Monday, November 08, 2021


Most early mornings are spent reconnecting with the world on the internet; news, weather, Wikipedia, the local press, whatever tiny scraps of e-mail that need attention, and some literature. Plus social media.

Perhaps it's interesting to see what the people on one of my favourite forums discuss? Leastways, the posts that catch my attention.

So, some brief descriptions:

1) A disquisition on bent bulldog pipes, three examples of which are shown, as well as the stated intent to smoke a tobacco I absolutely despise in them. I love his pipes, and consider that tobacco to be a sign of the end of civilization. Good god, my good fellow, good god.

2) Corncob pipes and a rakish hat preference.

3) A gentleman with a mien which seldom betrays emotion enjoying a classic Virginia-Turkish-Latakia compound in a pipe from a respected Irish firm. It's hard to show emotion clenching a pipe. Nor is it advised.

4) Autumn afternoon in Ohio. Indian summer, first frost, sitting in the garden on a sunny day. There is a lovely flowering bush in the background

5) John recently moved to a new home in North Carolina, and is slowly getting the unpacking done. A literate witty short piece commenting on sports (in which I have no interest, but I read it anyway), picture of a man with a silvery beard, and a lovely full bent sandblast briar.

6) Erudite German gentleman mentions the driving distance between where his lovely pipe was made (in recent times) and where the tobacco he is currently enjoying was packed (thirty years ago). There are sheep, goats, dogs, elderly farmers, and inclement weather between those two points, and probably nowhere to get a decent meal. None of which he delves into.
Probably because the actual trip would be nightmarish.

7) Autumn evening in the redwoods to the north. Man is content. No whiskey is mentioned.

8) Re-reading 'The Lily of the Field and the Bird of the Air' by Søren Kierkegaard, with a cup of black coffee, and some fine Burley in the pipe. One must, of course, read Kierkegaard at some point in one's life. I first tried doing that in Berkeley when I was in my twenties, but did not have the temperament for it. I have not done it since. Burley wallops me, but sings in a corncob pipe.
There's an open tin of Haunted Bookshop (a Burley blend by Cornell & Diehl) within reach, and a small tray of corncob pipes in the bookshelf opposite. There isn't a scrap of Kierkegaard anywhere on the premises.

9) Pipe restoration: a later era Comoy squat bulldog. Very Anglo-French looking.

10) A gentleman in Denmark gets ready to enjoy his evening. With an Eltang cutty and some hot-pressed Kentucky.

Earlier on the same forum: beers and ales in background or named, plus various kinds of tea, engineering texts, gardening, rose bushes, books, a rest break near a border crossing on the Karakoram Highway, a gentleman with a really ugly cigar, plus risky living (eating the full English breakfast).

As everyone knows, the full English breakfast will give you acid indigestion and constipation lasting for two or three days. If you consume it regularly, your digestive system will resemble a massive vehicular pile-up in the Gotthard-Strassentunnel (from Göschenen in Uri to Airolo in Ticino). I do not recommend it. You will be in great discomfort.

I like England and the English. Except for their eccentric eating habits.

And, of course, it's always time for tea.

During the working day I maintain hydration and a constant high by swilling Pu Er, at home it's usually dark ferments with milk and sugar or buckets of semi-ferments (Oolong, Suisin, Lohan) brewed in an I-Hsing pot.

My tobacco preference for the past few years has been Virginia Perique blends, old-fashioned flakes, and some of Greg Pease's paler products. Before that I smoked Latakia blends for a long time, and was in consequence often socially avoided, which I don't particularly regret.

By the way: both my suspended FB account (no commenting or posting for thirty days) as well as my alternate account in which I fly discretely under a different cloud are members of that forum. So I still participate, albeit in drag.


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