Rural Life: Fireside

It’s gotta be bad outside when even the dog’s reluctant to go out. The gale is driving sleet and rain across the fields and stretching the electric and phone cables to their utmost limit. It’s screaming through the poplar tree and sweeping gulls over the house like blown bags.

And just when we need it most the boiler’s kaput! But we are SO lucky in this cottage to still have an open fire.

The fire was the most festive of the festivities over Christmas, absolute luxury through all that snow to have it on as well as the heating. And during a long power cut we gathered all together in front of it – no, not through family unity, but because it was the only warm place in this quarry tiled house and the teenagers couldn’t use the technology in their rooms. But even they said afterwards how nice it was!

And here we are again, cuddled by its side like to an old friend. Listening to its flickering music over the roar outside, appreciating its heat and light show far more avidly than you ever do a radiator or re-runs of Friends. And I can see how, like with all the natural elements, it draws us to it as we are drawn to a candle flame or a waterfall with a need we cannot live without.

Meanwhile the sleet still slides down the gale stricken panes, the tree’s leaning over at an alarming angle and I don’t know quite how I’m going to break the bad news to the dog!


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