Yes, at long last England has joined much of the civilised world and banned smoking in nearly all public places. Since my workplace has long been non-smoking, this really means pubs and restaurants for me.
Last night, Jolan and I dropped in to the Osborne House. This is the best pub in Rusholme by some margin, a proper local tucked away down a backstreet, next door to the mosque. The decor is fabulous and the walls are covered in Manchester City memorabilia, from the days when this was one of the nearest pubs to Maine Road. It's a friendly place, with a bit of a rough edge, and I wondered how such a place was going to cope with the ban. After all, most of the people who drink there smoke.
Well, I need not have worried. The air was clear, the Hyde's bitter was crisp and delicious, and people would good-naturedly wander out of the back of the pub if they needed a cigarette. No-one complained, and only the breathable kind of atmosphere was changed. I can even wear the same shirt as I did last night without smelling like an ashtray. It's a small thing, but it will make my life a little more joyful.