Life, photos but not the universe

Time for a change

I mentioned the flu which I took on holiday with me.  What I didn’t take was a king sized sheet.  After many trips, Barney had finally given in and agreed to use the sausage shaped extension to our bed even though it’s a bit harder to get in and out of said bed when it’s wider (because the passageway, beside it, disappears).  Of course for the person next to the wall, it’s almost impossible to escape get out anyway but he always sleeps on the passage side so he wouldn’t know about that.  So because I forgot the big sheet we couldn’t extend the bed and on the first night I woke up with a cough that went on and on for ever and got quite fed up, since sitting up involves major contortions and struggles  in the confined space and flopping back exhaustedly brought the cough back.  So the next night I declared my intention of decamping to the living room bed.  “Shall we get a divorce?”  Barney asked.  I gave this ridiculous comment the attention it deserved and set myself up in the other bed quite comfortably thank you and apart from the continuing cough, slept fairly well there for the rest of the week.  But what with the cough and the resulting strained stomach muscles (quite painful) I came to a major decision (even more major than changing beds).

For some time now, I’ve been carrying around a small card, given to me by Youngest, who has given up smoking.  It has on it  (don’t laugh) the phone number of a hypnotherapist and the fact that the Youngests have both been a cigarette free zone for nearly a year after seeing him made me think this might be worth trying.   I’ve been procrastinating a bit.  I was going to phone him just before we went away but I lost the card.  I’ve found it again.

I’m going to phone the man now.

There.  Done it.  Booked for next Monday.

To be honest he didn’t really need to give me his sales pitch on the phone because I’d already decided that the results I’ve seen are worth paying out for – you wouldn’t believe how much the Youngests smoked before they stopped.

Thing is, I’ve stopped smoking before, for three and a half years and what made me go back to it was that it was bad for my health.  No, really.

But if I’m honest, what was really doing the damage was that I found the new improved taste of wine  so delightful (and it really was a revelation) that I took to having a glass or five at the times when I would previously have settled down for the evening with a half dozen cigarettes.  So enjoyable was it that the housekeeping bills which should have gone down since only one of us was smoking, went up (Barney liked my new taste in wine too).  And I won’t go into the details but far from leaping around like a young lamb with lungs full of fresh air, I got more and more tired and fat and generally sore and achy.  My teeth all tried to fall out.  I got ‘benign’ polyps on my tongue which caused me to look up the definition of benign.  And you wouldn’t believe how many colds I got, not to mention a permanent runny nose.  So Mr Hypno will have to auto-suggest a sensible and healthy alternative to cigs which isn’t alcohol or food!

I’m going to make a list of possible pleasures that I can indulge in instead!  Oh Yes!  I plan to be a new woman.  (He suggested excercise, sociableness and oh, something else that I already have or can’t do.  He’ll have to do better than that.)  Oh and I’d better ask him about the problems that, my hygenist, for instance, has told me I might have – yes, it really was the not-smoking that made my teeth try and escape.  And if the polyps come back I might just give up on the whole idea.

I wonder if I’m hypnotisable.  You don’t get a money back guarantee but you do get a free second dose if you revert within a year of the first visit.  He also offers treatment for eating disorders, public speaking, stress management, self esteem, anxiety, panic attacks, phobias, bad habits, anger, IBS (Irritable bowel syndrome?  How on earth does that work?  I’ll have to ask.)  Bad habits though,  I’d like a cure for some of mine.  And public speaking – is that really a disorder?  Oh I’m being picky.  If it works it works and I’m not going to argue with that.  However, I reserve the right to join the smokers’ group outside at parties – as an ex, I’ll feel excluded if I can’t and I promise not to be boring about having lost the habit. And meanwhile, since time is short, I think I’ll have another cig.  And a glass of wine.   Oh and some photos.  Neither flu nor cough nor anything else stopped me from recording in minute detail every inch of bank and bridge that we encountered in between sleeping and eating.

‘The Narrows’ on the Staffs and Worcester canal


Autherly Junction


The Shropshire Union.


One of Thomas Telford’s deep cuttings


Approaching Brewood in the evening along an embankment


And moored there at night in another cutting.


Time for bed.  Got the dentist tomorrow so I’d better be up early.  Goodnight.

February 26, 2013 - Posted by | Uncategorized


  1. Best of luck with the hypnotist. So pleased you took photos in spite of the coughing and the flu!

    Comment by Carol | February 26, 2013 | Reply

  2. Yes good luck from another ex-smoker! I used the Allan Carr book – not as vivacious as his television persona.

    Comment by Rog | February 26, 2013 | Reply

  3. Best of luck, watch out for the third day, third month and third year, all danger periods of relapsing. I was two packs a day or more possibly. You can do it!

