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Dreadful Nonsense

"I've read your blog. it's really funny. you should write a column." - Jon Ronson


I reached a milestone last week that shouldn’t really have gone by without marking it with the smug satisfaction that it most definitely deserves. But, after momentarily remembering it and emailing a few people to be smug and satisfied at them, I forgot again, and carried on without ever throwing some kind of self satisfied party for myself.





On the 7th of March last year, I had a bit of a cold, and a cough to accessorise. At the same time, I was working as a medical secretary in the Oncology Department of the Western General Hospital in Edinburgh, and every morning I would come in to the sight of a pile of patient files on my desk. These would be the files of the patients that had died from various forms of cancer the night before, and I would have to complete some paper work so that they could be filed away forever in Medical Records. It looked like every single one of them were now ex-smokers. Permanently. It seemed a good time to stop.

Over a year later, the only reason I’m even thinking about cigarettes is because I had the date circled in my diary as an anniversary. I’m a big one for marking the passage of time.

It’s quite easy to give up smoking – as the joke goes, I’ve done it many times. And I never wanted to become one of those tedious ex-smokers that coughs meaningfully at other people when they light up and whines about the smell. It’s so tempting, to be honest, to feel like the better and bigger person. However, I’ve come to the conclusion that you need only one thing in order to successfully give up smoking, and that’s definitely not a bunch of conceited idiots coughing at you. All you need is quiet determination. Also, telling everyone that you’re giving up means that you have no choice but to stick with it.

So, for me, it’s a quiet and understated pat on the back to celebrate a year passing. Very well done to me.




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