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September 4th 2000 -
Here is the bare bones of my new web site. The main reason for this new incarnation is that I am going to stop smoking on September 6th 2000. This is something that I have been meaning to do for ages, and so with the advent of Zyban, I went to see my doctor, and started taking the wonder-drug. I have arranged it so that my quit date coincides with Paz's birthday - a confirmed non-smoker. I shall be updating my site regularly to let you know how I get on, and I am counting on you lot to give me a kick up the backside if I forget. After all, chances are if I stop updating the site it means I've started smoking again! Other than that, life is fairly cool. I had a great time in Stockholm recently with Eleanor and Paz, but my travelling future looks pretty bleak now. All offers considered....

September 7th 2000 -

Yesterday, it has to be said, was an absolute pig of a day. The worst part was that I kept on forgetting I don't smoke any more, and I would reach for the cigarettes, and then suddenly remember that I don't have that crutch anymore. I alternated between manic hyperactivity and depressed catatonia, which made for an interesting day for my colleagues, and my ability to work.

I woke up this morning in a much better state, I still, obviously, want a cigarette, but it's much more manageable than yesterday when the struggle was minute by minute. I even have the wherewithall to work and talk! How's that for an improvement?

September 8th (Day 2.5)

After such an optimistic and upbeat morning yesterday, the afternoon was an absolute bummer. I slid into what can only be described as a mire of self-pity and moroseness, from which I didn't fully emerge from until this morning, when once again I felt tip-top.

I am noticing a worrying pattern in all this, and I can only suggest that if you want money or conversation, only contact me in the morning, but if you want someone to help you slag off your boyfriend/mother/boss then the afternoon would be perfect.

And so the weekend approaches.... I'm a little concerned about the implications of hanging round with the smoking crowd, but no doubt a good dose of self-righteous piety, should send them running for the hills in horror!

September 15th

It's hard to think of anything particularly interesting to say about these last few days. I'm still not smoking (thanks for those who emailed me to check), and I don't intend to. I am finding that the initial euphoria is wearing off however, which lets me feel the cravings all the more clearly.

I'm bored of giving up. Wish it would start getting fun....


September 19th

Bah humbug!

September 21st - two weeks, 2 days (ish)

aaaahhhhh! Now this is more like it! I am still obviously and hopelessly irrational, going, with the regularity of a sine wave, down into depression and up into manic glee, but the extremes are getting slightly closer together as time goes by. I even had a sensible, positive thought yesterday - one not based on alcohol consumption or delusion, so that's not bad is it?

September 26th - 3 weeks tonight!!

huzzah!! 3 weeks, eh? Who would have thought it? I'm still having those moments when I think that a cigarette would be nice, and I still make a move towards the cigarette counter at the supermarket, before remembering I don't smoke, but all in all it's getting better. I was described last week, although admittedly after several Long Island Iced Teas, as not being like an ex-smoker. Apparently I was more like a smoker who chose not to smoke. Having written it, it sounds pretty stupid, but at the time I thought it a great compliment, as he meant that I didn't make a big hoohah about him smoking, or about the fact that I did not. The moral of this story is that you can give up smoking without being a sanctimonious beast.... but where would be the fun in that?

October 3rd - 4 weeks tonight!

not much to report really. Still not smoking, obviously, but no major murderous urges. Sense of smell is increasing in direct proportion to the amount of perfume oil I'm burning in my flat - a desperate attempt to get rid of 18 months of cigarette smells. Maybe my planned redecoration will help... any offers of help?

October 8th 2000

Just returned from a fab weekend in Brighton catching up with all and sundry and partaking of the odd beer - not odd as in infrequent, odd because they are so cheap compared to London. It was also a real test of my no-smoking resolve, and while I must admit to thinking about cigarettes a lot, that is hardly surprising given that I was in a pub with 6 people, all of whom smoked, and in a club with shit-loads of people who also smoked. Suffice it to say I was angelic...

October 12th 2000

I'm thinking of taking the counter off of my site, as I'm sure you are all bored to tears with listening to me harp on about my quit. On the other hand, then I have a problem regarding content... What would go on the front page? Claire's site recommendation of the week? A blow-by-blow account of her houseplants? You see my problem! Please email me and let me know what would make your visits here more pleasurable, and I'll see what I can do.

