Sunday, 30 January 2011


This is a little bit 'Dear Diary', but I wanted to put out there that I'm trying to quit smoking at the moment and feel pretty darn good about it.

I started smoking when I was 15 (thats 10 years this year) and have tried a few times to stop but have now gone about a month without having a cigarette (I don't like to say the exact number of days; it puts a kind of unnecessary pressure on the whole thing) which is the longest I've ever done.

Usually I start again when I go out for a drink. As soon as I get a glass filled with alcohol in my hand my mind turns to cigarettes. And that's just after the first sip of the first drink. But recently I've been managing to go out, have a drink, and not smoke. It was touch and go on Friday when I had an unlit cigarette in my hand but I just really didn't want it.

One of the great things about having a real go at stopping is the money I've been saving. It's not like I'm flush with cash but my bank balance has been looking healthier.

Another great thing is that I've felt more energetic in the last month. Fortunately this has come at the right time because I've needed to pull some late-nighters due to exams recently.

The best thing about trying to stop, and going this long without a cigarette, though, is the sense of control I've felt. I no longer feel as though my day is dictated by rolling cigarettes and smoking them at regular intervals. My first thought in the morning isn't 'Do I have enough tobacco for today?' or 'Where will I get some smokes later when I run out?' and that feels incredibly good.

I'm not counting any chickens because, as previously mentioned, I've tried to quit a number of times now. This time around, though, I think I've given myself the best chance yet of stopping permanently.

Saturday, 29 January 2011

All Things Must Pass

Stress has been the order of the day recently due to the exams which are part of the journalism course I'm doing (I got my media law result back yesterday and got a B which means I'm not likely to get sued for libel any time soon).

One evening, working late in the college library, I had a look through the music section and decided to take out George Harrison's first post-Beatles solo album, All Things Must Pass.

For some reason I've never bothered with this album. There's something about the Beatles' respective solo work which rarely inspires me. There are flashes of genius here and there but I always feel listening to them, knowing they don't have the other three behind them, tearing it up, is like visiting a beautiful, famous landmark only to find that building work is being done to it. It's just not the same.

That's changed now. Harrison's album single-handedly saved me from losing my mind under a ton of revision notes. It's pure folk-rock and has the most incredible warmth about the production. Also, the lyrics shed light on the relief, but also the bitterness, Harrison was feeling about the Beatles' split. Whats more, he wrote most of the songs whilst the Beatles were still functioning, only to have them dismissed by Lennon and McCartney. Who knows, maybe they felt a hint of worry that George was suddenly threatening their empire with the superb material he was writing as the group were falling apart.

Anyway, below is a song from the album called Let it Down. Quite possibly my favourite song on the album, it's a perfect example of both the chaos and the calm felt after the group's split.