Stick that in your pipe

Yesterday was International Pipe Smoking Day.

But nobody told me.

I'm not quite sure what I was supposed to do about it anyway.  Was I supposed to smoke more than usual?  Was I supposed to stand in the middle of the village street and smoke my pipe while telling everyone the joys?  Was I supposed to force Herself to smoke a pipe for the day?

I'm always confused by these "days" anyway.  They come along and everyone is supposed to do something or other and the next day we move on to something else and the "day" is forgotten.

I used to smoke cigarettes a very long time ago.  Some aspects of them were fine, but they had some very irritating aspects too.  They didn't last long.  They were messy with ash dropping everywhere not to mention the butts.  If you stuck one in the corner of your mouth the smoke got into your eyes.  They were wasteful, as usually a bit of smokeable cigarette got chucked away with the butt.  

Then I discovered the pipe.  

Initially there were some drawbacks – it takes a bit of practice to pack and tamp a bowl and the flavour is completely different.  But the different flavour was the key.  There were many flavours out there unlike cigarettes which all tasted much the same.  Smoking a pipe also meant I had to carry around a pipe, tobacco and a lighter instead of just cigarettes and a lighter, but that was a minor inconvenience.

The advantages [apart from the flavour] soon became apparent.  I no longer needed an ashtray at hand – only when I wanted to tap out the ash at the end of the bowl.  People started commenting on the aroma and how pleasant it was.  I could smoke for a few minutes and then put the pipe to one side, and light it again later.  I very soon reached the stage where I wouldn't smoke anything else, and it must be around forty five years since I had a cigarette.   

I am baffled as to why there aren't more pipe smokers.  They/we used to be a common enough sight, but now it's all cigarettes.  It has even reached the point where I can find it difficult [outside of the village] to find a shop that sells my pipe tobacco, where I used to be ble to go into a tobacconist and choose from a large range.

So instead of an International Pipe Smoking Day, let's have a International Try The Pipe Day.

Though I suppose it will be forgotten the following day…..

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Stick that in your pipe — 13 Comments

    • I'm just suggesting that people give it a try.  As for the IPSD, that seems to be a very informal thing with no promotion bar Twitter, which is how I discovered it [too late].  If there is someone promoting it professionally, they should get the sack.  The whole business is of no consequence anyway!

  1. I tried 'acquiring' a pipe as a young man, living in germany I had visions of Old Age me seated on a bench on some mountain with a flowingly gandulfian beard as long as my alcohol habit and a bavarian long pipe…"Heidi?" "Grandpa!"

    Trouble i found with smoking a pipe is it 'feels' like it is taking too long, somehow. Can't describe it better than that but i have a similar feeling with e-cigs. With a pipe there is a feelign of temporal displacement. A cigarette is the modern equivalent of those candle 'clocks' monks used to use to tell vespers from compline. 

    There is a 'counting down' with a cig that there isn't with a pipe or e-cig…I find….but i'm fucked in the head so many ways anyways… 


    …oh and btw your blog requires me to turn off ad block to post a comment

    • One of the differences between a pipe and cigarettes is that a fag is "ready to go" – no preparation at all.  I find the tamping or cleaning to be part of the process.  I would have said that the pipe is the equivalent to the monks' candles, where a cigarette is equivalent to a torch.

      I have one of those long pipes.  A lovely smoke, though a bit delicate to travel with.

      The Ad Block thing is very weird.  I don't carry any ads, so I don't know where that comes from.  I will do some experiments.

      • Just logged out and tried a test comment.  I got no mention of Ad Block [which I have running] and the comment went straight through.  Strange?

        • I always have AdBlock running, and it doesn't interfere with commenting here at all. I use Firefox browser (as you know, GD, having told me once that I needed to update it {;¬Φ), so maybe BD is using something else not compatible.

          • Yup.  You're up to date.  Windows 7 ??????  Not up to date!

            Ad Block is a life saver.  Saves scrolling down through all that horrible flashy stuff before reaching the meat.  There must be something strange in BD's settings?  Or summat?

          • There is nothing wrong with my "settings"-those of them that old age hasn't robbed me of anyways at least!  (yeah it's a weak double entendre but it is Sunday teatime and I lost the will to live making the Zwiebelkuchen.). I use Chrome so maybe that's it, Firedfucks not liking this ancient Dell Insipid 1650 (AD?) much .Actually I can't complain, this laptop was fished out of a skip years ago and it still does just about everything I want…if somewhat slowly.



          • Until I found how to turn it off, my computer was hectoring me to install Windows 10 (Free!).

            I don't want Windows 10. It was developed for touch screen tablets, not for PCs. And 7 works very well for me. If it ain't broke, don't fix it.

      • That looks (to me as a member of the laity) like a Church Warden rather than an alpine pipe. I'm told the Alpine pipe smokers developed their pipes to be able to smoke 'Bauerntabak' – nicotine rustica , or/and hemp….but that may just be a myth.

        Mind you, the addition of a lid to the bowl seems sensible in an area where it snows every winter.

        I agree the analogy of the 'monks candle' was not a happy one. Hard to explain why I dislike pipe smoking and i did rather like the day dream of me perched on a mountain peak , a "blunt one"- Tony Hancock, looking down over the alpine village and the girls in their 'dracula film extra' dresses and heaving bosoms.(which we refer to in German as 'Woodpiles before the alpine hut' btw). So maybe I will splash out on a pipe and give it another go…

        No idea why AdBlock nor God should hate me so.



        • It is indeed a hand-made churchwarden.  A lid would be handy here in a wind [or rain] but I rarely smoke outdoors in either condition.  In the meantime, I sit up here on my blunted Wicklow mountain and admire the woodpiles [must remember that one] and relax.

          "No idea why AdBlock nor God should hate me so"  Maybe it's your name?  Try unblocking yourself?

  2. I've had a go at pipes a few times, and I really rather like them. The problem I've found is that the work I do isn't really conducive to pipe-smoking. It tends to be quite physical and nearly always requires the use of both my hands, and having a heavy(ish) pipe clamped between your jaws for any length of time is quite tiresome. I may well give it another try when I actually get around to retiring, and things slow down a bit for me.

    I've noticed that in Patras they still have proper Tobacconists – I've seen a few – with (open) shelves all around the shop displaying their wares. I haven't had time to investigate properly, so I don't know what their selection of pipe tobaccos might be like. I'll try to pop in to one next time I'm there and take some pics.

    • A pipe does tend to require the use of a hand all right.  Chin-warmers are better balanced for the hands-off approach but then the smoke gets in your eyes again!

      It has reached the stage here that when I find a tobacconist [usually a supermarket off-licence] I have to ask if they sell pipe tobacco.  With that fucking display ban, I can't check for myself.  Quite often they look at me blankly and apologise.  There used to be a tobacconist here in the village that stocked about twenty varieties, now sadly long gone.  There are only two pipe smokers in the village now as far as I know.  The other bloke smokes Mellow Virginia!  Must try to track him down sometime.  

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