Mallorca was hot – very hot. Thank heaven I stopped all this sunbathing malarkey many years ago. Also, thankfully, my room was blessed with a good air-conditioning system; even with the balcony door open, the system still blew cool air into the room. Normally, if you are on your own and paying the basic price for your room, they allocate you a room overlooking garages and shops, etc, but on this occasion they gave me a pleasantly situated room. (Not that the view matters to me) Normally, I don’t even bother taking snaps, but I did on this occasion. Go on then….:
It was a pleasant view to have while reading a thriller.
But I do like hot weather – in the shade. My routine was:
9.30 am: Breakfast.
10.30 am: Back to bed till midday.
12 pm: Read and cups of tea on balcony.
1 pm: Stroll along ‘prom’ and have coffee somewhere.
2 pm: Round to fav bar for lunch, beers and more reading.
5 pm: Back to hotel, more tea and more reading on balcony.
6.30 pm: Snooze.
7.30 pm: Shower and dinner.
9 pm: Back to room, more tea and more reading on balcony.
10 pm: Back to fav bar, chess on electronic chess set. Coffee and one pint.
12 am: Round to fav night club, sit outside playing more chess.
3 am (?): To bed.
Boring, I know, but it surprising how many yoofs are interested in what you are doing. One lad asked for a game, bragging that he was good at chess at his school. It turned out that he hardly knew how the pieces moved. He went off after a few minutes. The second one also bragged about his ability. At least he knew the moves, but he was no good at the game. He too lost heart when I started to remove his pieces from the board systematically. Three Swiss lads joined me one night. They all spoke really good English. One volunteered for a game without bragging and he played well. When I sneaked one of his castles, he too lost heart a bit and off they went. The final party was the best player. He knew about ‘controlling the centre of the board’. That game was quite a tussle, but his mates eventually took him away. We both agreed that the game was in a tight situation, but I seemed to be in the stronger position since my three best pieces, two bishops and the queen were all ‘looking at’ his king, whereas his best pieces were somewhat scattered. But anything could have happened.
It may not seem fun to readers, but, when you think about it, there I was, listening to the disco music, playing a game I enjoy, drinking beer and enjoying tobacco, and watching the silliness of the ‘children and young people’ – those sub-humans that tobacco control wish to ‘take care of’. Believe me, those ‘children and young people’ do not need the likes of Arnott et al to look after them! They are more damned savvy than Arnott has ever been.
The important thing is that my outings gave me a chance to observe the youth at close quarters. There was loads of good humour and no trouble at all. I saw only a couple of lads who were a little the worse for wear, even at 3 am.
My chief interest, of course, is smoking habits. I saw little change. As many, if not more of them were smoking. They did so blatantly, with no obvious feelings of shame.
I just have a feeling…..
I have a feeling that, unlike us old-timers, they do not give a toss about smoking indoors. I don’t mean that ‘they have come to terms’ with the indoor bans. I mean that they just do not care. In England, the indoor ban has been in operation since 2007, eight years ago. Many of these youths will have been just young teens at that time. They just don’t care about indoor bans. They just don’t go indoors. That particular disco used to be be packed. Now it is half empty, and, as far as I can see, they go inside to dance around for a while and then exit again. They don’t seem to bother drinking inside. They dance around, get a drink and leave to place to sit outside, drinking and smoking. Body-language says a lot – for example, sitting down, getting out a pack of fags and chucking them on the table. That’s what I mean about’no shame’. In the UK, in our weather, well ….. what is the point of going to pubs? Is it any wonder that pubs have been closing in droves?
A couple of other things.
I noticed a much more pronounced use of ecigs. Curiously, people were not using them indoors. But perhaps not ‘curiously’. Very few people seemed to be indoors. Why should vapers go indoors when the places are empty? My impression was that, largely, it was the older people who were using ecigs, but not always by any means. I didn’t see anyone using a cig-alike. All were at least second generation. The users were more or less split evenly between men and women.
Here is an interesting thing. One venue had gone big on shisha. It was a pub/music venue which I passed regularly. The last time I passed it, I made a special point of counting the devices. There were eight at least. Here is a pic which resembles those I saw:
I saw another bar with one. I could only see one, but there may have been more.
A couple of times, I saw youths using them. It seems that individuals took turns to puff.
Is it any wonder that tobacco control is tearing its hair out? Its carefully laid plans are beginning to fall apart. The College of Physicians (owners of ASH) is a loggerheads with the British Medical Assn over ecigs. That battle is a bit weird. The BMA want ecigs banned but the RCP want them to be allowed. But wait…. Do not be too overjoyed. What the RCP actually wants is control of ecigs. Don’t be fooled. They may be nasty bastards, but they are clever. Whereas the BMA just want tobacco, and anything that looks like smoking, prohibited, the RCP want legal regulations so that they can dictate what they are, what they contain, and what they cost. Altruism forms no part of their thinking. I find it quite amusing that while ASH ET AL has got its ban on smoking in cars when youths are present, those very youths are puffing away on shishas! OK – they may or may not be 18 or over. Who knows or cares? Certainly, the police in Mallorca have far more to concern themselves with than youths puffing on shisha pipes.
It seems to me that the control, which Tobacco Control have always envisaged as being self-perpetuating, is breaking down. They got publicans to accept the role of unpaid law enforcement officers by the ruse of swingeing fines if they did not, but that plan too has not yet run its course. It’s a pity that tobacco companies did not see fit to financially support those few publicans who refused to become unpaid, untrained policemen. Let’s face it; people like Hogan did not encourage smoking in their pubs – they merely refused to use force to stop it.
It is also noticeable that the Charlatans never ever put themselves at risk. They never do anything at all. They use our money to pay for surveys; they use our money to pay for press release publications; they use our money to pay for massively more customs officers, required to chase smugglers of tobacco products, and, of course, they use our money to pay themselves.
What is most disappointing is the gullibility of politicians. They must have observed that ASH ET AL never actually do anything at all. They do not parade with placards; they do not arrest people; they do nothing at all. But it is worse than that; our money spent by ASH ET AL is actually doing immense damage, both physically and mentally. I use the phrase ‘physically and mentally’ as shorthand for physical events such as pub closures and mental events such as making the suffering of the mentally ill worse. People who stand in pulpits and issue instructions, while themselves doing nothing, should always be viewed with the greatest suspicion. Why do politicians take any notice of them?
Let’s face it. Smokers are today’s slaves. They work a lot of their time for nothing since the State takes lots of their money in exorbitant taxes. The poorer that a smoker is, the more that he is a slave. Modern day slavery is real and is justified by the puritans on the grounds that the poor, en masse, deserve what they get since they are weak, promiscuous, diseased sub-humans. Pleasures are not for them. If taxes on beer and cigs are raised high enough, then this scum will fall in line and the statistics will improve no end.
And yet…….. Our youth is not stupid. I heard an artiste singing “Those were the days” while I was away. The chorus is:
Those were the days my friend.
We thought they’d never end.
We’d sing and dance forever and a day.
We’d live the life we choose.
We’d fight and never lose.
For we were young and sure to have our way.
La la la la…
And that is precisely what is happening.