Smoke a (Special) Cigar

Dad & Mum

Dad & Mum

I am usually a staunch anti-smoker, and always have been. It killed my grandfather. This wasn’t technically on my list, but seeing it on Michele with one L’s: ‘Probably not going to happenlist, made me think that I should add it retrospectively. So here is the reason why an anti-smoking female decided to smoke (of all things) a cigar:

My Dad (Graham) loved his cigars! My mum was forever telling him off for smoking them as he had throat polyps that he kept having to have operated on-so the doctors had asked him to refrain. This resulted in his fibbing whenever she found a stash of cigars, and saying that they were Pedro’s. Pedro was my Dad’s long-standing closest friend and business colleague.

It became a standing joke in our family. My father frequently used to travel to the European continent and often came home with 50 duty-free cigars! On one such occasion, Pedro had showed up for a visit when Mum discovered my father’s stash, so she presented the whole lot to Pedro with a mischievous twinkle in her eye as she announced

Pedro I believe these are yours, please take them and don’t tempt Graham with them. The doctor says he mustn’t smoke.

I’m pretty sure he would just have returned them back to Dad as soon as her back was turned, but it became a sort of ‘game’ in our house between them. There was never any malice, it was really just silly point scoring.

Dad and Pedro up to their goofy tricks behind my Mum

Dad and Pedro up to their goofy tricks behind my Mum

Colonel John "Hannibal" Smith  from The A Team, smoking a cigar

Colonel John “Hannibal” Smith from The A Team, smoking a cigar

At the age of 19, soon after I had got my first car, I spotted my Dad’s car ahead of me on a motorway (freeway) about 45 minutes from where we lived. I remember drawing alongside him, and laughing as I had caught him in the act smoking the biggest, fattest cigar I had ever seen. He was a larger than life man and he had the fat cigar between his teeth like Hannibal from The A Team and was periodically puffing…

I tooted my horn, so that he would spot me, and he panicked like a guilty criminal caught in the act. In that split second he let the cigar drop from his mouth and tried to look innocent-clearly hoping I hadn’t noticed yet… But, he quickly had to fish the burning cigar back up, as it must have fallen into his crotch and burned him in a place no man needs to be burned!

I have never laughed so hard in my life! I winked at him and drove on… I think I teased him later about smoking one of Pedro’s cigars, and said Pedro would surely miss that one!

When Dad passed away suddenly, we had to organise his affairs. Dad owned a Jaguar X type car, with a leather interior (which I inherited and love driving). I remember clearing his car out that weekend, as he had left a sack of potatoes in the boot of the car, which I didn’t want sprouting, and there was a pungent aroma of cigars in there. We found ‘Pedro’s cigars’ in the glove box compartment.

Me smoking a Dad's Cigar

My beautiful sister in law, the only bride I've seen smoking a fat cigar in her wedding gown

My beautiful sister in law, the only bride I’ve seen smoking a fat cigar in her wedding gown

At my brother and sister-in-law’s wedding in Cyprus 2 months later, my brother pulled out ‘Pedro’s’ box of cigars and said he would like us to smoke one of them to celebrate their wedding and take a moment to remember Dad. It made us smile fondly, and brought back some great memories of the playful banter between our parents. It was the first and last time I shall ever smoke a cigar. We even took pictures to immortalise the moment. I think my sister-in-law is the only bride I have ever seen posing whilst smoking a massive cigar!

As an aside, the smell of Dad’s cigars lingered in the car for months, and despite not liking that whilst he was alive, once he was gone, and I inherited the car-I found it very comforting, and was actually quite sad when the aroma finally faded away.

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Categories: Bucket List Item Achieved, Other Experience Goals


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14 Comments on “Smoke a (Special) Cigar”

  1. Daniella Challinor-Pettit
    February 2, 2013 at 1:39 pm #

    Fabulous, I smoked one on my wedding day in Mexico 2008, I had smoked for years and years but finally gave up 1 month before I got married. My Cuban Cigar was the very last thing that I ever smoked 🙂 xxxx

    • February 2, 2013 at 5:36 pm #

      Thanks Danni! Did you have a picture taken of you in your wedding gown with the cigar?

      Was there a special reason behind yours too?

  2. Anonymous
    February 2, 2013 at 4:24 pm #

    Your other dad liked the odd cigar too Emma…lovely story and great pics!! xxx

    • February 2, 2013 at 5:27 pm #

      Yes He did… He preferred the little Café Créme cigars and didn’t have Mum to nag him to stop! Hehe.

      Miss them both terribly!

  3. February 4, 2013 at 6:04 pm #

    now, that’s a reason to smoke one cigar. what a great memory.

    • February 4, 2013 at 9:14 pm #

      Thanks Michele! It made me smile when I thought of it-so thank you 😀

  4. February 4, 2013 at 7:29 pm #

    I am totally a non smoker too….but it seems like it was the right moment for a great memory! Sorry to hear your dad left so suddenly. He sounds like he had a great sense of humour!

    • February 4, 2013 at 9:17 pm #

      He did Anita! He had an amazing, fun, witty, sharp sense of humour and was a real practical joker!

      Both my Dads were very funny and good hearted. Miss them terribly, but its wonderful to smile at fond memories. Time is healing the pain and its easier to smile when I think about them instead of feeling sadness.

      Thanks for the comment x

  5. February 4, 2013 at 8:49 pm #

    It sounds like a great thing to add to your bucket list! So many memories wrapped up in it and I love the photos. Thanks for sharing this. 🙂
    I love a good cigar now and again, though I only smoke a few times a year. I love the smell of them and they always make me think of my dad too (he can’t smoke anymore because of some lung complications). It’s become a tradition to smoke a cigar when I get to see my brothers now.

    • February 4, 2013 at 9:18 pm #

      I love silly family traditions; though I have to confess to not massively enjoying the cigar I tried if I’m honest.

      Thank you for sharing

  6. February 5, 2013 at 1:35 pm #

    Emma, you look so much like your mum – she’s beautiful too! This seems like a lovely way to remember your dad, and as a one-off it’s totally fine 🙂 xx

    • February 6, 2013 at 10:07 am #

      Ah bless you! Thanks Jen. I look a lot like the women on (Nick) Dad’s side of my family too (that’s the blonde side). Yeah, it was a fond memory.

      Thanks for commenting x

  7. AT
    February 20, 2013 at 11:16 am #

    Hi Emma,

    I came across your blog the other day and I must say, very inspirational.

    I too am looking to ‘kick’ my bucket list but don’t know where to start my research or book my experiences and trips!

    My bucket list ranges from trying new foods to new travels and others.

    Any tips on best approach to researching and fulfilling the bucket list?

    Much appreciated and best of luck in fulfilling yours.

    Kind regards,


  8. Tickateeboo
    March 16, 2013 at 12:27 pm #

    I am also a staunch anti-smoker but had a puff of my father-in-law’s pipe a few Christmases ago. I nearly coughed up a lung…everyone seemed to find it very hilarious!

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