How to get sparks back in your life and keep them burning.The blaze of a log fire on a cold night speaks to the heart in a way no other flame can. It has character and ever-changing form; it has vibrant colour and a balletic movement. Indeed, it was the flame that transformed the way life was lived on earth, but now that primary driver of evolution finds itself being extinguished in a modern world of microwaves, induction hobs and central heating. Gradually the flames are going out, as houses are now built without fireplaces, bonfires are banned, and schoolchildren are forbidden to use the Bunsen burner. But the sight of a flame remains as evocative as ever. Playing with Fire wants to inspire, and teach, looking at the history of fire and showing the wonders that the burning flame can conjure.
Paul Heiney is a writer, broadcaster and journalist. Most recently he has been the presenter of ITV's Countrywise, and BBC's Watchdog. He has been an organic farmer, working his land with heavy horses, this experience forming the basis of his long-running column in The Times. He is also the author of several best-selling books, including Do Cats Have Belly Buttons? (The History Press, 2008).