Making progress with the smoker. I spent a whole evening watching YouTube videos on how to light bee smokers.
My best result so far came with a small piece of newspaper screwed up in the base, then a tightly-rolled strip of corrugated cardboard and then dry bark stuffed around the edges. No lighter fuel needed. Lots of smoke, not hot and it kept going for a couple of hours. And it does seem to make a difference :-)
FatBeeMan video on lightng a smoker: Note: there are dozens of videos on YouTube about this.