Singin’ – And Smokin’ – In The Rain…
There’s nothing like a cigar on a rainy day.
Despite the fact that in this sceptred isle, we get more than our fair share of the soggy stuff, we still feel put out when we throw back the curtains of a morning.
You’d have thought we’d have learned by now. But we still expect cheeping birdies, fluffy pillows of cumulus cloud, a smiling sun and glory all around.
More usually we get squally rain, sky the colour of an elephant’s backside and such a depressing mien across the rain-slicked pavements that we wish we were back in bed.
The trick is to offer up a reward to the brain. Tell the grey matter; ‘if I get up, refuse to be grumpy, do a couple of jobs I’ve been putting off and generally make myself useful – why, I’ll break out that Nicaraguan Matagalpa special blend coffee I’ve been hoarding and have a refreshing roasted cup for elevenses!’
Promise yourself something tasty for lunch too. A handful of salted, lightly oiled, fresh Mediterranean Sardines or a greasy, multi-layered brioche-wrapped burger, whichever tickles your fancy. The key thing is to make it something your brain will like. And you have the upper hand in the game here; you know what your brain likes.
After a delicious luncheon then – and who knows, maybe a short siesta, if you’re able – throw yourself into another couple of hours of solid, useful work. And, as the rain patters down outside and the grey of morning turns into the grey of afternoon – promise yourself a cigar.
This is the pièce de résistance; the culmination of your day and the biggest reward, so make one final large push for the line and really try and achieve something useful; perhaps write a letter you’ve been putting off; finish that essay, crunch those numbers, ring your accountant or count your paperclips. Whatever it is, make it a good one and don’t stop for anything until you’ve done it.
You’ll finish it faster – and better – than you thought possible with the lure of a carefully created, handrolled beauty. Allow your mind to spend a minute or two dwelling on what it might be. And go wild. Select something you haven’t had before. Grab for a Romeo y Juliet Cazadores, or opt for a size you normally don’t smoke, like a Montecristo Edmundo or a Bolivar Petit Corona. Whatever it is, go outside the box and reward yourself with an intriguing and unexpected cigar. This is how you broaden your horizons and expand your mind. And it makes you get stuff done.
Now, work completed, take time to gaze lovingly at your prize. Find a comfortable chair and a suitable beverage. Switch off your phone, turn off the computer. Spend some minutes, clipping and gently lighting your cigar. And give it all your attention. This is living in the moment. These days, they call this Mindfulness.
And if you follow the above instructions, you’ll feel good about the work you’ve done and good about the cigar you’ve chosen and good about life in general. Watch the rain drops run down the window and reflect on how a great cigar encourages you to take stock and be thankful.
You’ll even be forgiven for hoping that it’s raining come Monday morning.