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A Winter’s Tale

Is it me, or has it begun to feel as though the snow is here for good?

This Saturday, while talking with two friends about the challenges cigar smokers face in this current weather, I was met with a very refreshing attitude by one of them. Toby was quick to espouse the joys of smoking cigars outside in this weather. He dismissed out of hand, the image my other friend, Richard, painted of shivering outside on a street corner, while stoically trying to ‘enjoy’ a Montecristo ‘A’ or a Cuaba ‘Diademas’.

As Toby sees it being outside in this weather accompanied by a fine cigar while shooting, fishing, or taking a constitutional is a very fine English pastime and not one to be dismissed. I have admit that, by the end of an impassioned speech, the image he cast of sitting on a boat, wrapped up against the elements with a rod in your hand, the weather at your back and a cigar clamped between your teeth was a stirring one. After all, as he was keen to remind us both, in England there is no such thing as bad weather, just the wrong clothes.

As if to prove his point the three of us wrapped up warm and set off to walk his three dogs across Hampstead Heath while enjoying some Montecristo Number 2s and a flask of coffee that had far stronger Irish credentials than half of Jack Charlton’s World Cup squad!

Perhaps it was the whiskey in the coffee, or the cigars we were enjoying, but a consensus soon developed that the colder the weather, the more powerful the cigar should be. It seemed, at the time, a logical extension of the received wisdom that says a lighter smoke is preferable on sunny afternoons.

Having walked to a local gastro pub and enjoyed suitable refreshment we were back on the move with some D4s for company and beginning to plan the evening ahead. It was only at this point, as we tried to decide which of the many venues that offer comfortable outdoor smoking areas we should visit, that we began to get into dispute.

As we walked off into the darkening afternoon laughing, bickering and smoking amongst ourselves, the only real regret I felt about the winter season, was how little daylight we are given enjoy it in…

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