Squirrels Year End (Not Rear) Review

So me (being Graeme or Squirrel to everyone except my family) used to write a blog every year, a new year’s summing up what had happened in past 12 months and my thoughts going forward. I feel I should continue you this through, taking it from whatever band blog I was in at the time and bring it into the Gin Club world.

2014 might be the quickest year of my life, I feel it was only a few weeks ago that it was my 30th birthday in February and that I was feeling all sad about being a different tick box on a survey or worse that certain surveys no longer apply to me. Like the feeling you get when you are older when walking down the town on a Saturday night and club reps ignore you as you’re not cool enough.

They do say though that from now on the years blur into one, they go quickly and that the all significant birthdays have a zero in them. Maybe the zero should signify the lack of hope. Jokes.

So apart from my ever increasing descent into middle age and having nothing to show for it lets review the year.

This was the year that we finally created Gin Club into something bigger than me and Caldo drinking gin in our pants and watching Mylie Cyrus on YouTube while constantly commentating on how “why yes I would” then comparing the difference between her and Taylor Swift. One you want to go home with and one you want to marry and have babies with the latter being Tay Tay.

We did our first official event at the Brew at the Bog festival which seen us pedal lots of gin through a new gin bar devised by the exceptional brain of Yvonne Murray. In doing this we put out the word of Gin Club to lots of gins. We were asked to comment on gin on Radio Scotland. At this point our “Club” had growing a torso, legs and we needed a head. Welcome Kate Gill. A woman who I have known for years only as Caldo’s cousin and seen either in Oxfam books or in her joggies on university avenue (and not in a clatty dirty old man at night meeting on university avenue way btw), she brought note pads and “don’t be stupid” looks / comments then made us have meetings. It’s fair to say she sorted out our ideas into a format. This then formed into our first sell out event in the Hidden Lane Tea Room.

From there we have essentially done a sell-out gin party each month in various locations (mainly the tearoom) until the end of the year.   I think a highlight for me with these events would be the London No.3 event in a hair salon (Kroma), as it was so random and really educational from a brand prospective. I also got to see Chris Grant not in a tracksuit and not talking about jumping stuff instead watching him craft gin cocktails.

Outside Gin Club life has gotten rather grown up. Caldo has buggered off to the Bermuda triangle of Glasgow’s south side, where people piss off too and they stay there hidden away, never heading west. You can’t just walk down the road with them for a pint; you have to bus it or drive. Me I decided to buy a house, not a flat, but a proper house, with a shed, lawnmower and a conservatory (the shed is full of gin btw; I need Wifi out there and a couch hehe). Kate did the biggest move, she traded Glasgow for Wolfhill. Yes no one who isn’t from Perthshire has a bloody clue where Wolfhill is. Essentially if you don’t need to you won’t ever go there, it’s a wee hamlet where I was once told the last wolf in Scotland was killed there. Glasgow or Wolfhill??? Hmmm tough one J . Then changed her job from Science to making money. Big move but she’s happier. Now she needs to open Perth’s first gin bar.

I usually get a big reflective in thinking about the year past. I have to say I am one of these people who evaluates his yearly performance. This year I don’t know what to make of it. I have made huge steps forward in my life, but think other aspects have frozen still. I have always felt that since finishing university all those eight years ago I have been minus achievement. Each year you sit exams and pass or fail them. Sadly the only exam I have sat this year was for P30 programme management training which I failed. I also hung up my musical hat and put my last band to bed. Which is a huge deal for me but one that only me and the five men involved seemed to be bothered about, like mist it just was there then wasn’t, you know it’s time to call it a day when an album you make gets less hits than a beetroot and chocolate cake. Haha. This isn’t a problem it’s just one of life’s things, the cake was bloody good though.

In our older life’s we don’t have this constant learning and evaluation. One of the few measures we have is our events or activities that cannot be quantified as pass or fail but busy, fun or educational. For Gin Club it’s been a huge success, we have created a grown-ups party where people drink small batch Gin and learn about the brands and the love each distiller puts into their products (except Gordons)

I don’t know what more to say about 2014. I would say it was fun, quick and I’m not sure if I did my best as a human this year. I know I could do so much better.

Next year we have some great ideas for events, some big things to come for Gin Club and I hope the gins and the guests will be up for drinking the Mothers Ruin with us. Actually I hope that Kate, Caldo and I get to drink more gin. The more events we have the less gin we get to drink, we only get to sample it and write the tasting notes L






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