If hell exists at all, then the opposite of hell must be heaven, or paradise. If paradise is pleasure and contentment, then it's an autumn wood lit by sunlight; wood smoke; a view of the sea; travelling by train; laughing till it hurts; Beethoven's piano sonatas; chatting to a beloved one over a drink at a pavement café on a Friday afternoon.
Hell must feel threatened by heaven, as it is dead set on passing itself off as paradise. It smells of sulphur, makes a mockery of a pavement café on a Friday afternoon.
Hell is a place without concern for anything like love: a place which wraps up despair and tries to sell it to us as a sense of humour failure.
Like Dante's Inferno, hell has many circles, each with its own sense of disorientation, intensities, and unpleasant characteristics. No one can say what someone else's version of hell is - we must listen to what they have to say about it.
Whenever I've been to hell and sat amongst its contents, the more pointless life has seemed. Fortunately, I've had a strong instinct to escape.
Despite mythologies perpetuated by those with a vested interest, it is possible to escape hell. There is always a stairway, if not exactly to heaven, then at least towards something approximately Out of Hell.
And so, I escaped hell, and this is what I learnt:
Hell is a metaphor, and in this case, the metaphor was Bridgwater Services, just off the car park that is the M5 on a Friday afternoon in the school holidays.