A Gentleman's Pursuits
A gentleman is forever on a quest to learn, cultivate understanding and indulge in activities that would give him a memorable experience.
The modern man has lost a great deal of touch with the outdoors which makes him restless and irritable. One needs to break away from the usual routine of work and reconnect with nature which is good for the physical and mental well-being. That breath of fresh air rejuvenates oneself and leaving the work desk to break away and walking under the sun, sleeping under the stars and sitting around a campfire with company. Fine company is another requisite for a gentleman to enjoy a conversation, have a hearty laugh and share the experience that in the end would be a pleasant memory to be remembered.
Since time immemorial, the primary role of man in a family was to provide. This initially started out with food and shelter. For quite some time in history the food was provided for by hunting. Hunting was one exercise practised by various cultures when boys coming of age were initiated into manhood by showing their skill set in it. It often became a way to also bond with other men. It is quite different now when especially in a fast food restaurant, you are feasting on meat which may at times be in a processed form. This has led us to disconnect between man, food and his natural surroundings. Hunting is definitely not looked upon as a sustainable and humane sport due to the pain endured by the animals and further resulting in depleting numbers of endangered species. But that shouldn’t deprive a gentleman by taking up a shooting sport and becoming a marksman. The point of practising marksmanship is to maintain the balance of sheer concentration with a steady hand. There are shooting clubs or ranges that would allow one to practise and sharpen their shooting skills with handgun and rifle shooting in a shooting range. The joy of enjoying the sport comes when a day shooting trip with peers is arranged and clay pigeon shooting is pursued with them. The sheer elegance and experience of connecting with your peers, dressed in a shooting jacket, out and about in the outdoors indulging in the sport remains unmatched.
After an enjoyable excursion of practising marksmanship, the best way to relax for the rest of the evening with fine company is with a drink in one hand and a cigar in the other.
Drinking / Cigar Smoking
It is quite easy to walk into a liquor store and just picking up a bottle for the night with the intent of getting drunk. A connoisseur is one who enjoys going through whisky tasting sessions, using the nose to sniff the different notes and layers every beverage would have. The joy comes in learning the journey of whisky from the cask in the distillery to the glass in hand. The effect of different regions, different ageing procedures to the induced flavours in the cask with the sniffing notes makes for quite a deep understanding and often takes years to master and know completely. It is only when a person takes a deep dive into the sea of knowledge would he be able to delve in its enjoyment.
Smoking a cigar is quite different than smoking a cigarette. Usually people who smoke cigarettes are habitual smokers feeling the urge to smoke quite a couple in a day. Smoking a cigar is an indulgence when you set aside some time for yourself or in fine company understanding the nuances of the tobacco leaf along with its draw and combustion. Depending on ones palate, one can go for light, medium or full bodied cigars. The joy is in understanding the subtleties in taste, texture and understand how the ingredients influence that entire experience. This knowledge can heighten the pleasurable effect only because now a person does it after trying to gather the knowledge of his senses after experiencing it. It also allows to mingle with other aficionados who share the interest leading to healthy exchange of thoughts, ideas and experiences.
Pairing of whiskeys and cigars is another indulgent joy that one can delve into understanding it all.
Now a person has to understand their palate knowing how to pair the two that can give them a pleasurable experience when wanting to retire after a day of work.
The experience becomes even more memorable when one takes the effort to dress aptly for the occasion. Cigar evenings with drinks make it an apt setting to wear a smoking jacket. Smoking jackets are usually crafted in velvets or a textured fabric with a velvet or satin lapel.
Leading figures have worn smoking jacket on screen and off screen notably Cary Grant, Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and the infamous Hugh Hefner. The great Fred Astaire was known to be buried in his smoking jacket.
After a memorable day in fine company of others, a true gentleman would only seek pleasure by spending quality time with his lady, perhaps by going riding at first light over the green hills.
Going riding with your lady was considered one of the most enjoyable activities indulged in by gentlemen in the 19th century and is still considered as one in many places including Scotland and Northern England. However, proper etiquette was of utmost importance when a gentleman escorted his lady on a horse-back.
First and foremost, a gentleman was to be punctual and then ensure everything about the horse was proper. A gentleman is to arrive at the appointed hour and not keep his lady waiting for him clad in her riding costume. It is furthermore his duty to see that his lady’s horse was a proper one, one that she could readily manage which was done by personally checking her saddle and bridle to ensure they were secure.
After this was done, the gentleman should help the lady mount her horse and give her the reins in her hand before mounting his own horse and ask for permission to begin the ride. The gentleman is to always ride on the lady’s right side and never in advance of the lady’s horse. Rather slightly in the rear yet close enough to allow your lady to talk and appreciate the beauty of nature that you both experience during the ride. It is the gentleman’s duty to let his lady determine the pace and point out objects of interest or reference any particular beauty of the landscape which may have escaped her notice to make the ride as pleasurable as possible for her.
Doing this regularly in your checkered riding jacket with breaches will be immensely fulfilling as nothing gives more pleasure to a true gentleman than to see that he has been successful at making his lady’s day enjoyable and making her special and cared for in your company.