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It would appear that The Mom and I now have drinking nicknames in common, because I am Three Pints Gill.

I am not a big person, I know this, but I feel that I’m much larger than I actually am. I feel that I’m probably the size of your average man, especially after I’ve had a pint. This is possibly because when I first learned about Going Down The Pub, I was with a bunch of my guy friends. And by that I mean, I went out with The Boys when they had their afternoon session in a pub. I also spent three years doing this with boys up in Scotland, so you know, this was professional level drinking. No lightweights allowed.

Now, along with my lack of girth, I am also, secretly a total lightweight. There are times when I can hold my own but they are few and far between. And I generally feel rotten the morning after, which is par for the course.

But generally speaking I am Three Pints Gill. This means that I neck one pint, which usually goes down a treat. This is your average five o’clock beer, the one you drink, standing up, at the bar, so that you don’t have to get up again a few minutes later when you need a refill. It is the pint of promise, knowing that you are free, Free!, from the office for the foreseeable future and are able to get up to whatever it is you want to do. Now, most nights for me this means more writing, but sometimes you just need to go to the pub.

The second pint I drink slower, sitting down whilst chatting or at least listening to other people chat or shit talk, depending on the company. This second pint makes me feel invincible and it’s when I properly get my beer coat on – which is, obviously, the way in which beer can insulate you from the cold. Beer. It has so many miraculous properties sometimes I don’t understand why it doesn’t just come out of the taps like water. With a good beer coat on, I can sit on a chilly patio for at least an hour. This was handy when I lived on the coast down in Cornwall where even in summer, what with it being on the coast and all, it could get freezing freaking cold at night. That was the year I finally understood the purpose of a puffy vest. Looks sort of summery, what with no sleeves, but still there’s that puffy goodness to keep you warm. But you don’t need that with two pints in you!

If I’m feeling quite brazen, I will agree to a third pint. This is usually the turning point. If we eat – not always an option – then I’ll be steady on my feet, as steady as I would normally be which isn’t too steady come to think on it, but if we don’t eat, well… Then I feel a bit funny and have to go home.

My old flatmate in London christened me with this particular nickname when we were living together.

I’d come home from the pub no worse for wear, but slightly jollier than usual. I dropped my coat on the floor and announced that I was drunk.

“How much did you have to drink?” she asked. “You don’t seem drunk.”

“Three pints!” I shouted. “I drank three pints of beer!”

She laughed at me. She is smaller and much, much heartier than me.

“Lightweight! Three pints Gill!” she laughed again.

And since then, after the third pint, if we’re out together, she’ll look at me before going to the bar to get another round.


“Oh yeah,” I’ll say. “Definitely. More beer please!”

She’ll come back from the bar with a pint of water and a half-a-pint of beer and set it down sternly in front of me.

“Don’t tell anyone I got you water, Three Pints Gill.”