I never smoked. I was never tempted, persuaded, coerced or gave in to peer pressure. It never appealed so didn’t even try it just once.
But I used to, now and again, dream that I smoked. I dreamt that I knew how to do it, held the cigarette with flair and style and didn’t cough like a consumptive.
Around 6 years ago we went to Paris for a few days and before we went I announced to my husband that I wanted to try smoking while we were there. He used to smoke but other than the odd cigar (few and far between to be honest)hadn’t for a long time. I decided that if I was going to try it then Paris, the city of light(ers) was the place to do it.
We flew in then got the bus from the airport to the opera house then walked to our hotel. Once we had checked in and unpacked we ventured out. First stop a tabac for a pack of gauloise and a lighter. I lit one, breathed in and didn’t cough ! It tasted as I expected and despite the fact that I was nearer 50 than 16 I felt like a school girl sneaking a quick smoke behind the tennis courts!
And Paris was amazing and the gauloise came with us. We smoked them in street cafés with black coffees, red wine and white wine. We lay on the grass in the Touileries garden giggling and smoking, we strolled along the left bank cigarette in hand, I even hung out of our hotel bedroom window looking at the laser beams coming from the Eiffel Tower while smoking . . . Parisian style. It was the oddest thing but part of Paris.
Then we came home. Smoking a sneaky ciggy in the back garden didn’t hold the same magic and we stopped as quickly as we started. We kept some at home but we only indulged if we were out an about for the day. I knew I wasn’t a smoker and knew I shouldn’t, so didn’t .
And then I saw the film A Single Man with Colin Firth and Julianne Moore and they lay on the floor smoking pink cigarettes . . .I was in love and very, very jealous. But I wasn’t a smoker.
And then it was my 50th . We went to Edinburgh and on the morning of my birthday my man handed me a small package. I unwrapped it and inside were two packs of 20 assorted coloured Sobranie cocktail cigarettes. So, the black, pink, purple, yellow, mauve and green cigarettes became the smell of Edinburgh.
I was 54 10 weeks ago. I have still got almost 20 of them left.
I’m not a smoker but I no longer dream I am.