I had the luxury of wandering around the local shopping centre by myself a few days ago. It was great to be able stroll along, getting to know the new shops and window shopping without having to keep track of Bert or try to manoeuvre the twin pram around people and shelves.

As I was leaving my eye was caught by, of all things, a tobacconist. Now I hate smoking, despise it. It’s filthy, smelly, dirty and having seen the effects it can have when I worked at Cabrini it’s a habit I can’t stand. Sorry smokers but it’s just despicable. The thing, or things, that caught my eye were Zippos. Lovely shiny Zippos.

For such an ardent anti-smoker I have an absolute weakness for Zippos. The touch, the smell, the sound, the perfect engineering. They are things of such beauty. I stood mesmerised as I spun the stand around, trying to figure out where I could find $70 to add another to my small collection.

There’s one Zippo I want above all others though. It must be 20 years ago now but I once saw in a magazine (could have been in the now defunct Sunday Herald, when it was just The Herald) a Zippo that was made to look like a clapper board. I almost got to buy one once, but I was a poor student and the amount at that stage was way beyond my means. I have a funny feeling it would still be the same today, but one day, one day, I will own one.

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