DAY 2 Perry – Bermondsey to Florence
Listening to – Oasis – Wonderwall
Emotion – confused
I’m rudely woken by my alarm. It’s 3.30am already. No time for a cigarette, it just feels wrong to light up at this ungodly hour. I brush my teeth again but I can still taste the foul remnants of last night’s cigarettes.
I put the kettle on and take it off again. It’s not suitable attire to travel in, don’t you know!
I have a cup of tea, finish packing and jump in a cab at 4.15am. I head through empty City streets toward Liverpool Street Station. I can’t smoke in the taxi and I can’t smoke in the station. I meet my interpreter and board a train to Stanstead Airport. I can’t smoke on the train. We arrive at the airport, meet up with our presenter and almost immediately board the flight to Italy. Now I’m getting worried. When will I get the time and opportunity to have a cigarette or ten?
We arrive in Bologne some two and a half hours later and pick up the hire car. My two colleagues request I don’t smoke when they are in the car. I, of course oblige, I would make the same request if I was in their seats.
We decide to take the non motorway route from Bologne to Florence toward the Moto GP or rather our satellite navigation system sends us down some back streets. We eventually get out of the city and into the countryside. The road twists and turns up and down some of the most amazing countryside anywhere in Europe. We admire epic vistas and sleepy villages rarely getting out of second gear such as the roads will allow. I breathe in, filling my lungs with fresh mountain air but all the time I’m thinking I’ve got to have a cigarette soon. It seems like the countryside is taunting me with its pure fresh air. I drive on and Tuscanny is also in on the conspiracy.
Four hours later I arrive at my hotel. I grab a bite to eat and promptly fall asleep.
My telephone rings and rudely awakens me from my slumber. It’s 8pm and I still haven’t had a cigarette today. My room is a non-smoking room so after polishing off the remains of room service I head to the bar only to find it’s non-smoking too. So here I am, desperately wanting a cigarette to continue the Smoke Swap. I’ve had a very feeble start to this experiment but it’s not for trying. Whatever way I look at it, this is going to be hard. As I write this I notice it’s 10.10pm and I haven’t had the opportunity to smoke. How do people with a ten or twenty a day habit find time for it. I’ll be f**ked if I know. I guess you have to make time for smoking, plan your day around smoking. So instead of the illusion of freedom associated with smoking, you end up a slave to the cigarette. I guess I’ll have to head outside and spark up before the crew arrive for a night-cap.
I light up a B&H. I feel like a bit of a leper or pariah outside on my own. Hotel guests throw a cautionary glance in my direction. No I’m not going to nick your car. I am having a fag!
I head back in to the hotel lobby and take in with me a powerful headache, I feel lethargic and all I want to do is sleep. The taste in my mouth is unsavoury to say the least. I don’t know how I’m going to get threw this. I love life but right now it sucks big time.
Vietato Fumeur – No Smoking!
SMOKES TODAY – 3 out of 10
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