The Journal is an online collection of articles and essays written and curated by writer & photographer Thomas W Coombs, published bi-annually.

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Issue 33; In Smoke We Trust

Weekends are a thing I have always held precious, the time spent with family and friends, not to be held by the call of work, demanding your time over and over again.  Weekends can involve an activity like hiking, drinks or relaxing with Netflix or catching up on the classic books you have never read.  No matter what your weekends are like, they are a time out.  And what better way than a cigar.

I was a smoker of cigarettes for many years, now five years since I quit, but there is something about a cigar that I found after a trip to the Dominican Republic which has shaped my cigar habit.  For the two weeks of my holiday I enjoyed a certain cigar infused with vanilla in the wrapping, it made it sweet in the mouth.  Mixing with the woody smoke taste a delight unlike the acrid cigarette smoke or dry Hamlet cigars.

Many call the style of cigars Cuban, they come in various sizes of length and thickness, but not all are from Cuba, I still buy a Dominican Republic cigar which has some vanilla within it.  It reminds me of that holiday every time I smoke one.  The other reason is who doesn’t want to say they have a well stocked Humidor, that bit of luxury seen on films for generations, the wooden cabinet on desks or on the side of cocktail bars.  It is a luxury one I am happy to have, I do not smoke daily, not even weekly.  During the summer when I am sat in the garden with a Negroni in hand then I may light one up, sit back, sip and smoke for minute.  Taking that time to unwind and relax, enjoying the moment and life should be about enjoying moments.

My cigar of choice is the blonde Leon Jimenes Petit Corona made in the La Aurora cigar factory in the Dominican Republic, they are smaller than many cigars at only four inches with a gauge of thirty eight, this is my perfect ratio.  I don’t need to puffing away in a thick cloud for hours.  It is a time away not a task that takes up the day.

I am not advocating smoking, I not saying that you should take up cigar smoking for the sake of it, do not buy them just to look after.  I think this about wine, they are there to be drank not hoarded away.

And as it is Friday, it will soon be time to sit back and light one up.