Do you like to walk through the neighbourhood at night? It's a wonderful chance to spy on people ... er...admire their decor, I mean.
Technology, oddly enough, has not helped in this pastime. The advance to blinds from sheers and drapes means that very little of the goings-on of a home leaks out into the street. Upscaling from radio to tv means that people sit in the dark, gently bathed in the flickering blue light of the tube, and all I can observe is the preference for reality tv or medical drama. With the tv, came the move to the basement 'family room' - a room in which not much family activity takes place. It is the room where television reigns, leaving the others in darkness, unoccupied.
Of the homes not shuttered behind blinds or permanently fused to the brain drain, a sad number are followers of David Suzuki, making those new curly bulbs their lighting of choice. Not terribly cosy and inviting, those light bulbs.
At this time of year, those who can, light fires, and those of us who take to the streets have the opportunity to enjoy the homey aroma of woodsmoke. That surely is one of my favourite of all smells; it signals warmth and cosiness, security, family, and good books.
There is something about familiar places in the dark. They become flattened when drained of the colour of daylight, but gain atmosphere and the potential character inherent in your own imagination. I see the whole, rather than the details in the dark, and I'm intruiged.