A recipe for disaster - Kingsley Amis versus Joe Wicks

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authorMuch loved writer Kingsley Amis, author of Lucky Jim, The Green Man and The Alteration certainly was ‘yer man’ for the booze. A belief that the societal benefits and profound joy of alcohol greatly outweighed the personal disasters that the gargle may precipitate, informed his life and writing.

Such was his love, consumption and connoisseurship of the sauce that he wrote prodigiously about all aspects of the grog particularly the 1970’s and 1980’s which are collected in Everyday Drinking: The Distilled Kingsley Amis.

book titleWhiskey, Whisky, Gin, Vodka, Balkan Plonk, physical hangovers, metaphysical hangovers, wine bores, dinner party bores, Rum, Armagnac, early morning bracers, alcohol in history, alcohol in literature, Port, Brandy, buying booze, serving booze, the joy of pubs, the decline of pubs, British Plonk, Poteen, Porter, Balkan Sherry, Ale, Lager, Lager and Lime, Double Diamond, Prohibition, sauce and the class struggle, what to drink with rashers, what to drink with soup, what to drink with fondue, what to drink with melon - are all discussed with the expertise of a true toper.

The much loved body coach, lifestyle guru and internet sensation Joe Wicks, author of Lean in 15 - The Shift Plan, Veggie Lean in 15 and Joe’s 30 Minute Meals, certainly is ‘yer man’ for a healthy diet. Low fat quiches, Greek Yoghurt, Bamboo Sushi, Mung Bean and Poached Trout Lasagne, Kale and Gooseberry Stroganov, Cottage Cheese Doner Kebab, Halibut infused Rhubarb Goulash, Parsnip Surprise, Turnip Surprise, Celery Surprise, Cucumber Quarter Pounder, Avocado Gravy, Slimline Tonic Xmas Pudding - are all discussed with the expertise of a ripped, gripped fitness zealot.

Whither Kingsley Amis or Joe Wicks has the key to a happy and fulfilled life? Both authors provide various recipes in their respective books that best encapsulate their credos.


Everyday Drinking recommends The Polish Bison for the most important meal of day, especially if one is suffering from a hangover on a cold morning:

The Polish Bison

1 generous teaspoon Bovril
1 generous tot of Vodka
A squeeze of lemon juice
A shake of pepper

Method: ‘Make the Bovril as if you were merely making Bovril and stir the other stuff in’.
Taste: Strong beefy taste with a strong beefy aftertaste.
Effects: Invigorating. A feeling of confidence and good cheer after one; expect to be barred from your local SPAR after an unfortunate incident with a copy of Ireland’s Own after five.

authorJoe Wicks believes that Quinoa and overnight oats is the best way of staring the morning in the eye and wrestling it to the ground.

Quinoa and Overnight Oats

40g of Rolled Oats
125g Cooked Quinoa
250ml of Frogspawn Milk
200g of ground Halibut Giblets
60g of MegaMuscle steroid powder

Method: Soak the rolled oats overnight. Blitz the Frogspawn Milk, Halibut Giblets and steroid powder in a blender and let the Quinoa marinade in the sauce. Add oats after your 10km 5am run.
Taste: An epiphany of pain.
Effects: An urge to wear pink lycra fluorescent dungarees whilst squat thrusting for half an hour. Spend the rest of the morning crying in the toilet.


Drinking as much as possible everyday of the week was de rigeur for the literary classes in the 20th century. According to Amis, this post ‘Elevenses naggin of Brandy’ takes the edge off things.

Evelyn Waugh’s Noonday Reviver

1 hefty shot gin
1 (½-pint) bottle Guinness
Ginger Beer

Method: ‘Put the gin and Guinness into a pint silver tankard and fill to the brim with ginger beer.’
Taste: Malty aftershave.
Effect: Galvanizing. A feeling of joie de vivre and indefatigability after one; a black eye, a caution from An Garda Siochana and a meeting with HR after eight.

After bringing the morning to heel, Wicks prescribes a Gazpacho of watercress with a Sour Milk Jus to break the spirit of the afternoon.

Gazpacho of Watercress with a Sour Milk Jus

100g of Watercress
1 litre Sour Milk
80g of MegaRage Steroid Powder

Method: Leave the carton of milk in direct sunlight for three days. Chug milk into a bowl. Add watercress. Sprinkle steroid powder for taste.
Taste: Ear Waxy and belligerent.
Effect: A reminder of man’s inhumanity to man. Free climb nearest tall building.


A super can of Lilt, a bag of Monster Munch and an enema.

Submitted by Tom in Drumcondra Library. Lean in fifteen workouts by Joe Wicks is available in Dublin City Libraries. 

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