The therapeutic value of a fire

I’m sure somewhere deep in our DNA it is a memory of sitting round a fire on a cold night dressed only in animal skins and keeping the fire bright and lively to keep away wild animals.

I have always had this thing about fire though I recall in my life one or two fires went a little bit beyond their remit and I set fire to something that I shouldn’t have done. It is amazing how quickly fires spread and how quickly they heat up, so literally within a minute you could be standing there trying to get the flames going and in a very short time the fire is to close to approach. It is the right combination of wind and dryness of the material and the combustibility of it. Wood that has been drying for week without rain is as we would say dry as tender and whoosh, up it goes.

I should have done a ‘before and after’ picture but if you can imagine the scene above pretty much stacked full with branches at 6 PM when I started; at 8 PM there was nothing left but ashes. I go into some sort of timeless zone where the world is good and everything is fine and safe. Slow motion therapy if ever there was one.

In winter we have a very fine little stove called a Squirrel which belts out heat with the aid of a bimetallic strip fan. You can of course do the same thing with central heating but sitting in front of radiator doesn’t have the same magic, it does not stir memories, it’s not something you can see little castles and men running around and anything you can think of. The i radiator is justhot metal, how boring is that.

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