Wednesday, March 30, 2011


A lack of blogging over the last couple of weeks has been down to being too busy at work and completely frazzled and knackered by the time I get home. Added to that has been an irritating pain in my right elbow which I've put down to repetitive strain injury from using the laptop too much.

Using the computer mouse doesn't appear to result in the same burning, aching pain - although it doesn't appear to ease the problem either. Perhaps they should ban laptops for our own good. But then maybe I shouldn't be giving them ideas for more prohibition.

Life in the real, as opposed to the virtual, world has been different. I've been trying to reach smokers who are not online by giving out Resistance stickers. Most have taken them with interest. A couple have refused. I found that odd. Those stickers I placed on smoker bins in Skegness have stayed. Those I've posted in Lincoln have disappeared. I have none left now that I'm working in Louth so I just talk with the smokers who share the same bench in the Market Place at lunchtime.

One my jobs was to work on a story from the British Beer and Pub Association about the beer tax hike which the organisation says will lead to the loss of 10,000 jobs in the industry and many more pub closures. I spoke to a local on site brewer landlord, who has opened his own independent pub, and a fourth generation local brewer for their views. Both agreed the tax would be disastrous. I couldn't avoid asking them how they felt about the smoking ban.

The pub landlord - who is a supporter of choice - says that his choice, even without the ban, would be non-smoking for practical business reasons. : "75% of people don't smoke so it makes sense to have a non-smoking pub for the majority of customers," he said. I never asked whether he would think it worth it if he could offer separate facilities to attract 100% of customers. This man was not, incidentally, an anti-smoker by any means.

The fourth generation brewer's view was that there were too many pubs before 2007 and so some had to go and the nature of pub going had changed. She said "families don't want to be smoked out anymore." She had business in London, lived in London, and so I guessed it was a Metropolitan view and not one familiar to the majority of small local communities that this brewer's pubs serve.

Another pub landlord - a never smoker - in a historic small town was just as angry as smokers about the ban. He said if there were three pubs in a village, then two of them should be smoking and one non-smoking. I pointed out that the majority customer was non-smoking but he believed that the majority of non-smokers don't visit pubs. The majority of smokers do. He said that was evidenced by the rapid rate of pub closures after the ban when the imaginary non-smokers failed to pack pubs in smokers' places as was promised by the anti-smoking industry.

In my blogging absence, I've also watched a fair bit of TV. I like Waking the Dead on Sunday and Monday - which could be an apt description of what UKIP is trying to do in NuBritain - but then I am a sucker for a good crime drama. I love and hate Thursday nights which is my sweary night. I don't know if my other half is more interested in the political programmes I watch - like 10 O'clock Live, Question Time or This Week - or amused by the amount of times I shout "fuck off, get to fuck, fucking knob," at some sanctimonious or misleading politician.

I did enjoy "watching Nigel Farage on 10 O'clock Live the other week. He makes me smile not swear. The link begins with irritating adverts you can't move on but when the programme starts, go about 17 minutes in to watch Farage's performance.

It looks like I'll be swamped with work for the next couple of weeks at least which means I won't get time to see my GP about my elbow which isn't getting any better. I guess that means light blogging may continue for a while longer.