What I Meant To Say

In a Zoom online meeting today, Simon Clark asked me whether my recent spell in hospital had changed my attitude to smoking. Unfortunately, due to some unknown technical problem, nobody could hear my reply.

What I meant to say was that during my 2 weeks in hospital, I hardly ever wanted a cigarette. The idea barely crossed my mind at all. So I didn’t suffer at all. But as soon as I was home again, I lit up and carried on smoking like I’d never stopped. And I’ve been smoking roll-ups for nearly 50 years.

What does that mean? What it seems to mean is that I’m not so much addicted to tobacco as habituated  to tobacco. It’s a habit of mine, and one among many habits, which also include drinking tea all day. It’s part of the rhythm of my day. In hospital all my habits were suspended.

Also, like Barry, I have no health issues with tobacco. I was in hospital because (I think) I got a mild version of the coronavirus that had just started to go round. Smoking was no part of my reason for being in hospital.

Anyway, now that I’m back home, I smoke just as much as I ever did. And I intend to carry on smoking, I have no wish whatever to quit, And I have no belief in its imagined dangers.

It was nice to see Juliette Tworsey at the meeting. I met her in a pub garden outside Swindon over 10 years ago, with the members of her band, Firebug. So nice to encounter her in person again.

Next time I hope there are no technical problems.

About Frank Davis

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20 Responses to What I Meant To Say

  1. Carol42 says:

    I am the same, never gave smoking a thought when I was in hospital or if I am somewhere I can’t smoke like a plane or theatre/cinema. It is a habit but one I enjoy and have no intention of giving up.

  2. Simon Clark says:

    Sorry about that, Frank. I had some audio gremlins myself. Hopefully you’ll join us again and we can get your thoughts on this and other matters.

  3. Александра Собина says:

    When I was in hospital with broken leg years ago, the first thing after operation I asked was a fag.

  4. pete says:

    same here – had an operation some years ago – never missed the cigs till do gooder came around – “I understand you are a smoker… I’m here to help..” —- glad you’re OK Frank – quoted you in comment underneath this (it’s grim, but…) from yesteryear – pub near me – gone now.. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HmYTWlvXuoM

  5. Walt Cody says:

    Two carryover comments from yesterday. I’m not surprised the Seattle anarchists are afraid of secondhand smoke. They sent out a plea saying they were short on food, about tomstarve, and begging people to supply them with vegan meat substitutes, gluten-free bread, and fruit and nuts.

    Here’s the video of what’s going on in Seattle as of last night and continuing today and likely for the long run ( as long as they’re sufficiently supplied with vegan meat substitutes)


    • Joe L. says:

      They sent out a plea saying they were short on food, about tomstarve, and begging people to supply them with vegan meat substitutes, gluten-free bread, and fruit and nuts.

      Correction: they didn’t claim to have run out of food, they complained that the homeless people they invited took all their food. Did they seriously think homeless people would give two shits about their little fascist “movement”? Of course not! They only cared about the offer of free food. These idiots thought they could artificially increase their numbers by inviting homeless people into their “autonomous zone.” Not the brightest bulbs in the box.

  6. Александра Собина says:

    The politics of behaviour is a New Labour invention. It has been adopted by all the political parties but is most wholeheartedly embraced by self-proclaimed ‘progressives’. Developed as a form of micro-politics that obsesses about little things, it is also a form of politics that has infected the regional assemblies most of all. If you want to know what will be banned next, it is always advisable to check out what’s going on in the Welsh Assembly and the Scottish Parliament.

    • Barry Homan says:

      Such people remind me of a character known as the Terrible Trivium, from a book I read as a kid called The Phantom Tollbooth. He was the “demon of petty tasks and worthless jobs, the ogre of wasted effort, and the friend to lazy and foolish people everywhere.”


      • Rose says:

        Such people remind me of the The Autumn People from a book I read in the school library, Barry.

        “For these beings, fall is ever the normal season, the only weather, there be no choice beyond. Where do they come from? The dust. Where do they go? The grave. Does blood stir their veins? No: the night wind. What ticks in their head? The worm. What speaks from their mouth? The toad. What sees from their eye? The snake. What hears with their ear? The abyss between the stars. They sift the human storm for souls, eat flesh of reason, fill tombs with sinners. They frenzy forth. In guts they beetle-scurry, creep, thread, filter, motion, make all moons sullen, and surely cloud all clear-run waters. The spider-web hears them, trembles – breaks. Such are the autumn people. Beware of them.”

