I reckon I can finally say farewell to an old, old friend.
Up until now, I suspected we might make up, let bygones be bygones, and pick up where we left off. But after yesterday, I’m pretty sure the 60-year relationship is at an end, never to be revived. I certainly hope so.
It’s four months since I had my last cigarette, but only now I think I can say I’ve definitely kicked the habit. Everyone close to me is astonished I’ve actually done it. No more than me, who’s utterly gobsmacked I could resist my beloved baccy for more than a pucklie hours.
Breathlessness and a suspicion of emphysema (ie pure fear) is a great addiction-buster. Every time I lit up, my puffs were accompanied by horrendous hospital scenes, not to mention a couple of visions of the crem, and I’d to snub ’em.
But during these fag-free weeks, I didn’t dare admit I’d kicked the habit because I was still thinking about them; fancy a puff every now and again and wish I’d stashed one somewhere aboot the hoose.
Until yesterday, when my mate and I were sitting in my garden (my go-to place for a soothing smoke) after our weekly weigh-in, which revealed we’d each lost… absolutely zilch. Both fuming furious. Not until she went away did I realise I hadn’t, at that moment of crisis, even so much as thought about a fag. Back of the net! Mind you, even writing this, am I beginning to feel a pang? Get ye behind me Pall Mall Blue Superkings.
Not bad really for a quine who, as a wee yin, saw nothing but smokers (apart from mum) on the upper deck of the Culter bus. My dad got boxes of them as business gifts and I’d sneak off – no more than eight – for a puff. Most memorably with my pal, Sheila, when we got through about five each – disposed of in the empty(!) grate in my bedroom – then she tottered home, thereafter to be violently ill. She never touched one again.
At the high, a lifelong friendship blossomed with another under-aged puffer.
We’d buy five Cadets or Number 6 on the way to school. Like the Mafia, we chummied up to a prefect to keep watch for teachers outside the lavvies. At the Beach or the Palace, didn’t we look cool takin’ long drags? But disaster if a dod of ash fell on to the breestie of your bonnie crimplene mini-dress. Melted awa’ into a huge, black-edged hole. Alluring or fit?
In spite of hypnotism and acupuncture, the only time I actually stopped was when I was pregnant and my body made me want to honk every time I lit up. Stupidly, I’d a puff at a post-birth party, and that was me back on my wicked way.
Hugely anti-smoking, first husband exiled me ootski, while I set up an old chair in the garage for winters. Once the national ban kicked in, I’d be caring and sharing with every strange hummeldoddy ootside bars and restaurants.
My grandtoots started nagging: “Not outside for another cigarette, Nana?” I so wanted to stop. And now I’ve done it. I’ve told my Cadets pal, who informs me heaven is also smoke-free. (Jees!)
I’ve also broken the news to our pet prefect, who remained one of our bosom-buddies. Sez she: “The stress you could have saved me if you’d given it up when you were 15!” Me too, quine!
A sad day for Philip on his 99th birthday
I wonder how the Duke of Edinburgh was looking back on his life as he celebrated his 99th birthday this week. Perchance with some sadness as well as his easily roused anger when he surveyed the family.
Was it a coincidence that on the very week Netflix released its documentary about sex-trafficking billionaire Jeff Epstein, with its shocking allegations about Prince Andrew, that the Queen announced there were no plans to review his forced withdrawal as a royal, nor would she fork out the £6.7 million he owes on his ski chalet.
What a crushing disappointment Her Majesty’s favourite son must be to her and his father.
And how they must be dreading there is worse to come as the legal transatlantic war of words continues over whether he will be questioned about his former business buddy. I suspect we all know he’s on a hiding to nothing.
While Chazzer and Millie seem to be ploughing a fairly smooth furrow, temperatures still seem to be running high between second-in-line William, his wayward bro and their wives. Rumour has it the rented mansion in the glam Hollywood Hills is not as idyllic as the runaway couple had hoped, plagued as they are by the damn press, including swooping drones. Now there’s a surprise!
Effective security will cost them a small fortune, so now Harry’s even considering shoving off again – Down Under. What’s the betting Meghan won’t budge from her beloved LA?
Had Prince Philip still had his steely control of everything that happened to the family, would any of these unhappy events ever have happened?
Lockdown Diaries have been a treat
This week my Covid-19 hero-gram has to go to the thousands of children who’ve been off school for three months, sorely missing face-to-face contact with their pals, yet still carrying on with their school work.
None of us adults can imagine what it’s like to be suddenly pulled out of class for so long; some too young to properly understand why.
However, the EE’s superb My Lockdown Diary has given pupils of all ages, from right across the north-east, the chance to tell us how they feel and what they’ve been doing. It’s been a delight.
And hopefully, when our precious youngsters finally get back to their desks, no long-term damage will have been done.