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Picture of Doodle - a 
black cat

Welcome to Doodlecat, where we enjoy the pleasures of life (with a slight bias towards the outdoors). This page is regularly updated with news and views plus information about any additions or changes to the various parts of the site. It acts as Doodlecat’s Blog too, so the odd rant considered opinion may pop up from time to time.

I would love to be able to say that Doodlecat is all my own work, but it isn’t. Much of the outdoors content is courtesy of the splendid people who participate in the annual TGO Challenge (there is a section entirely devoted to this unique event) and many others.

To help in tracking down that elusive morsel on Doodlecat, the search facility under the title bar above is tailored to help you find it, either on this home page (Doodlecat's Blog) all the rest of the site (Main Site) or – if all else fails - the internet!

So have a rummage around the old cat basket and enjoy your time with us!

Sunday, March 1, 2009

The Meerkat has eaten my pants...

... yes, it's more from pieman, raconteur and inventor of virtual trousers, Mike Knipe, as he invites us to join him for anther walk in the continuing Howgills series of walks over in Random Doodles. The March walk takes in Tebay, Blease Fell, Uldale Head, Docker Knott and Uldale.

Mike and I have a fifties childhood in common - and we're both ex-smokers. This month Mike's preamble evokes the nostalgia of those days, and I was wafted back to my smoking days.

Woodbine cigarette packetI remember graduating from Players No 6 and Woodbines to Three Castles and thence to the exotica of Passing Clouds, Sobranie Black Russian and Turkish Ovals. When our school threatened direst punishment and possible expulsion for any boy caught with cigarettes, I quit cigarettes for a while. Instead I built up a collection of pipes ranging from a simple clay to a rather fine long stemmed 'churchwarden' briar. I still have a nice Peterson which retains its aromas of Three Nuns, Balkan Sobranie and the special mixtures from Bacons of Cambridge.
Sobranie tobacco tin
Bacons was a temple to the fragrant weed with cases of exotic cigarettes, racks of pipes, humidors stuffed with the finest cigars and shelves full of tobacco jars, some with Bacons own mixtures to buy 'off the shelf', some with the ingredients for you to create your own special blend. And the smell ... just wonderful...

Bacons closed back in 1983, as rents started to rise and smoking, at least at the top end of the market, began to decline. The shop is still there on the corner of Rose Crescent and the Market Square. It's now a branch of French Connection, but I am delighted to see that the large bronze plaque bearing "Calverley's Ode to Tobacco" is still on the wall.

I think I would have liked Calverley. He had no time for the preaching health police. So maybe, from time to time, I will get out the old Peterson, a fine cigar or a packet of top quality cigarettes so that at the right time and in the right place out on the hill I can sit down, stare into space, and enjoy a smoke.

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Blogger mike knipe said...

And I curse myself for the life I've lead
And roll myself a harry rag and put myself to bed.

Ray Davies.

I'm over it now.

March 4, 2009 at 9:37 AM  
Blogger Andy Howell said...

That's good !

March 7, 2009 at 5:17 PM  

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