What a weekend!!
For those who were there, you *know* how good it was. For those who were
unable to make it, boy... did you miss a great time.
First and foremost a massive thanks to Andy Connew for hosting us and
sharing the contents of his 'dor so freely. Thanks very much, Andy.
Andy Wright drove from Leeds at 11.00 pm Friday night, picking me up in
Chelmsford around 1.30am. We drove in the "Herfmobile" through the
night, crossing Dartmoor and Bodmin Moor as dawn rose. An appropriate time to
be herfing the first of many, a Punch Punch. That lasted until just north of
Truro, when we tried a Partagas Lisitania. That monster took us all the way
into a just-coming-to-life Falmouth. We had a wander through the streets,
deserted save for a few delivery vehicles and Festival staff begining to
prepare for the crowds arriving for the Tall Ships events. We drove to the
headland to take a picture of the vista for the unlucky ones who were not there
and apart from a few hardy campers we only met one other person, some poor chap
who'd lost his dog. Andy posed on the Herfmobile for the picture that appears
on the web page as we enjoyed the the Lucy's. McDonalds next.
One Quick Breakfast later it's round to Andy C's for the intros. We did the
decent thing and let him lie in - 'till 7.00. Andy and his wife Georgie
welcomed us with open arms and black coffee. We chatted, herfed, chatted some
more, then finally finished off the Lucys'. Andy gave us the first of many
gifts, in this case a LGC Wavell. Wonderful! We sent a few pictures off to Paul
Dixon to add to the web page and then a quick 40 winks before going to meet
Steven at the station.
First hiccup, Truro station had 20,000 people waiting to get to Falmouth, so
Steven was running an hour late. Just time for a beer, then. Couple of beers
later its now time to go back for Steven, who turned up on the later train
looking none too happy with our train service!
So it's back to the pub, via Andy's so Steve can drop his stuff off and
allow Andy to ply him with samples, for a few more beers before the Red Arrows
performed their display over the bay. We meet some of Andy's friends who will
join us later, Chris, Heather and John. Andy Steven and I are on a H de M
Governor in Maduro now. Another untried one and really good too.
As the Governor is allowed a dignified end so we light up a LGC Torp.
Another great smoke, and I'm really begining to wonder why the Americans crave
Havanas quite so much!
At dinner we meet up with Julian and Rowena de Sola Pinto. Julian's family
used to own Robert Lewis, before selling out to Fox's a few years ago. He tells
some great stories!! (The kind it's really better not to put into print.)
Dinner, good friends and a good cigar - in this case the fabled Opux X, yet
again from Andy's 'dor. At the end of dinner Julian gives the three of us (Me,
Steve and Andy W) a 1975 Upmann Lonsdale from his own collection. Save that for
another time, I think!
We returned to the town centre to stroll through the crowds near the harbour
and get nearer to the ships. An Astral kept the mood going as we walked. Last
orders at a Quayside bar, met Roger Taylor in a "who the hell are
you?" sort-of-way. (He and his 9ft minder were at the bar with me, so I'm
Seem to remember being entertained by local girls (not our local
girls but jolly nice ones anyway!) relieving themselves of the party spirit
as we walked back to the cars. Smoked something else on the way home which I
really can't remember. Probably a cigar.
2.00am on Andy's porch/patio and the three tourists are comparing notes
Andy W and I have smoked eight each in the 27 hours we've been going,
however, Steven has also smoked eight, but in only 12 hours! There is some talk
as to whether whiffs count, but we agree to allow them. So with ravaged
throats, dreary eyes and flagging bodies we.... yup, light up another one!! For
Andy and I it's a Monte 2, for Steve it's a LGC I think. I start typing up the
web page stuff to mail over to Paul, but give up after taking 10 minutes to
type a dozen words. We do manage to load the pictures down from Andy's digital
We finally give up at 3.15ish and head for bed. Steven then keeps me awake
for hours by insisting on talking to me. (Sorry Steve ;-) )
Sunday morning. Toast and coffee on the patio. NO CIGARS!!
We head into town to see the ships set sail, and it seems to be
appropriate that we start with a LGC Minuto Maduro. Very tight draw, but worth
persevering with for the taste. Follow that with a Fuente Double Chateau. Very
mild, in fact a bit too mild for me, especially after a dozen stogies in just
over a day. Beer's good though.
Drop Steve at the station to begin his journey home, and the rest of us head
to the pub for lunch. Fabulous scenery, I'm in love ;-) Light a Mexican
Conquistador in honour of the Mexican boat leading the Tall Ships race for the
first few seconds. Watch a bit of the race on telly at the pub. Coffee and the
Conquistador were perfect. In fact the perfect end to a perfect weekend,
because Andy and I soon had to fire up the Herfmobile for the long journey
We bade fond farewells to Andy and Georgie, and headed up the A30
Trouble free journey all the way, but we were really herfed out by now, but
felt in true HITS spirit we had to have "just one more". The final
herf of HITS, for us anyway, was a RyJ Churchill for me and a Punch Punch for
him which lasted from Swindon to Chelmsford. A fitting finale to a really,
really good time.