Burn, Baby, Burn

March 9, 2010

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 established that they’re even better when someone’s been organised enough to bring baking potatoes and tinfoil, especially when someone else has been disorganised enough to leave her lunch in the visitor centre three miles away from the work site.

Next week, weather permitting, we hope to establish the precise levels of excellence of a bonfire when accompanied not just by baking potatoes but butter, cheese, soured cream and possibly marshmallows (although not actually on the potatoes, because that would be vile).

And after that, the only way is up. I fully expect that by this time next year we’ll be going out every week for a full-blown hog roast with all the trimmings… happy pigs only, of course.


Burning Issue

January 19, 2010

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.