Thursday, 31 March 2011

New arrivals

I've been a bit quiet since the weekend.  The baby has kept me awake most nights this week so blogging hasn't been top of the agenda

I've smoked a few cigars since the last blog and some of them were very nice too.  I also had a big delivery on Wednesday morning so for now, the humidor is well stocked. 

Been busy too.  A new phone arrived and been trying to get the PowerMac G5 working on the wifi, which is proving difficult because of what Apple did to the Quad core Apple told me to book "Genius time", or some such shite, which involves bringing the G5 into the Regents Street store for a conflab with a specialist.  The G5 is a beast of a machine and not something you'd want to be lugging around.  It was bad enough getting it up the stairs!  Anyway, I'm hoping eBay will do the job.

Over the past few days I've smoked an El Rey del Mundo Lonsdale which was a great cigar and a Oliva Serie G - Maduro Robusto which was nice and smooth, a bit sweet but a great smoke.

Wednesday's delivery included a free Chinchalero Picadillos, a free tin of Partagas Minis, a free cigar cutter and matches plus 5 mint sweets.  All because they didn't include the 1p newsletter I asked for.  Nice people at CGars Ltd

The new phone arrived today, a HTC HD7 Windows phone.  Love it.  I'm actually glad to get rid of the iphone, which was getting really annoying, especially since the alarm woke me up an hour earlier than it should have when the clocks went forward.

The new additions are...

Chinchalero Picadillos x 6
Cain Maduro 654T
Partagas Serie D No. 4 x 2
Luis Martinez Crystal Churchill
Fonseca Cosacos cigar
Ramon Allones Specially Selected x 2
Rocky Patel Robusto Vintage 1990
Romeo y Julieta Churchill

Saturday, 26 March 2011

England win at last

Yes, England actually won something for a change today, when they beat Wales 2-0 at the Millennium Stadium.

On a happier note, England lost to Sri Lanka by 10 wickets in the cricket.

Last night I went for the Quorum Robusto that the wife picked for me.  A budget cigar from Nicaragua that looked good and felt good in the hand.  It was an OK smoke but started to fall apart and unravel in the last third.

After the disappointment of the El Rey del Mundo Choix Supreme and the disintegration of the Quorum, I decided to select something a bit more upmarket for Saturday.

The cigars I picked were both from the new stash, the Hoyo de Monterrey Epicure No. 2 for the afternoon and the Bolivar Petit Belicosos Limited Edition 2009 for the evening.  Both excellent cigars.

The Hoyo (meaning hole or depression in the ground - good for drainage) was excellent but suffered from canoeing and I had to chop this one midway through and relight it.  The same thing happened to the Boli.  Maybe this was my fault, but both cigars lit up perfectly well.  So that was 3 out of 4 cigars from the new batch with the same problem.  I can only assume that they needed to be left alone in the humidor for a couple of weeks so that moisture along the cigar becomes consistent. 

The Quorum is pictured below.  A very nice cigar for the price.

The Hoyo is pictured with a fridge magnet I picked up at the Great Wall of China and the Terracotta warrior I bought in Xian.  It reminded me of my haggling skills which saved us so much money on the trip.  I got the magnet seller down to $2 from $7 but managed to get nothing off the warrior, which cost around $250.   I didn't even want the warrior but they convinced me that I did.  I suppose it's something to leave the boy and it was made from the clay.

Friday, 25 March 2011

Shoot the Runner

I'm here in the garden, the sun is once again shining on my scruffy unshaven face and the Babai sleeps.

We had a nice little walk up by Brick Lane.  The usual amounts of addicts, yobs and Shoreditch darlings going about their business.  As we walked past Brick Lane, one of those van/car types pulled into a spot beside me, or rather it stopped at a 30 degree angle to the footpath, with the back end around 4 feet from the kerb.

I thought I might stop and watch.

The passenger gets out, turns around and inspects the position of the car.  Mutters something to himself, then as the driver gets out, he says something to him in Polish.  Now I don't speak Polish but I think he said something along the lines of "em...I think you might need to straighten up a bit..." or "Eh, are you stoned or something?  Straighten the f**k up!".

