C o m f o r t
Comfort seems a mild contradiction for this first post considering writing is something I’m generally uncomfortable with. That’s another story though and for now the warmest welcome to the Lást Journal.
So what does comfort mean to you? Diving a little deeper under the microscope: what are the moments you return to when seeking comfort. There are a handful of dependable items on my comfort list. The ink work pictured above captures one of them. Tribute Pale Ale, one of my favourite beers, and I was lucky enough to draw it up for a close friend.
For all of you who have grown up in the UK you will innately understand the comfort in your favourite beer enjoyed in a pub. It’s a unique national identity, a cultural comfort that runs deep to your core. It’s unexplainable and hard to put into our language. It’s a feeling best explained by experiencing it first hand.
The senses we have been gifted all sing their own strength. It’s my belief that taste is the best conjurer of memory. That first sip of your favourite brew transports you back to the moments you shared, those smells that surround you, the dimly lit room you were sitting in, the cold left on your skin from outside, and the rising warmth from within. I know each one of you reading this will be able to step in to yesterday’s shoes and enjoy one of these moments. Enjoy that comfort.
Tribute Pale Ale speaks to me of ocean spray, of the reassuring coldness that reaches deep within, a testament to the dampness this ancient island has been subjected to for millennia. We had been camping on the cliffs of south Cornwall. The wild coastlines at the frontier of this island. The thick quiet of the early hours told the mornings story. The tent rippled and rolled in the wind.
Stepping out made you reconsider where you were, with all landmarks and familiarities now consumed in a thick rolling mist. The kind that rolls in from the ocean under the cover of night, silently enveloping the land. Waves could be heard in the distance, muffled by the mist, hauntingly reminding us of where we were. Waves in the whiteness.
This is the weather that the UK does so well. You can feel it in your bones, the tiny droplets of water clinging to your rising goose bumps. The kind of weather you can stand and breathe in, nourishing you and invigorating you as your skin reddens. Coldly wrapping you in a comfortable exposure.
Slowly we made our way down a coastal path, navigating rocky outcrops, the path disappearing behind you as you ventured onward. The orange glows of a warm pub aren’t easily missed, especially against the grey rock of Cornish buildings.
A creaky old door pushed into the cosy timbers of an old pub, bleak sea mist giving way to warm smiles and a smell you can only attribute to centuries of warm fires, long conversations and local beer.
The deep purple of Tribute’s beer badge caught my eye as I ducked under timber beams and adjusted to the low undulating ceilings of a building pulling off an ancient lean. There’s an excitement in the slow pouring of a beer, it’s amber bubbles dancing and rising, flowing over the glass as you grasp it.
Cold beer feels warmer than it should on hands that are still a little numbed from the scramble, and faces begin to turn pink as the pub’s fires perform their duties. The first sip was a memory maker, the delicious aromas of the ale closing eyes in an appreciative enjoyment. Time passes and stories are shared amongst locals as one beer turns into two, and you talk the afternoon away. The comfort of company, cosy corners and Cornish beer.
This beer has come to define comfort for me, a tool to check in with past adventures whilst gathering strength for the next one.
Let me know what comfort means to you, and what ‘things’ provide it.
Here’s to the next adventure!