Heart warming cigar herf in Halifax: From solo smoker to social butterfly
Since the start of the COVID 19 pandemic and all that entailed, my cigar smoking habits have changed dramatically. Pre-Covid, during the working week I would interact with so many different people on such an intense and constant level that by the time I got home on a Friday evening, all I wanted to do was sit quietly and have some time to myself. The last thing I wanted was to join a herf and smoke with other people. This was the routine for many a year until the end of March 2020 when the UK went into its first lockdown.
After that, all in-person social interactions were taken away from me. Whilst this was absolute bliss for the first few weeks, I soon started to miss the face-to-face conversations that had been part of my everyday life. It was at this time that I started to turn to social media to fill the void. Before long I was starting to smoke with other people.
This grew from one-to-one interactions to larger scale virtual gatherings, also known as herfs. These ranged from informal social gatherings to more formal tasting events. I started to join cigar clubs like Cigar Club LDN, Womens International Cigar Club and the UK chapter of the AshHoles and thus I started taking a more active role in the cigar community.
As the restrictions here in the UK finally started to be relaxed, and progressively larger groups were allowed to meet up outside, I finally took the plunge and began attending the occasional in-person meet-ups. At my first herf, there were only six of us smoking, all women, and a couple of non-smoking partners. Having thoroughly enjoyed myself at that one, it wasn’t long before I found myself in Central London for further in-person herf events. Each cigar event that I attended was slightly larger than the previous one as people became more used to socialising again.
Fast forward to the middle of May 2022 and I am invited by my friend Andy Garrett to my biggest in person herf yet – the Halifax Herf. As I had become close virtual friends with a good number of people who lived in that part of the country, I took the opportunity to return to my old university stomping ground and take part in the largest herf I had ever been part of. I was a little bit nervous about being in such a large group of people, but I needn’t have worried. The sun shone for the entire day and just about everyone who was at the event was so friendly and welcoming.
I had the pleasure of meeting up and chatting with fellow cigar YouTubers Usman Dawood from Cigar Rants and Des Hammond of The Cigar Cabin, as well as being able to catch up with old friends and some of my own followers from Instagram and various other social media outlets. Also happening on the day was one of the UK heats of the Cigar Smoking World Championship, organised by my good friend Sarah Saunders, who persuaded me to take part.
Overall it was an amazing day and the event was still going strong when I had to take my leave mid evening. I also took the opportunity to film the inaugural episode of “Pandora Out of Her Box” – a video series that I am hoping to continue on my Rumble channel where I lift the lid on cigar life out and about.
If you would like to see more of the Halifax Herf and learn a bit more about the Cigar Smoking World Championships, check out the video below.
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