"There's something special about the log fire.
I like the smell of it.
I like its companionable ways, how it flares and flickers like a conversation, animating the room."
Katherine Swift in The Morville Hours: The Story of A Garden.
I have found a book that my heart loves. I wasn't going to write about it, because it's in my sidebar, but I am so enjoying it that I just have to. It was a slow start - I nearly gave up. She starts the book with alot of Anglo-Saxon history and Roman catholic rites and rituals that are woven through English history. They are interesting in their own way, but a little dry at the beginning, but I do love the way that the author goes right back to the beginning of England and traces the history of her county, village, house and garden. I am two hours into it (as I don't get time for curling up by the fire with a good book these days I mostly use audible), and I'm hooked. I have a funny feeling that this is going to get added to my list of favourite books.
There's a delicious slowness about this book - about the story of her garden, her house, her life and the lives of the villagers and the people she knows and the people who have lived in her house. This is no romantic thriller, or on-the-edge of your seat book, but a beautiful, slow, romantic dance through an English garden. It's a celebration of the seasons, of nature, of history, of human creativity. A musing on the great privilege of drawing breath, living, seeking, meeting, creating. It's a book about beauty. And that's what I like about it - in a world where there is chaos, evil, indifference and harsh assaults on our very senses, this book reminds you of the good, the romantic, the lovely, of things worthwhile.
I've been reading today in the Morville Hours about the delights of winter. I am a winter lover too.
I love the way winter draws you in to the small cosy world of your four walls - it makes you feel safe and wrapped up in warmth while the winds and rain and snow batters at your door and lashes against the windows.
Part of the joy of winter for me is having a real log fire. The flickering of the orange flames, the dying embers, the crackling of the wood and the unrivaled warmth and embrace that comes with a real, proper fire.
Remembering when I was small and getting dressed by the large open fireplace after a bath. I can still smell that woody, winter aroma as the sparks flew and the wood crackled. I'm glad that my children will have that memory too and the memory of sitting by the fire having stories read to them before bedtime.