Driver gets back into car.  Driver takes handbrake off.  Car hits car in front.  Driver starts engine.  Driver reverses.  Driver stops.  Driver closes door.  Driver accelerates turning left.  Driver nearly hits car again and also said passenger.  Driver reverses and parks car.  A loud cheer erupts from the crowd.

It wasn't really a loud cheer from the crowd.  It was the owner of the parked car who didn't look too impressed.  The unimpressed man said something in Bengali to which the Polish guy replies in Polish.  A few hard stares later, they all bugger off.

The baby must have fallen asleep half way through so I doubled back to the house for a cigar and a cuppa.

I went for the the El Ray del Mundo which translates to King of the world.  I chose this one because it looked like an afternoon kind of smoke and felt good in the hand.  Springy and ripe for smoking and one the wife got me.

It started off a bit tight but lit well.  Then, minutes later, a big runner down one side.  Runners are caused by veins in the wrapper and this one had a fairly big one running the length.  This runner then turned nasty, into what I believe is know as canoeing, with the cigar burning down one side and not the other.  I let the cigar rest until it was out then cut the burnt end off.  I then blew through the cigar to expel all smoke, which there was a lot of and then torched it up again.  I read that blowing out the old smoke is important so the taste is not ruined when relighting a cigar.

It's been on the go for 15 minutes now and looks and tastes fine, so not much damage done but it still has a bit of canoeing going on.  Oh well.  Shit happens.

Just as I thought the cigar had settled, it went out.  This time it suffered from tunneling, where the cigar burns quicker on the inside than the outside.  Another cut and clean and its going again but a shame that it's turning out to be a bit of a chore.

Happy Sabbatical to me - take 2

Last night was another bad one.  Pretty much every night over the past week has been a bad one. 

The poor baby has been sick for 10 days now, mostly with a cold but probably a virus on top of it.  He wakes up screaming around 4am every morning for up to 2 hours.

Last night though, I had enough.  I got him back to sleep 3 or 4 times, only for him to commence screaming as soon as I put him down.  A quick venting of anger from me and the wife took over.  A few minutes later and she had the baby asleep.  I'd like to think that I did all the hard work and she just finished of the job, but credit where credits due.

0745 hours and the doorbell belts out the Big Ben theme tune.  Please God no!! All I want to do is sleep!!

Special delivery said Mr. Postie. I brought the package up to the wife, seeing as it had her name on it, and handed it over.  She handed it straight back after showing me the "CGars" label on the back and said "happy April sabbatical".  Ah now, another surprise!  She's too good to me.  I deserve it though.

Another fantastic selection by the Missus.  I think they're all new to me and seeing as it's another sunny day, today's baby nap time will be enjoyed all the more.  Check it.

Bolivar Petit Belicosos Limited Edition 2009
El Rey del Mundo Choix Supreme cigars
H. Upmann Magnum 48 Limited Edition 2009
Hoyo de Monterrey Epicure No. 2 cigars
Partagas Serie P No. 2 cigars
Punch Churchills cigars
Romeo y Julieta Exhibition No. 4 cigars
Oliva Serie G - Maduro Robusto
Oliva Serie V - Belicoso
Quorum Robusto

Tuesday, 22 March 2011

It's not the Pox

Thankfully the baby didn't have the chicken pox, just a rash and a cold.  He's still not right but much better now thanks for asking.

To celebrate this fact, and the fact he was napping, and the fact the wife got me some new beers, and the fact it was a nice day, I sprang for a 2007 Romeo y Julietta Escudos EdiciĆ³n Limitada 2007.  A fine cigar for a fine day in the garden.  I also sprang for some of those new beers.

Two beers and a cigar later, the baby started to stir.  As it was nice and warm outside, I decided to let the boy have a play in the garden and also help me water the plants.  It was his first time to roam free.  Well kinda free.  The cat had to be watched as she was eyeballing the boy, waiting for her moment to strike.  Cats hate babies.  At least this cat hates babies, which stems from being poked in the eye by one shortly after joining us.

The cigar was very nice.  I enjoyed it which is the main thing but it's not worth the price paid, IMHO.  The beer was St. Peter's organic ale and very nice it was too.

