I wrote this article back in January before the current situation with the Corona Virus. Although it’s not fully relevant at the moment I decided to share it anyway because it may resonate with some people.

Before 29th March 2004 whenever I rang to book a table for a meal out I was asked “Smoking or Non Smoking”. Choosing Non Smoking just meant it took a little longer for the plume to drift across from the other end of the room.

I remember back in early 2004 my smoking work colleagues debating this ban and agreeing between themselves that it would never work! They figured it just could not be enforced.  But it was one of the best things that ever happened (along with the plastic bag levy). Since the “Ban” smokers have their own dedicated covered smoking areas outside. A neighbour of mine who enjoys a cigarette said the “Ban” was the best thing ever. The exercise of going outside and the fresh air improved his health and he got to chat to people he wouldn’t normally meet inside the pub.  Meanwhile in my workplace I could enjoy my lunch-break without being forced to engage in passive smoking.

Nowadays In hotel lobby’s restaurants and public areas most people are glued to their mobile phones forever checking social media, playing games or sending messages. I admit I used to be the very same but for 2020 I have limited myself to only checking Facebook on my laptop and leaving my phone off and out of sight when I’m socialising with friends. Already I am feeling the benefits. I am no longer addicted to scrolling Facebook whilst in a waiting area or a que. I use the time more productively I carry a small notebook and jot down ideas and thoughts that come to mind. I observe what is going on around me and engage with people I meet rather than being only half attentive because I’m itching to check that last ding from my phone.  I find I am becoming calmer and more focused which gives me the space for clear thinking and inspiration

Someday in the future I hope I will be able to book a table for two in the “Mobile Free Zone”