Reclaiming the voice
Ten weeks ago I decided to quit smoking. A very difficult task, made all the more difficult when you happen to enjoy it. 24th of January to be precise. All I can say is thank goodness for the advent of the e-cig. It has been the only substitute that is in any way enjoyable for me. Being able to use it in a pub or cafe is also of great benefit.

The only thing I really wanted to improve was my singing voice. When I lived in London, I was attending karaoke twice a week. Here amongst the greenery, it is available to me just once a month. A lack of practice combined with a love of smoking was only going to destroy my voice. It is no fun losing the ability to hit a near-decent high note and having to cough in-between verses and choruses.

Laying off the ciggies and the pipe has at long last seen me start to regain a proper singing voice. Months ago, even singing the low and gentle And I Love You So would have me clearing my throat and resorting to Bacardi to soothe it! Friday last, I was able to belt out Pulling Mussels (From The Shell) with nae bother at all. Does anyone realise how happy that makes me? Even Dancing In The Dark produced only a couple of slight croaks. The voice is coming back. With a bit of luck, there shall soon be two karaoke evenings a month for me. Bring it on if you please.

Right now I am drawing on an 18mg-strength menthol e-cig. I was never a menthol smoker, but it is all they had in the Co-op. Tastes so much like mint Tic-Tac's! Lord knows I would give much for a pack of Davidoff Classic or a bowl of St. Bruno, but I just have to lay off them. Hannah likes me more when I don't stink, and somehow I am able to smell the cat litter tray a little more easily.

As for Easter Sunday, I had a cheap and cheerful small Mars egg. There is no beating a Green and Blacks organic choccy egg, but money dictates.

And now for some music. This track came to my attention by way of that old 1990 dance compilation Deep Heat 8. Disc two began with this soulful number by Swedish singer Titiyo*, who just so happens to be Neneh Cherry's half-sister.

* (The spell-checker even went as far as to suggest that I use the word "titty" in place of her actual name. Give me strength!)

Bring back the 90's I say! Bring back the yin and yang jewellery! But keep the puffa jackets if you don't mind.
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