Monday, 31 January 2011

Two meetings for February.

There will be two meetings in February: The first at 7pm on Thursday 10th will be our regular evening meeting. The second will be from 2.30pm on Sunday 20th to coincide with International Pipe Smoking Day. Both will be held at The Cuddie Brae as usual.

Feel free to come to either (or both), as they are open to all.

If the Sunday afternoon turns out to be a more popular option, I am open to changing the day/time of the regular monthly meetings...all feedback and suggestions are welcome, as I want to make EPC as accessible as possible.

Monday, 17 January 2011

Corn Cobs.

I finally got around to trying my first corn cob pipe last night...and was pleasantly surprised!

It was a Missouri Meerschaum Diplomat, with a bent stem, filled with St Bruno Ready Rubbed (a blend I'm very familiar with). I picked the St Bruno as I thought it was a good idea to try something I already knew, so that I'd be able to discern what difference, if any, the cob made.

I left the supplied Medico 6mm paper filter in and enjoyed a very nice, cool, dry smoke! The Diplomat is finished with Plaster of Paris, for a smooth bowl and whilst it's about the same weight as my two small Petersons, at 46g, it felt a bit heavier when clenching. This might be due to the stem having only a slight bend, relative to it's length.

Up until now, I've not bothered with a cob...having been able to pick up quite a few good quality "estate" briar pipes for not much more...but now I can see why they are so frequently recommended as "starter" pipes.

I was so impressed that I'm going to get a few more, along with some spare stems, so that if anyone at a meeting wants to try a new blend, they've got a neutral platform to try it in.

Friday, 14 January 2011

January meeting.

Last night's meeting, whilst again being small, was a good one!

Apologies were received from John, Alan and Graeme. There have been quite a few more enquiries so, with fingers crossed, numbers should creep up soon.

The weather stayed reasonably kind...dry and fairly mild, although the easterly wind was getting a bit chilly by the end of the night.

It was nice to put a face to a name when Myles arrived. We very quickly covered the table with a large selection of pipes and tobacco. Myles admired my new Peterson 303 Standard System whilst I was very envious of his new Vauen Churchwarden (see above), a very elegant pipe that looks perfect for flakes! I think I need to get myself one.

I'm currently enjoying some of the generous sample, of Samuel Gawith's Kendal Cream Flake, that Myles gave me. The 1792 Flake might need to be saved for a small bowl after a meal! Hopefully, Myles will enjoy the Peter Stokkebye's Luxury Bullseye Flake as much as I do...I know he liked the Peterson's 2009 Special Reserve he tried last night.

As the side door of The Cuddie Brae was apparently "out of order", we were left in peace as all the cigarette smokers were just huddling at the front door in the cold, whilst we enjoyed the benefit of the heaters at the end of the building.

Wednesday, 12 January 2011

Worried about wind?

If you are concerned about smoking outside, in the wind, try one of these covers.

I've got a couple now and wonder how I managed without them. They're spring-loaded so they adjust to fit most size pipes. They keep the wind from blowing ash everywhere and reduce the chances of getting burn-out. Plus, they're handy for covering a loaded bowl so you don't get ash or tobacco in your pockets. As an added bonus, they're helpful at keeping snow and rain off a lit bowl.

The only thing to watch is that they get VERY hot when you're smoking, so take care not to brand yourself with one.

Thursday, 6 January 2011

Happy Birthday Sherlock!

I've already mentioned Sherlock Holmes' origins in Edinburgh.

However, despite not owning a deerstalker hat (nor keeping my tobacco in a Persian slipper), I'd like to wish him "Happy Birthday" and raise a pipe in honour of what would be his 157th birthday.

I'm not a big Sherlock Holmes fan...but he does probably qualify as the world's most famous pipe smoker.

Saturday, 1 January 2011

New Year's Resolutions?

I've already given up cigarettes (in favour of my pipes), so that's one less for my annual "wish list".

I'm resolving to try and smoke slower, to help me really appreciate the subtleties of a tobacco...this has been a hard habit to break after more than 25 years of cigarettes but I'm getting also reduces the risk of "tongue bite".

In my first few months smoking a pipe, I wanted to try as many varieties as possible...with a bit more experience, I'm now trying to give each one a much fairer chance, trying each tobacco in different pipes (and at different times) to see which combination works better. I've already found that I prefer pipes with smaller bowls for flakes that I've just "rolled and stuffed" and my larger bowls for the fully rubbed-out or ribbon blends.

I was going to put "join a gym" and "give up Greggs" on the list for 2011...but those wouldn't have lasted beyond the ink drying, so I won't bother (again)!