The Adventure of the Smoking Man

I don't know whether Sir Arthur Conan Doyle smoked a pipe or not, but his famous detective, a Mr. Sherlock Holmes did, and that was where I first came upon the use of a pipe as an aid to thinking.

Whenever Holmes was at an impasse over a case, he would light up his pipe. "This is a two-pipe problem, Watson." He would then disappear behind clouds of smoke until he had hit upon a solution.

Conan Doyle usually but not always titled his Holmes stories "The Adventure of…" and that is where this chapter gets its title.

As for me, it is the whole ritual of pipe smoking that attracts me. I enjoy a cup of decent coffee as much as the next guy, but for calming down and centering myself, there's nothing like the ritual of brewing a daysent cuppa tay, as me old gaffer used to call it. Boiling the water, heating the pot, pouring the water on the leaves, letting the tea steep, and finally pouring it into the cup; these are very slow and deliberate steps. They calm me down, and help me reconnect with my center.

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Smoking my pipe is much the same. Cleaning the pipe, selecting the smoke that's just right for my mood, the time of day, and the company; tamping it just so; lighting and drawing the first taste: a calming and centering ritual that you just don't get with a cigarette.

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So what's the point of this blog, anyway? Not much, really. It's just a way for me to keep a record of tobaccos I've tried, whether I've liked them or not, and why. And I don't mind sharing what I discover with you. Good quality pipe tobacco isn't cheap, and if I can steer you towards a good smoke, or away from one that isn't quite so good, I'm happy to help.

But remember: what I post here is simply my own opinion. Smoking is a very personal habit, as are tastes in tobacco. You may not like what I do, and vice versa. So as they say in the auto commercials, Your mileage may vary.

So put that in your pipe and smoke it!

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One Response to “The Adventure of the Smoking Man”

  1. colin Says:

    great view on pipe smoking. it IS the ritual that calms you down. and as an English man. i DO agree about the tea too 🙂

    keep up the good work.

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