Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

Even the angels quaff their share of whisky…

Post Thumbnail

It has often struck me that different nations and cultures, for all their differences, share certain aspects of folklore in common.

For instance, whether we are Swedes or Swiss or Scots, every nation and group tell stories to their children about little, non-existent people whom one never sees, but they are there nonetheless. They may be called fairies, gnomes, sprites, leprechauns, elves, dwarves, genies, trolls or whatever, who are invariably unseen, slightly mischievous but generally benevolent – like the fairy who leaves you money in exchange for your lost infant teeth.

On the other hand, there are bigger and nastier ones – ghouls, ghosts, phantoms, spectres, wraiths, zombies and vampires –that are the standard fare of horror movies.

What is intriguing is that, when someone claims to have seen one of these apparitions, the standard put-down is, “You must have been drunk.” However, one can ask: Would Tam o’ Shanter have had his misadventures had he been unaffected by drink?

Which leads to an interesting question. Do humans love alcohol, and more powerful intoxicants, because it alters their perceptions and makes them see things they do not normally see when stone cold sober? Many artists and writers, poets, composers and other creative people admit they need a drink, and sometimes several, to summon the Muses or generally get the creative synapses going. And countless musicians, actors and comedians frankly concede they need a dram or two before going on stage.

I am not suggesting that people can only create fine art in all its forms when they are drunk, but I do suggest that alcohol has played a small but vital part in advancing human art and culture.

Which brings us back to the invisible little people. After all, folklore is part of every nation’s culture. The little people may not be high-falutin’ but are a handy way of explaining the unexplained. We say mislaid garden tools have been nicked by fairies at the bottom of the garden. A recurring electric fault is blamed on the gremlins. A grimy ring in the bath is blamed on Mr Nobody. And those millions of litres of whisky yearly vanishing from warehoused casks have been quaffed by the angels.

Which goes to show, even the unseen enjoy a good drink.

Already a subscriber? Sign in

[[title]]

[[text]]

More from The Courier Food & Drink team

More from The Courier