Gin cocktail
The day I brought home the Book of the Dead, things were said, not all of them kind.


4 shots of passionfruit juice
2 shots of gin
1 shot of fresh squeezed lime juice

Add all ingredients to a cocktail shaker half filled with ice, shake thoroughly and pour into two glasses, or if you’re feeling exceptionally in need, just the one.  Garnish with a slice of lime, because lime has a really nice smell.

Hit or miss: HIT! (housemate approved)

I hate endings.  I’ll put off reading the last pages of a book, or just completely restart a video game when I sense the conclusion looming.  This was almost a pathology when I was at school and started to get in the way of my learning.  I started and English Literature A-level but never finished partly due to not being able to write or discuss the ends of the novels we were reading because I could never finish the damn things.

It sounds ridiculous, because it is ridiculous.  I didn’t start to get over it until I was writing my own novel length fanfictions (oh yes, yes I did), but even then, I had Finale Trauma and any of my readers could tell you that my endings were usually rather … abrupt.  As if I needed to get it over with as soon and as painlessly as possible.

What has this to do with above cocktail?

A splendid question and I’m glad I asked it on your behalf.

This week is the last week for two things, the first is Nanowrimo, the second is City of Heroes.

For ‘Courage’, the comic I’m doing this month, I feel a sadness, even though I won’t actually be leaving Cue Ball’s world and you can’t make me.  I feel so because the story I’m telling is one that is at once very personal and very powerful.  It deals with things that I’m comfortable enough in my masculinity to say have made me choke up (so many real feels going on).  To feel a goal approaching and knowing I haven’t yet told his story to owt but myself bothers me.  I’ve also managed to sabotage myself a bit, in trying to write the ending right after the beginning.  I usually can’t do that because the way I trick myself into forgetting there is an ending and thus bypass my nonsensical fear of them, I just let a narrative ramble all over the place like an inebriated millipede.

So I need something to remind me that in every ending, there is a beginning.  In every death there is life.

This is why I made the Refresh with gin.  Gin always makes me sad, I have no idea why.  I like the taste of it and I think it goes beautifully with certain cakes and frosting, but it just makes me slightly melancholy.  Perfect for how I feel about endings.

But then, to give that sadness a swift kick up the pants, there’s passionfruit juice and lime juice.  I love passionfruit, even though when you cut them open, they look a bit like lumpy snot.  It’s sweet and sour at the same time and that’s how I’ve always imagined sunlight tastes.  And lime just goes really well with gin as well as being one of your five a day (as is the passionfruit, actually!).  So this means my cocktail is not just a poignant statement of a weird neurosis, it’s also surprisingly healthy for you.


Being dangerously pleasant to drink, the Refresh will pick you up, dust you off and set you back on your path to literary victory.

A drink of sunlight that invokes a sense of summer is certainly good for my other cause of sadness as well.  The servers for City of Heroes will be shut down at 8am on 1 December, due to the time difference between their location and here.  So it’s a goodbye to characters I’ve known, played and written about for about 9 or 8 years, there abouts.  It’s also a goodbye to the home of a community I’ve loved to be part of, though I’m sure we’ll meet again in the MMO-sphere elsewhere.

I just have to keep reminding my neurosis that it’s not the end of the world, approach things with hope and it’ll all be okay.


Please obey the law of your local state and/or country and only drink if you are of legal age and don’t drink and drive.

Published by Mark Brassington

Father and Husband. Works in Corporate Banking. Loves Books, Comics, Cycling, Music, Games, going to the Gym and Writing.

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