I always wanted one of these. Obviously that isn’t true. I wanted one since about oh, I don’t know. More than fifteen years. It’s a thing called a Kelly Kettle. You pull out the cork and pour water in. The bottom bit you put some old newspaper in, or pine cones, or driftwood, or anything you like, and light it. The flames go up the chimney in the middle because that’s all this is, really. A chimney, with the water held around it.
One part of the Saturday Financial Times is enough to boil about one and a half litres of water in less than five minutes, which is about the best use I can make of a Special Report on Khazakstan, however it’s spelled. I take the kettle to beach so I can sit and very Englishly drink fresh tea while I read a book in the sun. Is it a survivalist thing? Well, only if survivalists are quite well organised. Which I suppose they’d have to be or they wouldn’t. And only if they like tea, of course, so not Murican ones.
It’s not very glamorous. I used to have fantasies about taking one fly fishing, but given that yet again I haven’t done any this year as the nearest fly water is 200 miles away and I am definitely not fishing in a pond to torture fish by keeping on catching them and putting them back, it looks as if I probably won’t be doing any this year. But I can still drink tea.
It’s not the kind of behaviour you’d look for on a beach on the Riviera, except the Cornish one, but I’ve been to the real one before. But it fits where I live and part of me now. And I like this small part of me, quite a lot.