Wednesday, February 13, 2013

The Last Day

As soon as it struck twelve on New Year's morning, the first thing I thought was this was going to be a tough year.

And then I started planning what I was going to write today.

It is now the tenth anniversary of the passing of my uncle and - as I always do on these days - I dedicate a memory or two.

I was initially going to write about the day he passed away as I can recall nearly everything I did in the hours leading up to the moment my father broke the news to me.

I won't, though.

What I will recall is a fun story I like to think about. The only problem is that it is more about myself than him. However, if it wasn't for my uncle, the story wouldn't have happened so I guess he does play a major role in it.

I would spend a few weeks of each summer holiday at my aunt and uncle's home near the beach. It was a nice house that overlooked the sea.

While we were there in the summer of 1990, my uncle was looking for people to fold leaflets and place them into envelopes for his company to distribute.

I can't recall how much it was but my memory is telling it was a certain amount per one thousand envelopes. Either way, I thought I would have a go.

The thing that I remember the most about this task to reach one thousand was that I figured out I could watch television at the same time as doing the job.

It felt like I was the first person to realise the concept of multi-tasking.

It became my first job..

A few days later, my cousin, sister, uncle and I drove into a town centre and I was handed the money I had earned. The thing is I had gone over the one thousand threshold and was aiming for two thousand at the time I was given the money. My uncle paid me the extra because - unbeknown to me at the time - I was going back home the following morning.

As we walked around this town centre, my uncle came up with this idea. He announced 'I'm going to buy myself a pipe'.

'A pipe!?' We chorused.

And so we headed off to this tobacco shop where my uncle purchased a pipe and cherry tobacco.

He wasn't the only one on a mission to buy something that day.

When we got to WHSmiths, I had a choice to make - WWF Magazine or Duncton Wood, a book by William Horwood.

I chose the book, and I am glad to say I still have it. After all, it was the first thing that I had ever worked for so it has that sentimentality about it. It now obviously brings back memories of the day I'm writing about.

Anyway, back to the pipe.

We got back to the house and my uncle started trying out his new toy. I loved the smell of the cherry aroma to the point where I was tempted to take a toke of it.

I asked if I could have a go (lol) and was refused for obvious reasons. The smell was so alluring and I just wanted to have a try of it so bad.

It got to the point where I saw the pipe unattended in the kitchen later that evening and I seriously must have stood there looking at it for an age. My good friends - the angel and the devil - were on both shoulders tempting and talking me out of the crazy idea.

Unfortunately, good won out this time so I cannot end this post telling you how I almost choked to death and got into big trouble in my attempt to taste Cherry tobacco.

I haven't smelled tobacco with that scent since. However, the aroma of it still lingers in my memory.

* * *

As I mentioned earlier, I wasn't looking forward to this year coming along.

I stood in my garden watching the fireworks light up the New Year sky and I was thinking about what I was going to do today.

As I pondered just what I was going to write about, a dud firework fell from the sky and hit me on the shoulder.

It would be nice to believe it was a message from above, wouldn't it?

If it was - I got it loud and clear.

'Write about the smoke!'

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