By lunchtime today it was a pleasant day here in North Yorkshire. Perhaps a little too much breeze and from the North West, which made it a little chilly, but it was a great improvement. Now, at 8.03 (isn't the time indicator in the corner of the computer screen handy?) the wind has dropped, the sky is clear and blue and the sun is shining.
Walking round town just after lunch I saw that there were many holidaymakers here and most of them were sitting outside pubs and restaurants having lunch. I noticed one pub in particular - tables outside and people eating fish and chips, pie and chips, mountains of food - well it is holidays after all, although I did notice that most of the folk eating were rather overweight. But what horrified me was how so many of them were smoking (they were outside, not in the restaurant) and then coming on to the forecourt to stub their cigarettes out on the top of an upturned plant pot and then poke the rest down the hole.
There was a time when it really was socially acceptable to smoke - in fact it was very sophisticated. My Aunt Nell in the thirties and forties considered herself to be a very 'modern' woman. In her mushquash coat and her beautiful hat (her sister was a milliner) she was a smoker par excellence. Never outside of course, but after lunch out would come her smart orange box of du Mauriers and her elegant cigarette holder - I used to think her the bees knees. (coincidentally she did die of lung cancer at quite an early age).
Now, visiting hospital, it is quite usual to see really ill people outside the door in their wheelchairs having a smoke. What are they thinking of? Or is it me who is a killjoy? I would like to know what you think. Are you happy to 'live and let live' or does it worry you to see people killing themselves after all the medical evidence?