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I want to break free

16 Apr

I have smoked exactly two thirds of my life: twenty-eight years. It’s high time I stopped. So I stopped.

It’s been only five days but that’s the longest I’ve achieved ever, so there is cause to celebrate.

The decision had been years in the making. Friends and family have persisted over the years and my son recently joined the lecturing bandwagon. I’m thankful because I was impervious! Much as they annoyed me, they were right and I knew it. Slowly I was getting closer to commitment: Quitting is the right thing to do, therefore submit.

I was brought closer to the decision last month by the prospect of tobacco deprivation at airports, during long flights –and basically of limited freedom to smoke–, as I prepared for a 24-hour or so journey to a two-day meeting, followed by a 24-hour or so journey back home. The actual trigger was the epiphany that struck me as I thought I was at last free to go smoke between two flights: that is not freedom, that is (nicotine) enslavement.

In “The Easy Way To Stop Smoking”, the book my good friend Amy gave me years ago, Allen Carr writes:

“It is […] slavery. We spend half our lives in situations in which society forbids us to smoke (churches, hospitals, schools, trains, theaters, and the like) or […] feeling deprived. The rest of our smoking lives is spent in situations where we are allowed to smoke, but wish we didn’t have to.”

I smoked my last cigarette Tuesday after dinner and patched up the next morning. I’ve got lozenges for when the craving is too intense but I don’t like them too much so don’t use them a lot.

The worse day was the day before I stopped.

I had made up my mind, purchased the patches and the lozenges at the pharmacy after picking up my son after school. I was still smoking as my pouch of tobacco was not yet empty –it took me another day to finish it as I let it drag on as much as possible by rolling thinner ones and smoking less.

The second worse day was the third. Possibly because I had not used a patch that morning. Good to know they are not selling squares of adhesive tape!

A couple parting thoughts:

  • Not lighting up is hard, but not as hard now that I have decided to stop.
  • Time goes quite slowly in the process.
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Recette : Tournedos Rossini

25 Dec

Pour 4 personnes. Temps de préparation : 20 minutes.

Il vous faudra :

  • 4 beaux tournedos
  • 4 tranches de pain de mie
  • 20 g de beurre
  • 1 foie gras
  • du Porto (ou du madère)
  • 20 cl de crème liquide
  • du sel

les ingredients

Faire chauffer votre poêle et mettre le beurre.

Découper les tranches de pain de mie en cercle et les tremper dans le beurre fondu. Bien imprégner les tranches et retournez-les pour essuyer ce qui reste de beurre. Faire dorer chaque face. Disposer une tranche par assiette, sur un côté.

pain demi qui brunit dans la poele

Trancher le foie gras et réserver.

tranches de foie gras

Sur plaque chaude, saisir les tournedos. Deux minutes par face. Puis réduire un peu le feu et continuer de cuire deux ou trois minutes, selon l’épaisseur des tournedos. Essuyer les sucs au fur et à mesure en déplaçant la viande dans la poêle. Saler. Arrêter la plaque.

tournedos cru dans la poêletournedos en pleine cuisson

Déposer chaque tournedos sur le pain grillé. Disposer une tranche de foie gras. Le foie gras va commencer à fondre au contact de la viande chaude.

empilement de pain, tournedos et foie gras sur l'assiette

Rallumer la plaque, verser un bon fond de Porto (ou madère), porter à ébullition et mélanger les sucs. Réduire la plaque. Verser la crème liquide et mélanger.

Porto en ébullition dans la poêlecrème liquide mélangée au Porto dans la poêle

Quand la sauce commence à épaissir un peu, arrêter la plaque et verser sur chaque tranche de foie gras. Disposez votre accompagnement et servez. Bon appétit !

tada ! sauce recouvrant le tournedos Rossini

#inktober days 6-10

11 Oct
[Inktober: 31 Days 31 Drawings, following a prompt list.]

Day 6: ‘sword’. Ink drawing of a swordsman at the ready. Black ink Uni-ball pin pen (0.05 mm).

Ink drawing of a swordsman at the ready

Day 7: ‘shy’. Ink drawing of a shy girl hiding half her face behind a shoulder. Black ink Uni-ball pin pen (0.05 mm).

Ink drawing of a shy girl hiding half her face behind a shoulder

Day 8: ‘crooked’. Ink drawing of the MIT Stata Center, by Frank Gehry. A crooked building. Black ink Uni-ball pin pen (0.05 mm), and grey soft brush Pitt Artist Pen.

Ink drawing of the MIT Stata Center, by Frank Gehry. A crooked building.

Day 9: ‘screech (owl)’. Ink drawing of a screeching barn owl. Black ink Uni-ball pin pen (0.05 mm).

Ink drawing of a screeching barn owl

Day 10: ‘gigantic’. Ink drawing of a couple taking a selfie in front of Dancing Nana, by Niki de Saint Phalle, an exhibit on the bank of La Seine since 1995. Black ink Uni-ball pin pen (0.05 mm), and Pentel brush pen.

Ink drawing of a couple taking a selfie in front of Dancing Nana, by Niki de Saint Phalle.

Inktober’s prompt list:

Inktober prompt list

#inktober days 1-5

7 Oct
[Inktober: 31 Days 31 Drawings, following a prompt list.]

I’m doing Inktober again and I like it. It was fun last year. I’m rather pleased with what I did thus far. I have the impression I have progressed. It takes me 2 to 3 hours every night, depending on how long I need to find my subject, then I focus without interruption till I’m done and realise my coffee is cold, I have not smoked and I’ve done something pretty.

Day 1: ‘swift’. Drawing of a swordsman wielding a Japanese sword. Black ink Uni-ball pin pen (0.05 mm), and grey soft brush Pitt Artist Pen.

Drawing of a swordsman wielding a Japanese sword

Day 2: ‘divided’. Wooden jigsaw puzzle of three camels, one separated from the others and slightly behind. Black ink Uni-ball pin pen (0.05 mm), and grey soft brush Pitt Artist Pen.

Wooden jigsaw puzzle of three camels, one separated from the others and slightly behind

Day 3: ‘poison’. Poisonous frog viewed from above, in black and white, with black spots. In real-life, these are green and black. Black ink Uni-ball pin pen (0.05 mm).

Poisonous frog viewed from above, in black and white, with black spots

Day 4: ‘underwater’. Still woman immersed, the top of her head breaking the water. Black ink Uni-ball pin pen (0.05 mm), and grey soft brush Pitt Artist Pen.

Still woman immersed, the top of her head breaking the water

Day 5: ‘(so) long’. A sailing ship at sea, far away on the horizon, big waves in the foreground, and cloudy heavy sky. Copy of work by Bernie Wrightson, who was much much gifted than I am. Still I quite like my work. Black ink Uni-ball pin pen (0.05 mm).

A sailing ship at sea, far away on the horizon, big waves in the foreground, and cloudy heavy sky

Inktober’s prompt list:

Inktober prompt list