Thursday, June 08, 2006

Smoke Free Zone

A couple of things I forgot to mention last night.

Before the play Jessie Gray handed me a CD of A’ Bhuain photographs. I haven’t had a chance to look at them yet but these should be uploaded before the day is out.

After the play Joanne and I went over to the Lodge Hotel for half an hour to have a nice, relaxing post-play drink. Apart from having a meal in the dining room of the Lodge last night was the first time I’ve been in either of our pubs since the Executive implemented the smoking ban in public places. What a difference! The air was so clean, clear and fresh. The place even LOOKED fresher.

Last year Joanne and I spent our summer holiday in the Irish Republic. At that point they’d introduced their smoking ban for maybe six months. I’d been off smoking for roughly the same period. Joanne was still on the evil weed at the time and she found herself using having to go outside and stand under a lean-to when she wanted a smoke. More than once she found herself in the midst of a gaggle of elderly Irish gentlemen who were interested to find a Scottish lady among their number.

Oddly enough Joanne stopped smoking two weeks prior to her mild stroke in January. Hey, wasn’t that a good idea, Gordon? Seriously, their couldn’t have been a connection. But in any case what ever way you look at it smoking is NOT an option for Joanne now and she’s been doing very well.

I myself had been smoking since I was 13! I’d given up on quite a few occasions in the past – on one occasion for a couple of years – but it was always there, lurking in the background. This time I hope it’s for good. The fact that I’m running a 10k on Saturday is evidence to the fact that my health has improved as a result of stopping. I exercise more, I sleep better, my blood pressure has fallen and I have a resting heart beat of 65 beats per minute.

The nicotine chewing gum has been a great help in the success of my stopping smoking but I MUST try seriously to withdraw from using it.

Weather-wise we’ve been in the doldrums for the past few days. Very misty on Monday, sun on Tuesday, but ever since it’s been overcast, warm, only a slight breeze. However, as I think I noted the other day, the forecast for Saturday is HOT HOT HOT. I hope all the runners are sensible and wear sunscreen.

Talking of running I was sorry to hear the Coll half-marathon has been cancelled. I think – but I’m not absolutely sure – that there hasn’t been the same interest this year. Here’s hoping it gets run next year. I might even take part.

Still on the subject of Coll I was delighted to hear that my colleague Esther MacRae, District Nurse, has been awarded an MBE for her services to the island.

Work beckons! If I manage to get the photographs posted tonight I’ll stick an update on to the start of this entry.

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