Saturday, 7 January 2012

Smoke gets in your eyes.

As I was saying the other day, I've not smoked for quite a few months. Prior to me giving up, I'd never smoke indoors. Tobacco smoke is a migraine trigger for Bren, and even if that wasn't the case, a tobacco smelling house is unpleasant for non-smokers. When I lived on my own, I'd happily smoke in my living room, bathroom, even occasionally the kitchen or bedroom, but since moving in with Bren, I'd go outside, come rain or shine. So the ban on smoking indoors in public spaces was just a small progression from that.

Bren, by the way, has been a busy lady over the last few weeks and months. She'd planned to open up a space offering locally produced art and craft goods for sale, with a space for crafting workshops. These plans were facilitated by government funding to help bring empty shops back into use. She found the shop she wanted, applied for funding, and had her application approved.

So wheels are turning. She's had to battle to view the property thanks to the lax attitude of the estate agent assigned to the property, but having done so, she's at the point where she's trying to get a business account (and overdraft) at the bank, attempting to engage the services of a solicitor to sort out the lease, and putting together a planning application for a change of use from a taxi office to a shop/workshop. This should be straightforward. The shop needs a lot of work doing to it, both decoratively, and to a lesser extent, structurally. Internal walls need to be removed. Fixtures such as sinks and hot water boilers need to be installed. And the whole thing needs cleaning up and repainting. (the ceiling in the office behind the front of shop is dark brown with nicotine and general grubbiness. The upstairs has a functional bathroom, but everywhere is filthy.

Until the lease is signed and the key handed over, there's nothing we can do about this side of things, but Bren has been buying all sorts of stuff on as slim a budget as possible using ebay. Bookshelves, Wardrobes, sideboards. All will find function as display cabinets. Hopefully giving the completed shop an air of shabby chic. So we've been out and about in her Son's Ford Mondeo Estate. An amazingly roomy car. We managed to fit two large shelving units in it on our trip to Frodsham. A 7 foot 6 inch bookcase was accomodated with a rope and slightly raised tailgate on a trip to St Helens, and the wardrobe we will be picking up from Chester (or is it Bolton?) should go in if flatpacked. It could probably manage a python if you folded it in half. The python I mean, not the Mondeo.

As well as such fixtures and fittings, Bren also picked up some stock. Crafting materials from a house in a place called Clock Face.

Clock Face is only about 20 miles or so from where I live, on the outskirts of St Helens. I'd never ever heard of it. Despite living so close, I was totally unaware of the existance of a place with that name.

The river mersey is a psychological and cultural barrier as well as a geographical one. I could name pretty much every little hamlet and suburb on Wirral, even parts of Wirral that are about the same distance away. Ask me where Little Stanney is, or Puddington, or Poulton Lancelyn, and I will take you there unerringly.

Anyway, at least one of the people in the house, from whom we bought the crafting materials,  was an indoor smoker. We were there for about 45 minutes while Bren went through the stock, selecting the stuff she was interested in buying. That was about 24 hours ago now.

And somehow, I can't get the stink of stale tobacco out of my nostrils. I've washed my hair. Changed my clothes. Shaved my facial hair. But all day, I've been intermittantly plagued by this smell. And not just the smell. It's even making my eyes sting. In the car. In the living room. Now, in my computer room.

It's not something that induces craving. No sirree.

Nobody else seems to be aware that I smell of cigarettes strongly enough to may my eyes sting and my nose wrinkle with disgust. Could it be psychosomatic?

Still not drinking. Emphatically still not smoking. I don't think my weight has changed much. And I'm working for ten days straight. My first day off since the 2nd of January will be on Friday 13th. Good job too. We have to find the money for the wardrobes and sinks from somewhere.

driving lessons in Wallasey?

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