        From Something Wicked This Way Comes

        “Something Wicked This Way Comes is a 1962 dark fantasy novel by Ray Bradbury. It is about two 13-year-old best friends, Jim Nightshade and William Halloway, and their nightmarish experience with a traveling carnival that comes to their Midwestern home, Green Town, Illinois, on October 23rd. In dealing with the creepy figures of this carnival, the boys learn how to combat fear. The carnival’s leader is the mysterious “Mr. Dark”, who seemingly wields the power to grant the citizenry’s secret desires. In reality, Dark is a malevolent being who, like the carnival, lives off the life force of those they enslave.”

        I’ve never fogotten it.

  7. Clicky says:

  8. Philip Neal says:

    I was in that meeting too, Frank, but I could not discover how to switch my cam on. It was nice to see you, but you are still looking a bit gaunt, so here’s hoping you fill out a bit soon.

  9. Александра Собина says:

    Me too :) Got out from box my pipe and had a few puffs. I do not use it often, think I need more practice with it.

    • Rose says:

      I have a tiny corn cob pipe my daughter brought me back from America, I’m saving it for emergencies.

    • RdM says:

      You are as you likely know quite likely right …
      There are internet resources on the art of pipe smoking, lessons, & etc.
      I don’t have any to hand just now, but I’m sure you will find some if you look.

      Meanwhile, when you get around to considering just what tobaccos to buy, this is a very comprehensive, large resource on pipe tobaccos:


      Re the Forest video meeting:

      I considered registering, but realised (correctly, as it turned out) that tuning in at 5-6am local time that day was probably not going to happen.

      I also would have liked to see a recorded version, and wish he would consider it.
      Let everyone know it will also be recorded for later archival posting, who will mind?
      Even with only a few (agreed first) interviews at Frank’s link here on this page,


      I think it’s a treasure.

      A chance to see and hear Nisakiman (Kevin Jones) speak, for instance.

      Maybe for next time I’ll be up in time! ;=})

      Or hope Forest will investigate ways to record and re-present it nicely, for others.

      Cheers !!

  10. Александра Собина says:

    Mine was meant for emergencies too at first. When I tried it, I was quite surprised what a great thing is it. When it is new, you have to use a nice tobbaco first to get it “marinated”, and after can put in anything and it will smell and taste the same as your first posh one. I have heard so.

  11. RdM says:

    “Mine was meant for emergencies too at first. When I tried it, I was quite surprised what a great thing is it. When it is new, you have to use a nice tobbaco first to get it “marinated”, and after can put in anything and it will smell and taste the same as your first posh one. I have heard so.”

    There is an alternate view to this.

    If you drench your pipe in a very aromatic (flavoured) tobacco then that flavour will persist, and overpower any more gentle plain subtle tobaco you might try in the same pipe later.

    This is partly why people keep some or several pipes, for different tobacco types.

    I’m no expert, just slightly experienced, but still a novice (and only rarely now, because it’s so expensive and hardly available here !) but I have realised that I don’t actually like the flavoured caked aromatic tobaccos (I don’t want or need rum whiskey cherry & etc.) and prefer good old English (except that probably came from?) Virginia tobacco types… but each to their own!

    Learn, learn, learn


    • Александра Собина says:

      Thank you RdM, I think the one I have right now is exactly this cherry/berry type. Will ask for plain one for Christmas. Because it is expensive.

  12. Rose says:

    What I do have by chance is a Pipe Tomahawk.

    About 20 odd years ago, I was walking in a hurry through a market and saw a reconstructors stall, there was a little axe with a heart cut in the blade and I thought it might be useful in the garden. When I got back, I took it out of the plastic carrier bag and looked at what I’d bought. There was a pipe on top!
    No use for the garden, but I did evetually fit it with a pipe stem and give it a go with my best tobacco.

    Pipe Tomahawk
    Kansas History Society

    “Either Native Americans or European Americans adapted the original tomahawk into a new form known as the pipe tomahawk in the early 1700s. The original tomahawk is an Indian tool with a wooden handle and a metal blade. What differentiates a regular tomahawk from a pipe tomahawk is its head, which consists of a cutting edge on one side and a pipe bowl on the other. Pipe tomahawks could be used for smoking and chopping when necessary, but they usually were more symbolic than practical.”

    Mine has a heart cut in the blade rather than a star inlaid.

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