Sunday, 20 March 2011

The day we whooped the English

Saturday started badly.  The boy had a rash and we thought chickenpox.  So as the wife was working, I was alone in bringing the boy down to A&E.  I was obviously worried about the little fella but also a bit worried that I might miss Ireland England game.  I set the sky box to record just in case.

By 2pm, myself and the boy were on our way home, chickenpox being the diagnosis by Dr. Dave.  This meant the Englishman Bloor, who was due to view the game at ours, would be staying away, which was a shame, as I knew we would whip 'em.

After we'd seen off the English once again (don't forget the cricket), and after I had sent text messages of commiserations to every Englishman I know, I went about choosing my celebratory cigar.  I decided upon a Nub Cameroon 460.  This is by far the best looking cigar I've come across, with it's lovely dark, rich Cameroon wrapper and flawless construction.  Not the most expensive of cigars so overall, pretty good value for money so a thumbs up from me.

The boy appeared to be on the mend by bedtime so overall the day went well.  It would've been a very different story had the Irish not absolutely thumped the English.

The background picture of the cigar shot is by Tom Lewis

Friday, 18 March 2011

Paddy's day 2011

This years Paddy's day, the first I've not had to work since moving to London, was not a day of rest, or a day of heavy drinking, but was instead, a day of baby minding and heavy gardening.

The cat has become a pest.  My own cat and her fancy cat boyfriend.  They've been using my garden as a toilet and in doing so, tearing up the soil and scattering it all over the place.  Enough was enough.  I took action and the pictures below say it all.

To celebrate St. Patrick's day,  I choose one of my favourite robustos, a Ramon Allones Specially Selected.  I've decided though that the next RASS will be left alone to age.  This one could have done with a few months or even a year in the humidor.

Anyway, the lovely wife got a load of Irish goodies delivered on Wednesday, most of which made their way into her office, but I still had Club orange, Nash' Red lemonade, bags of Taytos, Figrolls and Kimberlys biscuits (Plain and Choclate) to help me celebrate Paddy's day.

That evening, after dropping one of the brothers-in-law to Kings Cross, late, because I took the wrong route, (sorry about that) I got back to the house and enjoyed a couple of chilled bottles of St. Peters best bitter with the cigar.  A fine brew enjoyed while surveying my handiwork in the garden. FECK OFF CATS

It's been a busy week.  The boy has been sick and I slept for maybe 5 hours over Tuesday and Wednesday.  I thought I might get a bit of rest yesterday morning but the neighbour was having a tree down.  That means chainsaws and wood chippers.  At least they waited until near 10 before starting and the baby somehow managed to sleep through it.

One of the reasons I decided to stop the cat doing her do in the garden was down to baby Oliver Wilson

Monday, 14 March 2011

Saturday night at the Larkins

We spent Saturday at the Larkins who were celebrating a 1st birthday.  Lots of beer, champagne and wine was served throughout the day, in the lovely home of our favourite Anglo-Franco-American family and as it was a sleep-over, we got stuck in.

Who would have thought a birthday party for a 1 year old child would end with the hangover from hell.  I'm still feeling the effects two days later.

I forgot to bring the small box of cigars I had selected for the day, and so we had to head out for more.  Luckily, a local Oddbins off-license had a small humidor with a decent enough selection.  I went for a R&J Churchill, a Partagas No.4 and a Santa Damiana tubulares. 

All the cigars were good, especially the R&J which I saved for last. 

Thankfully the baby slept through the night and the spread of bacon the next morning was a life saver. 

I think I've had enough beer and cigars for one week, at least until Saturday afternoon, when Ireland beat England, again. 

Friday, 11 March 2011

All quiet on the baby front

At least for the moment.  

Today is the first day the family has been broken up.  The baby has been left for a half day at creche, his first day, the wife is at work, and I'm home alone.  I suppose I should be enjoying the free time.  So far I have.  A quick pint with Jim at lunchtime, a quick cycle home on the bike, and a nice cup of coffee in the garden.

The baby is due to be picked up at 4pm.  After that, I'll start the process of selecting this weekends cigars.  Which ones to smoke, which ones to leave a bit longer and which ones to leave well alone.

