I am fascinated watching the movements of a candle flame in a gentle breeze or the myriad colours that sparkle and glitter in the depths of a large fire. How in the beginning a fire is so weak that you need to coax it into life, but at the height of it’s power you can barely control it, let alone extinguish it. The sound a big fire makes is like a constantly changing harmony, the crackling and hissing are counter pointed by the rushing sound as the wind feeds the flames.

Although I am beginning to sound like the mad arsonist in Backdraft who talks about the fire as a living thing. I can see his point; a powerful force that we use daily in controlled situations, a dangerous entity that we struggle to destroy if we lose that control. People have rarely understood my affinity for flames, my parents got used to me coming home smelling of sulphur and wood smoke but could never comprehend it. If I had not become so deeply interested in computers at such an early age I would probably be a firestarter today!

Although this node has an inflammatory title I no longer dream of setting fire to things. In the past I played around with the idea of burning down my school, college, work place or the local McDonalds. Sometimes I just talked about it with a far away look in my eyes and worried the hell out of my friends. I used to wear a t-shirt with the slogan:

Factories don’t burn down by themselves,
They need help from you.
Learn To Burn.

I think that worried more people than the fact I used to play around with balloons filled with petrol or water pistols filled with lighter fluid (note: don’t use water pistols they tend to melt!). Now I just go to the big bonfires every November and stand entranced as the flames play over the wood or sit and watch a candle for hours on end. I don’t think it’s that odd but it could have been a whole lot worse.

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