I withstood the temptation for three weeks. At first I had to convince myself that the presence of the smoke detector in the hall didn’t mean it was prohibited. Then I flirted with ideas based on observing how much less one smokes when one has to travel fourteen floors downstairs (without reaching a pleasant quasi-solitary spot like there was near my old place).
But on 1 July, the first phase of putting the flat in orded over, I washed the floors again and then had a smoke. Indoors. In the UK. Legally. After twenty-six years . . . Bliss. Not so much the fact itself as the knowledge one can – it makes one feel so much less as a guest, so much more as being at home . . .