October 16th 2000

What an ace weekend! I, being the boring old sod that I am, dedicated the whole weekend to decorating my lounge (ably assisted by Rebecca and Toby). Although I still have the skirting boards to gloss, it looks fantastic, and it's all the nicer knowing it won't be stained by nicotine. You should have seen how white the wall was underneath my pictures.... The best bit had to be the 3 of us installing two new light fittings - the fact we were playing with electricity and introducing power tools into the equation, made it all the more exciting. Imagine our amazement when we switched the power back on and the lights came on! How cool are we?

October 23rd 2000

Not content with just quitting smoking, I have also decided that a radical overhaul of my diet is necessary. I am therefore going to go on a healthy eating binge for a few weeks, to divest myself of the last of the nicotine and other crap still floating round my body, and prepare myself for the ritual punishment that is the Christmas party season... If I start getting too self-righteous, please feel free to shoot me!

October 30th 2000

Welcome to the week, one and all! Had a wicked weekend, spent loads of money and drank far too much booze. Diwali is a big deal here in Tooting, so there were sitar demos, plays about the Gods and mountains of curry. Last night saw the biggest storm since 1987 hit southern England. Trees are down, the roads are flooded and poor me has to work from home. I had the dubious joy of walking home in it last night - I can't remember the last time I was that wet. All quite amusing though at the time...

November 10th 2000

You can tell that the "I've given up smoking" party is starting to dwindle, when I can pass my 2 monthiversary, without a huge fanfare and an update to my site. I'm still chuffed to bits, obviously, but then there are only so many ways a girl can rephrase the words "I'm still not smoking - whoopee!".
The decorating in the lounge is all but finished - the only thing remaining is to install a dimmer switch. That involves making a hole in the wall, which I find worrying. What does one use? A Chisel? A jigsaw? Who the hell wants to stick a saw into a wall chock-a-block with electrical wires? I'll definitely be wearing rubber-soled shoes, that's for sure! Of course if there are any electrically proficient people out there, who wish to risk life and limbs, then feel free to come over and play with my power supply.....

December 3rd 2000

Can you believe that we have already entered the twelfth month of the year and that Christmas is almost upon us? How depressing is that...
Like a gift from the gods came Rebecca's birthday celebrations to raise us out of our mire of self-pity and throw us headlong into inebriation and hedonism. As usual, you can check out the pictures on the left hand side - you can expect to see several more on the same theme (i.e. drunkenness) over the next month or so. It promises to be very messy indeed....

December 28th 2000

It's incredible when you think about it. I spent approximately 2 months planning it, 1 month shopping for it, and about 12 hours actually enjoying it. Now all that is left are the afternoon Bond films, and the promise of New Years Eve to keep us going.
I've been rather slack of late, and have only just got round to putting up the next two lots of pictures. The first is of Rebecca's birthday celebrations and the second are a brief summary of my last 4 weeks.
Enjoy! Oh, and come back for the New Years pictures soon....

January 15th 2001

Last night I managed to notch up a massive one hours sleep. As if a sign from the Gods, this morning I was sent the following email:

"In the Birmingham Sunday Mercury last weekend: Worker dead at desk for 5 days. Bosses of a publishing firm are trying to work out why no one noticed that one of their employees had been sitting dead at his desk for FIVE DAYS before anyone asked if he was feeling okay.
George Turklebaum, 51, who had been employed as a proof-reader at a New York firm for 30 years, had a heart attack in the open-plan office he shared with 23 other workers. He quietly passed away on Monday, but nobody noticed until Saturday morning when an office cleaner asked why he was still working during the weekend. His boss Elliot Wachiaski said: "George was always the first guy in each morning and the last to leave at night, so no one found it unusual that he was in the same position all that time and didn't say anything. He was always absorbed in his work and kept much to himself." A post mortem examination revealed that he had been dead for five days after suffering a coronary. Ironically, George was proofreading manuscripts of medical textbooks when he died."

Surely, if that is the case, nobody would notice if I just had a small snooze at my desk?

February 9th 2001

Sorry it's taken me so long to get back to you with an update, but I seem to have been stuck in a motivational rut. Of course the upshot of this is that, I really have done very little of late to warrant an update.

In summary I've stopped biting my nails, got caught in a blizzard, played strip table football, seen The Mark Thomas Comedy Product filmed a gazillion times and dieted every other day. Pretty standard really.