Peat & Smoke

Not roaring, but smouldering

Due to the fact that it’s a schizophrenic day for weather in Galloway, swinging between mild sunshine and miserable hail, the first thing I did this morning was light the fire so that there would be some heat in my office. As an experiment, I burnt some of the peat which has now been drying for more than six weeks, and found the results very much to my liking. It’s still a little damp, but once the peat starts burning, it kicks out some serious heat, not to mention the musty perfume of the smoke.

Ten days ago, I heard our nation’s fearless leader Alex Salmond on the radio claiming that October was going to be the national month of no smoking. He claimed that you can’t give up smoking without help, and offered a huge range of government funded support mechanisms for the people who were prepared to cast off the nasty habit in favour of a healthy lifestyle.

Feeling defiant, I gave up smoking then and there, just to prove that it is possible to give up smoking without any help, gum, patches or nicotine inhalers. I’ve been smoking for ten years and had no real intention of stopping, but I wanted to scotch Salmond’s fat generalisation so much that I’ve now gone for over a week without a cigarette. I don’t feel any different, and aside from a few tetchy moments, the entire experience has been an anticlimatic walk in the park. I don’t know what the fuss is about, and I’m now thinking of writing a crowing, scornful letter to our First Minister.

I might even take up smoking again for national anti-smoking month. That’ll show him.


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