Tuesday 17 March 1987

…The Budget was mostly a big surprise.
People had predicted the 2p fall in income tax [down from 29p to 27p].
But very few people had suspected that nothing was to be done about
cigarettes, alcohol and petrol.
On the contrary, I think they SHOULD have put more tax on them,
because smoking and drinking are very bad habits.
Well, that’s enough about the Budget…


Perhaps I should say that nobody in our house smoked, and my mum and dad only drank on Sundays, when they had one glass of sherry at lunchtime, and that was it.

I didn’t think anything unusual of this until I was older and realised the people who I’d seen going into the pub at the bottom of our road weren’t just students but GROWN-UPS: ordinary men and women, sometimes alone, often in couples, occasionally even with families.

I never once visited a pub with my family as a child. I was never offered alcohol at home, and I never asked for it. When I did discover it, I discovered I didn’t really like it, though I went on drinking anyway. But thankfully that’s another story, and mercifully one that is safely many years into the future.

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