Ooh! I completely forgot to do my annual affirmation: my name is keithlard, I am a nicotine addict, and it’s been 2 years since my last cigarette come June 6th :D

I was quite a hardcore smoker for about 20 years before I quit, and I never thought I would manage it. So there is hope for all of us! Despite my fears before quitting, I don’t hanker after smoking, other people’s smoke doesn’t make me want to light up, and I don’t feel there’s anything missing from my life (apart from smelly clothes and overflowing ashtrays).

In fact since about six days after I gave up, I’ve felt healthier, happier, been fitter, smelt nicer, been richer, and generally felt like it’s the best thing I ever did. I think of myself as a reasonably strong-willed person, and I didn’t really like being the slave of a drug, so one day I just resolved to be free of it. I set a quit date about a month ahead, told people about it, and on the appointed day threw away all my ashtrays and lighters and such.

I won’t lie to you, I felt pretty ghastly the first day, and I probably wasn’t much fun to be around. The second day wasn’t any worse, though, and after a couple of days I started to feel more normal, but still as though I was wandering around encased in plastic bubble-wrap. My sleep cycle was all out of whack, as I was lying awake all night and then falling asleep suddenly at 4 in the afternoon. I noticed that I was emotionally all over the place, like a bad case of male PMT. Every little annoyance seemed like a big disaster.

The nicotine cravings declined over the course of a week, and once you have ridden out a few of them, you begin to realise that they only last two or three minutes, and if you can distract yourself for that time, you’re OK. But I came up with all sorts of weird, nicotine-induced rationalisations about why I should start smoking again, weird enough to make me realise how powerful a grip addiction can have on your mind. No wonder it is so hard to decide to stop, when nicotine is constantly whispering at your ear.

And on the seventh day, lo, there was light, and I saw that it was good. All of a sudden (it seemed) I just felt fine, with no headache, no cravings, even slightly euphoric. My body had started to adjust its chemical balance to life without 20 daily microdoses of stimulants. I began to notice smells, taste food, run for a bus without seeing little lights in my head, wake up after a night out without feeling that my lungs had been barbecued. I became much less susceptible to colds and respiratory ailments, my circulation improved, my sex drive (hem hem) burgeoned, and most of all I felt like I was the master of my own destiny, instead of a slave to little tubes of paper.

Staying quit hasn’t been hard at all. I never felt the impulse to smoke again, although sometimes a whiff of secondary smoke made my head expand and I felt a little nostalgic for that blood-thumping rush of the day’s first cigarette. But when nicotine has left your body, it takes the desire for more nicotine with it, and the smoker’s chemical high does not tempt you any more. I quickly realised that all the pleasurable things that had become associated with smoking, were still just as pleasurable without it: morning coffee, a good meal, a pint of beer, a bout of toe-curling sex. Also there was no danger of knocking a full ashtray off the bedside table.

So if you are a smoker and you want to quit, this should give you hope: it’s easier than you ever imagined. If you’re thinking of packing it in on July 1st when the UK smoking ban comes into effect, that gives you about three weeks to get used to the idea. So good luck!

Sophistercated men about town

It is me and Matt and some friends of ours Lynda and Gita, and some posh cocktails, at London’s exclusive Monkey Chews. This is what your lifestyle would be if you, like me, used the same Tube station as Marc Warren off the telly. But you do not.


Things are a bit grey at the moment so here is some much needed colour!

Oh dear

Well I heard some sad news today that someone I knew and liked has passed away. It puts things into perspective really doesn’t it. Also, I was clipped by a van yesterday, though not hurt, if I had been an inch or two either way it could have seriously injured or killed me. My last words would have been something inconsequential about MySQL, which makes you think.

We all have precious little time really, so we should spend it wisely. I guess that means something different for each of us, but it probably does not include talking about databases.

Más viñetas

Project, final version… final final draft… final final final… this is it… definitely the one… yes… finished project… project version 3… do not delete… the last… really the last… project version 5…

They told me at the shop he was a labrador, but by the time I realised, I’d already got fond of the little fellow!”

We did everything we could, but the short circuit was just too severe. We’ve had to disconnect your husband.”

After bringing balance to the Force and helping return peace to the Galaxy, Luke Skywalker decided to try his luck in the lucrative laser fat-removal business.

There are two kinds of people…

Where ‘mineral water’ really comes from

Forces for evil: baby seal-killers… traffickers in human organs… those who promise things and don’t deliver… people who play the Christmas music in supermarkets.

Frodo visits a pawnshop and puts all of Middle-Earth in danger.

Bad Idea

Food fight!”