Thursday, 22 March 2012


There is nothing quite like the glow of candles in a softly dark setting. I find it stirs something inside me, but I do not know where or what or why.

Could it be linked to birthday cakes? Romantic films? A primitive wish to play with fire? Religion?

Do other cultural groups get this same feeling? Is it there if you come from the desert? If you lived with torches rather than wax products? What if your people used oil lamps?

Are we born this way or does it develop? Why is this flame appealing but at other times we are afraid of fire?

Candles are a problem here in our very warm climate. Firstly, the air is hot, so the fans are on, so the candles either blow out or burn oddly. Secondly candles need to be stored very carefully or they melt into lopsided shapes. But still I want to use them.

I now live in a high rise building with many smoke alarms. So ... should I use candles inside at all? So far I have only used them when the power was off and we were well away from the smoke alarms. Do scented candles release larger particulates? Soy candles?

Will the candle smoke ruin my pictures and upholstery? Could it contribute to lung disease or breathing problems?

 Each time the smoke alarms go off the Fire Brigade must come and 300 people are inconvenienced, to say nothing of the bill.

And cutesy candles? Or tapers? Or tea lights? What about candle sticks? Holders of other types? Candle lanterns?

Where do I draw the line?

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