Oct Knotts Landing

Autumn, as the poet said is: 'the season of mellow fruitfulness'. For Helen Knott, it's the chance to relive her misspent youth and set fire to stuff...

A fire pit is one of those little luxuries that you never knew you needed. There is nothing like a real fire with logs and marshmallows, crumpets and mulled wine.

I've made fire pits on beaches around the country and dodged the flying shards of hot flint that come flying out of them. I've made fire pits on campsites and dodged the bamboo sticks poked into them by excited children. I've never had a fire pit at home though. That changed recently. A Swedish fire pit has arrived in my back garden. It's a stainless steel monolith at first, but then the lid comes off and you fill it with logs and make fire! Those useful Swedes have ensured there is a grill top for it so you can mull your wine and toast anything that comes to hand without burning it!

Fire PitIt's all very sanitised and 21st century though. There is a bit of me that longs to stick a giant hunk of meat on a spit and roast it over a fire. You can buy spits that you have to sit all day and turn but I imagine the feast you have at the end of that day is amazing. There's something primal about a big hunt of meat over a fire and it stirs my inner Wilma Flintstone. That said, I can probably live without it. I came home from a long trip recently and when I walked into the house I was immediately drawn through and out into the garden by the dancing flames. It was lit and waiting for me, there was hot chocolate and crumpets and it was perfect. Instead of staring at the television I stared into the fire like my cave dwelling ancestors and it was properly magical. Whether I still feel that way in the depths of winter when the ice is forming I don't know, but I do know that a day without fire is a day wasted.                                            

Helen Knott.