Room 101

So while I was on my retro holiday – no technology, 20 year old camper-van, first holiday in 30 years without a drink.  I read a book I should have read when I was 15 as the title of the book was that year – George Orwell’s 1984.  What a great book and in a Penguin orange jacket too 🙂

So many eerie thoughts as I read it.  How in 1984’s Oceania there was ‘nothing cheap and plentiful except synthetic gin‘.  How after Winston faces O’Brien in the Ministry of Love and survives Room 101 there is a passage which reads ‘The stuff grew not less but more horrible with every mouthful he drank.  But it had become the element he swam in.  It was his life, his death and his resurrection.  It was gin that sank him into stupor every night, and gin that revived him every morning.’

I have been thinking about Room 101 as there is a great tv programme here in the UK with the same name but I am recalling it when Paul Merton was the host.  In that format each (celebrity) guest would nominate 3 things to be put into Room 101.  Consignment of the nominated items, persons or concepts (theoretically banishing it from the world forever) was the decision of the host, sometimes after soliciting the opinion of the studio audience.

So what would I send to Room 101?

  1. Mosquitoes.  If you were going to torture me in a Room 101 way then these would do it.  They love me and on the first night of camping one got into the van and made a complete meal of me – over 10 bites, which I react really badly to and have to take anti-histamines for a mild anaphylactic reaction!  Not only would it help me but it would rid the world of the number one killer animal and it’s disease – malaria.

  2. Shame.  I carry a great deal of shame even now but it is slowly disappearing.  Drinking allowed me to create shame in myself on a daily ongoing basis.  Shame as an emotion serves no positive purpose unlike guilt which can stimulate remorse and apology.  I feel that if shame wasn’t around there would be a great deal less drinking as shame was a major trigger to me drinking even before I added drinking shame to the list of reasons to drink.

  3. Alcohol.  Now I don’t mean this in some prohibition temperance movement kind of way.  I think if booze didn’t exist us creative humans would find some other way or substance to create all the perceived benefits of booze.  And of all the substances you can become addicted to booze is the only one that has the potential to kill you as part of the withdrawal process.  Coming off heroin isn’t pleasant – but stopping it won’t kill you.   Giving up a bottle a day habit of vodka just might and that is a good enough reason to me for this toxic substance to be banished from the world forever.

What would you send to Room 101?

53 days to go.

Edited to add: this arrived in my inbox today! Drink less alcohol to keep mosquitoes away!!

Turns out mosquitoes like getting a little tipsy, because after just one beer, there was a significant increase in mosquito landings. They haven’t determined what it is exactly about the drink that mosquitoes find so tantalizing, but if you’re prone to bites, imbibing at your backyard barbecue could up your chances.

May explain their like of me in the past but I promise nothing alcoholic touched my lips on Friday night when the little blighter decided to feast!



12 thoughts on “Room 101

  1. I’m going to be controversial here, cyclists who DONT follow the Highway Code. With this I include peddling up your inside when there is no bus lane, running red lights, cutting across the front of three lanes of traffic because they are in the wrong lane need I go on. I would also like to see them licensed and insured so that they are accountable even if it is a derisory cost or free. Humph spleen vented.

    1. Hey Catlady Live near a city where bikes are the main mode of transport and yep it can be tricky if they don’t play by the rules! 🙂

  2. Ooh, but that is an excellent book. What would I send to Room 101? It was rats, wasn’t it? In Winston’s room… and rats would definitely be up there for me. And my critical inner voice, which I have paid far much attention to my whole life long, confusing it with my conscience for too long. And of course, there’s the teeny tiny lego models with tiny hats on tiny heads and tiny headlights on tiny motorbikes. Eughh. What was wrong with proper blocks of lego for building houses? xx

    1. Hey MTM – A superb book, although the use of alcohol by Big Brother within it I found rather disturbing. Truth is stranger than fiction right? It was indeed rat’s that was Winston’s nemesis. Critical inner voice – ooh yes that’s up there with the shame stuff isn’t it? Confusing it with a person’s conscience – yep me too! Lego and loom bands are the bane of my life in this house at the moment – and most of it ends up in the hoover however much you think you picked it all up!! xx

      1. I’m on a love / hate thing with loom bands… I like the craze aspect of it, and I love seeing a group of kids all sat round silently focused on their creations, particularly if they’re getting clever with forks sellotaped together. And my loom band bracelets now go on every day together with my “fuck you wolfie” bracelet as part of my sober armoury, more colourful! But yes, my hair is going grey as I spend my life picking them up from the floor and out of the brushy bits on my vacuum. xx

      2. I like them too – when my son isn’t throwing broken ones on the floor!! I too wear the loom bracelet he made with pride, next to my amethyst stone bracelet (The name Amethyst derives from the Greek word ametusthos, meaning “not intoxicated.” Throughout history the special virtue of Amethyst has been that of preventing drunkenness and overindulgence. Ancient Greeks and Romans routinely studded their goblets with Amethyst believing wine drunk from an Amethyst cup was powerless to intoxicate). I call it my anti-booze bracelet 😉 My FUW bracelet is worn on my other wrist – my drinking hand, lest I forget! xx

      3. Do – ’tis a small investment to adorn both arms with sober armour 😉 My sis had a health food and complementary therapy shop and I took one off her hands for less than a £5 🙂 Funnily enough purple is my favourite colour and I started to wear it about 6 months before I gave up – who knew it would actually work!? 😉 😀

  3. I must find some amethyst today! I agree with you 100% about the mosquitoes—we’ve had quite a bit of rain in our area lately and it seems I can’t walk outside without getting gnawed on by the buggers. So interesting that they like to get tipsy; maybe they think I’m still liquored-up and they can get a cheap buzz from me 🙂 xx

    1. Hey lori! Glad it’s not just me who HATES mosquitoes and likes amethyst 🙂 xx

  4. great post! can’t beat an orange jacketed Penguin, ideally with those amazing black and white line illustrations too…

    and one of my three would definitely be horse flies. like mosquitos but they can get you at any time of the day. I come up in inch wide welts. ow ow ow ow.

    like MTM I would also choose negative thoughts. and the good news is that my recognition skills are improving which is the first step at putting them in Room 101.

    and lastly…from a long potential list….it would have to be nits. head lice. ugh ugh ugh. and not helped by the fact that I left it so long to get round to having kids that I need reading glasses to see the buggers. nothing makes you feel middle-aged quite like squinting at a nit-comb! xx

    1. Hey Prim. It did indeed have those black and white line illustrations too 🙂 Ah nits – touch wood my two have never had YET. Now watch them pick them up first week back at school! 😉 xx

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