One week down and the running commentary is running thin. Yesterday was rough; a red wine hangover demanded a smoke and I thought long and hard about stopping by the pie cart at the railway station for some Dunhill Blues. Instead I kept on walking and took the long way to work; through the subway as far as it runs, up the stairs to the far side of the bus depot, then up from the bottom of Molesworth St to the library.

After lunch today I came up Molesworth St again and ran into Paul on his way to Archives. We killed ten minutes mooching round the back of the library where last week I’d have been smoking. You can’t mooch alone without a smoke, you’d just look odd, but you can with a friend. ‘Course you can smoke and mooch with a friend at the same time if you really want – smokers are dexterous like that.

And cunning. Have you seen the new warnings on packets? They cover a good third of the available space with grotesques from the lab of smoking misery. My last pack I had to customise with a business card, cut up and pasted to cover the picture that accompanied the warning: SMOKING MAKES YOU BLIND. (Please someone, make the obvious joke.) My brother too has take to storing his tailor-mades in a Maoist souvenir cigarette tin. Very stylish and not a blackened lung in sight.