny, informative and encouraging to me at a time when we’re all under so much pressure just to make it from one hour to the next. Everyone’s emotional journey through this enormous upheaval is different, but when we come together and share little vignettes from our daily ups and downs, we seem to find so much common ground, more than a lil weirdigan like me could ever have imagined having in common with one person, never mind a community. Yep, Wednesday was an Emotional Day. I was sad and frustrated and angry and guilty and overwhelmed by a sense of helplessness and a lack of control. Trying to process so many painful, negative and often-conflicting emotions is tough, but processing them out loud (online) made it just a little bit easier. I miss the real world so much, but having our caring, engaged virtual world to turn to is an invaluable gift. Thank you.
Rogue Dead Guy Ale
The very words ‘Rogue Dead Guy’ still have a hallowed ring about them. Living in London ten years ago and having a taste for American craft beer, these were words that were whispered with longing and anticipation, words that could get instant social approval or dismissal, words you only uttered if you had reliable intelligence so as not to get your own or other people’s hopes up. Where, where was the Rogue Dead Guy?! The squeals of delight whenever it was spotted in a drinking establishment (never a bottle shop back then) and absolute willingness to hand over any sum of money requested to get said saintly beverage into one’s hand were unquestioned, and oh, those first beautiful sips! I saw a guy at a beer festival with a Rogue t-shirt back in the day and would have tried to steal it if he hadn’t been about twice my size. Not that I go around stealing things, you understand… Moving swiftly on, I glimpsed a can Dead Guy in the store and was magically transported back in time to hectic nights at The Lexington in Angel, North London begging the bartender for an update on their next delivery and doing a special-Dead-Guy-dance when it finally arrived. It’s amazing how much can be captured in a little can of beer, and I was positively aching with nostalgia as we trotted around Austin’s historic Hyde Park area on our daily distanced stroll. Memories can, of course, be deceiving, but one thing I know for sure is that the Dead Guy tastes as bloody great now as it did back then. I would readily still hustle for this legendary beer, but I’m very glad I don’t have to.