It’s been a while, but yesterday I woke up in some considerable pain, which I recognised immediately as a chest infection, and I had to go dashing to see the doctor.
I was right. I’ve had so many of them that when it comes to these things, it’s not often that I get it wrong. I’d been feeling manky for a couple of days, but the cause only made its presence known yesterday morning when I woke up to a stabbing pain every time I took a breath.
It’s self-inflicted. I’ve been a heavy smoker for almost 50 years. You can’t do that without inflicting serious damage, and I have breathing difficulties all the time. I can’t leave home, not even to go to the shops, without carrying my Ventolin inhaler. And I keep promising myself I’ll do something about it but it never seems to happen.
I did stop two years ago. A similar situation to now. I had a serious chest infection, a lot worse than the one I’m suffering now, and over the space of three days I reduced my tobacco intake to zero.
I went three months without a smoke, and it didn’t trouble me one iota. Then one fine Saturday morning we were out shopping in Manchester, and we got into a blazing row. Don’t ask me what the row was about. Like all our arguments it’ll have been something trivial like the cost of sausage rolls rising by a penny. Anyway there we were arguing like hell, she stormed off in one direction, I went in the other, and said to myself, ‘Why do I bother?’ Whereupon I ducked into a newsagent’s, bought a pack of 20 cigarettes, and before you knew it, I was back on 40 a day.
Before the bombardment of well-intentioned advice begins, let me tell you that I know and have tried every anti-smoking method in the book. I trained as a hypnotist specifically to deal with the pain of arthritis, but found it just as useless when it comes to stopping smoking. I’ve done all the other ‘tried and tested and certain’ methods and none worked.
You see, there’s a little secret to stopping smoking which none of these methods stress. You have to want to stop… and I don’t.
There are those situations where I’m quite comfortable without. A long flight, for example. You can’t smoke on aircraft these days, and it doesn’t bother me. Theoretically then, if I can go without a cigarette for hours and hours on end, I should be able to go without forever. But I don’t want to.
I don’t drink, I don’t gamble (the missus took care of that by pinching all my money) I don’t seek out the company of loose women (if they’re that loose, they’d probably fall off me) so smoking is the one vice I permit myself.
And before you tell me that I’m a drain on the NHS, forget it. One course of antibiotics every 18 months is not likely to bankrupt the state healthcare system, and there are bigger drains on it than me.
Naturally, I intend stopping. I just haven’t found the time to fit it into my busy schedule yet. I’ll get there. In the meantime, I’ll keep swallowing the penicillin and coughing up crap.
Yesterday wasn’t all bad. I got back from the doctor’s just after ten o’clock and found an Amazon parcel on the doormat. It was my paperback copy of The Squire’s Lodge Murders. The ebook is scheduled for release on December 13th, but it’s available for pre-order right now (see below). Paperbacks are not subject to the pre-order system, so the moment they’re posted to the Amazon site, they’re available for purchase, and if you feel like treating yourself to six quid’s worth of Sanford 3rd Age Club mayhem and mystery, you can find it at:
Alternatively, if you’d rather wait for the ebook, you can pre-order it on one of the links below.
That’s it for now. Have a good weekend and I’ll catch you on the flipside.