Grandad tore a strip off yesterday’s newspaper and leaned down to light it off the gas flame. He lifted the burning paper to his lips and lit his cigarette before throwing it into the empty fireplace. It was Saturday, so the fire was not lit. My grandparents always went out for a drink on Saturday night and didn’t waste their time or their fuel lighting the fire when they would not be home. Instead, if it was chilly (as it was today), they would light the Superser.
My nana came into the smoke-filled room, sat down in the armchair opposite my grandad and started to apply her make-up. It was only 4pm, but she liked to apply her make-up in natural daylight. Unlike my mother, she also liked to be on time. She would organise herself in the late afternoon and then she would only need to change into her good clothes before going out. She was a beautiful and stylish woman even in her late sixties and early seventies. I loved watching her doing her make-up and growing even more beautiful with every stroke. Her hands were a little cold, so she angled the Superser to face her. Grandad coughed a mild objection, but said no more. She twisted the dial to ignite the third bar. The increase in temperature was immediate.
Recently a bitter wind blew in from the south and our conservatory, usually warm from the sun, was like an icebox. I like sitting in our conservatory as I enjoy the view, so I went upstairs to find the small electric heater we use when the weather is extra cold. The room was just getting cosy when Arūnas arrived and plugged out the heater, complaining about the electricity it was wasting. In a sudden flash of inspiration I suggested we buy a Superser. Not only would it be more economical to run than the electric fan heater, but it would also be a fail-safe in case we lost power at any point over the winter as our heating system is dependent on electricity. With the added benefits of being virtually silent and emitting a warm glow, Arūnas was sold on the idea.
We bought the heater and waited several days for the gas to be delivered. Finally, it was rigged up and ready to go. Arūnas pushed the spark button, which emitted a familiar hollow click, and suddenly I was standing in my grandparents’ sitting room combing my grandad’s comb-over while he smoked his cigarette and my nana put on her make-up. There was horse racing on the TV, a thick fog of smoke in the air and an incandescent glow from the Superser, set to the third bar.
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