Posts tagged with “smoking”

October 26

A shock and a sadness

I am still slightly reeling emotionally after sending an email copied to all the members of the reading group I can remember (or have addresses for) talking about Christmas and next year's reading list possibilities (hoping for J.P.Donleavy).

Then I heard from a fellow member that one of the most lovely members of the library staff died in August.  She had been ill for a little while apparently beforehand and although this must have overlapped with, maybe, some of the time she was there I had no inkling.  Nor had I heard anything of it from anyone else at the library or at the reading group...

But none of that matters really, it feels like nervous chatter.

What matters is that she was a lovely librarian, a sensitive and kind lady, someone who added a lot to my life with the library and I am certain for many others.  She will be missed and I do not know her personally enough to have much insight, but I sincerely hope it was peaceful at the end.  When I find out the condition or hospital/hospice which may have been involved then in absence of any instruction she may have left I shall make donation in her memory.

Normally, as you may be aware, I keep a limit on the personal nature of what features on this blog.  But since the theme is highly literary it does not seem I can ignore this and since the death has passed I am not sure what more I can do than recognise her absence and celebrate what she gave to mine and others lives - to the world.  At least she will not have to witness the cuts to the library service that seem imminent, cuts of some considerable severity no doubt .

Over the previous weekend I attended my first ever Quaker Meeting for marriage too - it was very special and I baked cake (along with five others!), breakfasted with everyone, worshipped, and witnessed along with perhaps sixty or seventy others (the certificate was HUGE!)... I say all of this because it makes the death a very stark contrast and at the same time brings into focus the Quaker advice to celebrate the life as you mourn the absence of a person.

And to top it off I have stopped smoking.  It is not so bad, I am confident of not relapsing to smoke again, but at the same time I am very conscious of how fragile life is, how easily we take our good health and lives for granted.

If I knew it would be appreciated at all I would dedicate this entry to the memory of the said Librarian.  But I think she would not like that.  Condolences to the comments would be most welcomed by myself though - that is just the sort of thing blogs are good for.  I shall even lay one in tribute myself, when I find a suitable poem (she liked poetry... I feel really sad about this.... but also hopeful that, so long as it was anonymous, she may have felt it was a good thing).

She will be missed and remembered by me and by others, she touched our lives and left them better for that.

07:22 AM | 2 Comments | Tags: , , , , , , , ,
January 06

The Ancient Smoker (A Parody)

Part I - The Curse


He is an ancient smoker, he stoppeth 'neath a tree

With thy long black pipe and glittering eye,

"Wherefore though stoppeth thee?"

The Public Bar is open wide, within a merry din,

The youth accosts the ancient soul "Thou can'st not go within!"

"I have the curse", the old man sighed

"Bin coming here for years,

My pipe and baccy both are banned",

The old man glared, the old man spake,

"Yet I will go within!

By God I'll fight for my right!"

"A pint", he quoth and settled in his place

The taproom glowed, the good beer flowed

Joy shone in his face, the din did grow

The banter flew, he joined that merry crew.

He struck his match, he puffed his pipe

The smoke was thick and strong

The banter dropped, the door flew wide,

A curse came from the throng

The barmaid shrieked, the landlord cried

"Thou can'st not do that 'ere!"

The banter stopped, the silence grew,

His curse was in his hand;

Now 'twas an angry crew

"Be gone!  Get out!  You're banned!

God save the Ancient Smoker

From the curse that plagues thee thus";

Sadly he slipped his moorings and crept into the night

The laughter grew the jibes flew too

He was a sorry sight


Part II - The Return of the Ancient Smoker


When he joins the Nick O' Tyne Line

Her masts the finest briars

See, she is Rizla rigged

Her crew all true born liars.

She sailed across the harbour bar

And nestled by the quay

He leapt aboard her crying

"I'm going back to sea!

Far from this land

Where smoking's banned

I'll smoke my pipe as is my right!"

They cast off and sailed away

Not to come back for many a day

To do their duty, not to pay it.


Part III - The Voyage of the Good Ship Nic O' Tyne


A fair wind blew, o'er the waves they flew

Leaving the land behind, they gave a cheer

He lit his pipe and drawing deep

He took a swig of beer

The silver moon sailed in the sky

Softly she was going up

And a star or two besides

His lips were wet, his throat was cold,

His garments all were dank

He was drinking as he slept

And still his body drank.

The helmsman steered, the ship moved on,

A steady breeze still blew,

The mariners all gan work the ropes

As they were wont to do

They were a merry crew.

Like a flying horse they flew

Acorss the boundless Ocean

The sun shone bright, a fair wind blew,

They smoked and drank all day.

They drifted o'er the harbour bar

The rock shone bright, the kirk no less

That stands above the rock

The Harbour Bay was clear as glass

So smoothly was it strewn

In the bay all was dark

in the shadow of the moon

thus they quietly slipped ashore

Stowing their goods in a safe place

Crept out and locked the door


To Follow; Part IV - The return of the Happy Smoker


John Charles Wrighton, 2008.


(He only gave me the text thus far, having mislaid further pages, which he might post me at some future date!)

03:09 PM | 2 Comments | Tags: , , ,