Burning Issue

I was so not up for going out conservation volunteering this morning. What with one thing and another, I haven’t been for more than a month and when I had to drag myself out of bed long before dawn – and brave the shower before the heating had had a chance to get going – I did wonder exactly why I had ever thought this was a good idea. I set off with the sun barely struggling over the hills and the Met Office’s promised (why? Why do I believe them? Why? It’s not as though they haven’t got a 100% track record of utter wrongness to date) partly sunny skies had proved on closer inspection to be lowering mizzle. 10 miles of cycling in a keen east wind did not promise good things.

I’d like to go on to say that the hard work was its own reward and that the satisfaction of a job well done was what changed my mind as I pedalled homewards, weary but happy. But actually, the real reason why I ended up having a fantastic day was that I was put in charge of the bonfire. A whole morning spent setting fire to things and then poking them? There can be no finer way to spend a damp January Tuesday on the beach. I had a pitchfork, too. Go on, admit it, you’re jealous.

Worryingly, though, I discovered today that I was considered something of a bonfire expert, for reasons which escape me. Fortunately my fire-starting weaknesses remained undiscovered (something to do with lighting a bonfire of gorse using kindling made out of old creosoted telegraph poles)  and, hopefully never will be, or at least not until the weather gets a little warmer.


8 Responses to Burning Issue

  1. Dom says:

    I think I prefer poking my fire at home. OK, it’s not as big as a bonfire, but it’s indoors and (once it’s got going) in the warmth. I may not have a pitch fork but I do have a full companion set and bring the tongs (less so now I’ve got the welders gloves) and the poker to bear many times on a night. Most importantly, though, is the complete lack of a 10 mile cycle ride to get to it.

  2. The PaperBoy says:

    Oh no! Burning stuff, letting carbons loose – I hope George Monbiot isn’t reading this… well he shouldn’t be – waste of carbons to have a computer to read it…

  3. disgruntled says:

    Dom – ah yes, but I got to eat 3 rounds of Nutella toast when I got home in compensation…
    PaperBoy – I’m sure Mr Monbiot has better things to do than read this.

  4. I agree with Dom, a fire in the home is wonderful, except that I have to keep getting the logs in, or fetching the bags of coal and trhen fulling the skuttle, which seems magical as it empties out almost as fast as I fill it.
    However, I recall my time with the Scouts, lighting fires and then cooking sausages on a stick (a freshly picked non toxic one else it’ll burn) maybe next time to have one of these trips you should take a packet or 2 of best english sausages, as the scottish ones are normally flat, yes?

    PS can you get haggis sausages?

  5. disgruntled says:

    yes, it was poor planning on our part not to have marshmallows at least. And as for haggis sausages, the Scots will put haggis in anything, so why not?

  6. Quid says:

    I’m not sure how one becomes a bonfire expert, but it must have been a pretty spectacular performance on your part. You’re apparently learning the ropes like a champ.

  7. disgruntled says:

    worryingly, I was hailed as an expert before a match had been struck.

  8. […] Baby, Burn I think we established back in January that bonfires are pretty damn good when you’re out there saving the planet all day. Today we […]

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