I'm in two minds.  I want to enjoy them, but I also want to keep them and let them age.  I suppose a bit of self restraint is in order.  But on the other hand, what if something bad was to happen and they got ruined and wasted...I'd be kicking myself. What to do, what to do.

Anyway, tomorrow is a big day.  We have a 1st birthday party to attend and Ireland take on Wales in Cardiff.  That deserves at least one decent smoke and maybe one average smoke.  I think I'll keep the really good cigars for the England game Saturday week.

Here's to a great weekend.

Thursday, 10 March 2011

The Three Stogies

Yesterday, Dan the man, Gearoid and Sean dressed up as Robin Hood, Maid Marian and Little John and went shooting arrows somewhere in deepest darkest Surrey.  Nobody was hurt, apart from Dan the man.  While playing Robin, he was shot in the leg from behind by Marian.  Little John was looking for his ipad at the time.

The Three Amigos had spent the previous day visiting Stonehenge, where they managed to pick up a couple Cuban cigars, or at least that's what the shopkeeper said.  No bands or labeling of any kind, and keeping with form, dry as a bone.

All we know is one has a Maduro wrapper and the other one doesn't.  Thanks again though for the effort boys.

Snap, Crackle and Pop are now making their way to the airport.  Fingers crossed they make their flight this time.

Tuesday, 8 March 2011

Nice day in the garden

The sun is out.  The baby is sleeping and I'm in the garden in my socks listening to the soothing sounds of a distant ambulance, an airplane on its approach to Heathrow and the dulcet tones of my cat snoring.

The postman arrived this morning with another nice little package for me.  The contents of which have since been deposited in my lovely humidor.  I think the humidor has enough now to keep it happy for at least a month.

I was just wondering, now that the ambulance has passed, and the plane has landed, how long the peace and quiet will last...not comes another ambulance, of the helicopter variety, doing a low slow sweep over my head on its approach to the Royal London, Whitechapel.  How that baby still sleeps, I don't know...better check the baby monitor is on...and here comes the cat, looking for food.  I'm not complaining though.  This is great.

5 x     Luis Martinez Hamilton Robusto
2 x     Don Antonio Tubed Robusto    
2 x     Charatan Corona
1 x     Trinidad Reyes cigars
1 x     Trinidad Coloniales cigars
1 x     Nub Cameroon 460
2 x     Travel humidors (1 free)

1 x  Cat

Sunday, 6 March 2011

The boys are back in town

The brother-in-law Gearoid, Dan the man and Sean rocked up today.  Dan and Gearoid managed to miss their flight, then booked another flight, which they also missed but luckily, they made it onto a plane at the third attempt. They nearly missed that one too.  Sean hadn't been out on the lash with them, so he managed to make it here OK.  They were all in bed by 9pm.

Gearoid brought some cigars with him,  Montecristo Puritos and Jose L Piedra Petit Cetros both in packs of 25 and both small although the Monte's looked very small.

The Cetros had been left unloved in the shop since 2008, outside of a humidor and are very brittle and dry.  I'm hoping a few months in the humidor will bring some life back into them.

I did smoke one of the Monte's.  When I first opened the box, I joked that I might have to tie them together to make a proper cigar...but after smoking one, I might just do that.  The smoke lasted around 5 or 6 minutes.  Not a lot going for it or much to say.  The only thing they might be good for is a quick smoke when out for a pint.

Big thanks to the B-I-L who does try and has brought me cigars on two occasions.  Shame they were dried up husks but that's not his fault.  I blame the airport shops.  It's not as if you can easily bring them back!

Link sent on by Dan the Man -  The boys Are Back In Town

Saturday, 5 March 2011

The day Bloor won at golf

Now, in my defence, I am nursing a bad back, a very bad back, and playing off 17, whereas the Bloorinator played off 33 today.  He's a man playing with a woman's handicap, but for some reason I can't remember, we let him away with it.   The final score was the ladyboy on 45 points, moi on 41 points and Roberto Pillario on 36 points.  Roberto was off 18.

Not bad all round as we haven't been out since October last but we suspect the big girls blouse has been having secret golf lessons over the winter.

