Down the years, I have made a study of creature comforts. I hasten to add that I don’t mean the Aardman stop animation films, entertaining though they are with their Gromits, their Wallaces and their fondness for Wensleydale.
Nor have I put much effort into examining what creature comforts have come to mean which, to quote the Eagles is, “everything, all the time.” A life in the fast lane of abundance where our tastes have become jaded by the sheer easy availability of everything from a quick holiday in Dubai to Heston Blumenthal. For Christmas. From Waitrose.
Ours has been, like the short happy life of Francis Macomber, an exercise in handsome self-delusion in which we have set forth on the plains of plenty, all the gear, no idea and all the while unknowing that the economics have a shotgun trained upon us and there’s about to be a terrible, terrible “accident” before the sundowners are served.
All of which brings us neatly back to what I mean by creature comforts. Those small, simple, personal luxuries that make the a hostile world bearable. They are the god of small things. Succour to the pilgrim in a foreign land, the great redeemer of hope and memory.