Helen’s fiery cravings

It’s been so long since I’ve had a cigarette, I thought I’d never again stand around outside trying to light something in the cold, wind and rain. I was wrong. I’ve recently built a fire pit, for obvious Lockdown reasons. It’s great, just a square of bricks with a big terracotta tile at the base. The red brick against the gravel is classy yet reclaimed, symmetrical but folksy, urban yet antiquated.

The problem was the fire. Yes, my bubble had fun on Halloween with sparklers, hot chocolate, slightly-more-expensive-than-usual wine (where else can we spend money on booze other than the off licence?). But the billowing acrid smoke coming from this failed girl-guide’s blaze was really unpleasant. My self-seasoned wood from a lopped tree wouldn’t do apparently. A google search revealed we are supposed to invest in 20% moisture kiln-dried birch… Hey ho. But maybe I’ll stick with my own self-seasoned, polluting inferno. It was as if I’d smoked 20 Benson and Hedges by the end of the evening, so at least I felt like I’d had that cigarette I’ve been craving since Lockdown began… Helen Kelly

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