Post golf cigar was a Charatan Churchill which was excellent.  This cigar was consistent throughout.  Mild but full of flavour, taking only a short while to get going.  At just under £10, I'll have to put a few quid aside for some more.
A tantric mandala, a wonderful gift from M&M, shares the first picture with the tubed Churchill.
The artwork in the second picture is by the very talented Irish artist April Lindsay.
The drink is a St. Peters Best Bitter, chilled. 

Thursday, 3 March 2011

We beat the English

If  you can't beat 'em join 'em.  Or so thought Ed Joyce and Eoin Morgan.  At least Ed Joyce now plays for Ireland, but that's only because he's not considered good enough for the England team anymore.  Either way, we beat them at their own game and what a nice feeling that is.

Not only did we beat them, we also chased the highest score in world cup history, hit the fastest 100 and hit the longest 6 of the tournament so far.

To celebrate this historic win, and to say thank you to my lovely wife who surprised me with a stunning gift earlier in the day, I picked up a fine bottle of Californian Zinfandel.  To accompany the Zin, a Juan Lopez Seleccion No 2.

A fine cigar for a fine wine.  Or so I thought.  I must admit to enjoying the wine a lot more than the cigar.  Not the worst cigar but certainly not the best.  A bit too spongy and a bit too harsh into the second half. 

I might have to treat myself to one of the better cigars in the humidor next.  But which one and when...hmm, some tough decisions ahead.

Wednesday, 2 March 2011

Happy Sabbatical to me

Day two started off nearly as bad as day one.  Child woke up at 3am, 4am, 5am, 5:45am.  All requiring visits to get him off to sleep again.  There were a few short screams here and there, which thankfully didn't require getting out of bed.

The wife was up for work and left me to sleep.  Then suddenly, the Big Ben theme tune.  I rush downstairs and there she is, once more signing for a package, but I wasn't expecting this one.  Get a load of this...

Cohiba Maduro 5
El Ray del Mundo Tainos 'Orchant Seleccion'
Romeo y Julietta Duke limited edition 2009
Romeo y Julieta Escudos limited edition 2007
Carlos Torano Robusto
Luis Martinez Silver selection
Charatan Churchill
Bolivar Royal Coronas tubed
Ramon Allones specially selected
Vegas Robaina Familiares
Matches and another cutter!

What a great present

Tuesday, 1 March 2011

Chinchalero Picadillos and a trip to the post office

The Chinchalero Picadillo is a new cigar for me, arriving fresh this morning.  At an online price of £2.99, and it being only Tuesday, I decided to give one a go.  Well, I did have a hard day.  Pushed the buggy all the way to the post office, forked out £235 for road tax, and got irritated by the muppets who wouldn't get out of my way. There's me, holding a door open with one hand, pulling the buggy with the other, and two women push past me without so much as a by-your-leave.  I shouted "your welcome!" in a most sarcastic voice.  A complete waste of breath.

Anyway, the Picadillo was a tidy well rolled little cigar, lasting around 30 minutes.  It tasted minty during the pre-draw.  The burn and smoke was good but not much flavour to it.  I'll definitely get a few more though.

I also got a couple of Chinchalero Torpeditos, so might bring one of those to golf on Saturday, if the weather looks good.  This is the first game of the year, so should be fun.  With any luck, Rob and Jim will be just as rusty.

First day on the new job

It was 6am before the apple of my eye finally dropped off, and so my first night on duty was a tough one.  Hopefully last night was a one off, and not a sign of whats to come over the next 3 months.  The wife must have been training him for the past year for last night.  He had 2 bottles down him, a drive in the car and some Teetha but he was still going strong, until exhaustion finally got the better of him. The poor next door neighbours were mooching all night, so guess they suffered just as much.

7:45am and the screams started again, but I blame the wife' alarm, that "beerp beerp beeerp" has to go.  Thankfully, she got him back off when my efforts failed. 

8:30am and the doorbell goes.  It does the Big Ben theme tune.  I jump out of bed and rush downstairs, as the wife is expecting a delivery but as I get there, she's already signing for it.

Thank you C.Gars Ltd for today' wonderful bounty.  The humidor is no longer bare.

Time for a coffee before the Kraken wakes...nope, too late.