I live at home.
And one of the chiefest parts of my home that comforts me is my fireplace. If that sounds all retro and folksy and twee, I don’t care – it is true. I love sitting at my own fire.
You can laugh at this even more when you realise that my fire is just a gas heater that plugs into a delivery line in the wall. No vast Tudor fireplace with hanging pots and blazing logs – just a Rinnai heater on a hose. But it means that I have a secure hearth in front of which I can sit with my feet up on an ottoman.
I choose to do this with refreshment on a table beside me and a book in my hand. The former may be coffee or tea or it may be stronger waters. There may be biscuits and cheese. The latter may be anything that my library affords…and my library affords a great deal. I do not use the public one as I prefer to own my own books, but I recognise the good work they do.
Occasionally I will turn on the hi-fi in the room and let the music flow over me as I sit – though a peculiarity in me means that I cannot read and listen to music at the same time – neither of the stimuli get the attention they deserve. One or the other.
But it all comes back to the comfort, security, and ease of that hearth. In the Australian summer the heater is cold and the air conditioner takes over to comfort and console.