    Comment by rozanne | February 26, 2013 | Reply

  4. Good luck with giving up the evil weed.

    Another gorgeous set of photos. The top one looks like a painting.

    Comment by Liz | February 26, 2013 | Reply

  5. Oh how exciting! Seriously….I know how ‘one of THOSE’ personalities (or however you care to frame it) makes it a rather risky proposition. You give up one indulgence and wind up in another. Oy……right now mine is jalapeno cheetos. LOL I don’t do anything in moderation, I swear. But I am excited for you and hopeful that the effects from this won’t be a repeat. The benign polyps woulda scared the byjeepers outta me–no repeating THAT would be good. Bestest of luck on this adventure!

    Oh, and the photos are amazing. That last shot at night time is just wonderful. I see what you mean about the embankment–but wow what a wonderful thing late summer to have that canopy along the way for the shaded coolness. And imagine the river of leaves in fall! Wow…. GO BACK!! LOL WITH the camera, of course!

    How is it the bridges aren’t covered in graffiti? (I adore those signs marking the number of the bridge, by the way.) Wish that were the case over here. Seems bridges and spray paint go together in this neck of the woods…..

    Comment by Mel | February 26, 2013 | Reply

  6. Thank you all for your good luck wishes – I shall need it probably.

    It takes a lot to stop me snapping Carol. Rain does!

    I looked at his book a while ago Rog. It didn’t speak to me I’m afraid.

    Amazing how many people have kicked the habit Rozanne. I think if it works first time I might be prepared to do it again if I relapse. I actually only smoke about 13 a day but I’ve been doing it for forty years so it’s a deep seated habit.

    I’m never sure how that effect happens Liz which is a shame because I love it when it does happen.

    I am definitely one of ‘those’ Mel. I just hope Mr Hypno doesn’t have me out running every day as a substitute – I hate running.
    The Shropshire Union is mostly out in the country and probably not near places where graffiti artists gather. In Birmingham and Manchester it’s a very different picture. Actually I quite like a well graffitied bridge or wall.

    Comment by Mig | February 26, 2013 | Reply

  7. Good luck! I’ve been thinking about trying for several years, and I’ve recently been motivated to turn intention into action. The drink isn’t a problem – I’m already at full throttle – and I don’t like sweets or fatty snacks. Nor does nicotine withdrawal bother me much. The habit is the hard bit.
    I think, if/when I do it, I’ll enjoy becoming a self-righteous born-again non-smoker out in the party huddle.

    Comment by Tim | February 26, 2013 | Reply

  8. I intended to start smoking once Ro turned 18 and I no longer had to be sensible: I reckoned I was finally due a vice. But about 15 years ago I caught a horrible chest infection and the attraction palled. I’m in the happy situation of being able to smoke a cigarette if I want to, to be sociable, but I’m not at all tempted to have two (and haven’t had any since a dry wedding in India nine years ago). Good luck, hope it works.

    Comment by Z | February 26, 2013 | Reply

  9. Yes it’s definitely the habit Tim. There have been times when I thought Oh I don’t really want a cig now and then ten minutes later I seem to have made myself one without noticing. Goodness, I’d better add ritual replacement to my list of things for the hypnotherapist to install in my head!

    It fascinates me that people can do that Z. It definitely makes me wonder about the reasons for addiction. Did your parents smoke?

    Comment by Mig | February 27, 2013 | Reply

  10. Almost everyone seemed to smoke when i was a kid. My parents did. Funny, I never wanted to and only started when I was late teens. Everyone in the theatre set smoked and I just sort of drifted into it. Then I started playing hockey again and a) I couldn’t run if I smoked and b) I was going out with a non-smoker. At one time, I smoked a pipe! Yes. Borkum Riff, if you want to know. But I gave up when I went back to NZ. Peter’s an emphatic non-smoker.
    And it may sound odd, but when I stopped I lost weight! Food tasted “proper” so I was not constantly looking for tastes.And I was more active.
    Had to light up on stage one night and blow smoke rings. Damn’ near choked me!
    Good luck. We’ll all be cyber supportive.

    Comment by dinahmow | February 27, 2013 | Reply

  11. LOL. I smoked a pipe for a while Dinahmow. It was a dinky little thing. Clever you being able to blow smoke rings!

    Comment by Mig | February 27, 2013 | Reply

  12. my father went to one of those fellows about 30 years ago, hasn’t touched a ciggerette since.. so I know they work..
    as far as all the rest..
    I can’t imagine how not smoking would give your teeth fits? some one needs to explain that one…

    Comment by ☼Illuminary☼ | March 4, 2013 | Reply

  13. Something to do with increased blood supply Illuminary. I will have to see!

    Comment by Mig | March 4, 2013 | Reply

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