I have a bonfire!!!

There is nothing so manly as having a bonfire. I love it. I dodge in and out of the wind so my hair does not get smoky. Unfortunately the wind seems to be going in every direction at once and blowing with more gusto than Abi Titmuss on performance-related pay, and soon my hair, my clothes and my entire neighbourhood are engulfed in a billowing thick and woody smog.

I look round guiltily, worried that somebody will turn up and shout at me.

Although I live in the country, I am a townie by birth, and am therefore a bit sure about the rules RE bonfires. If you are from the countryside you are allowed to burn anything, anywhere and at any time – crops, cuttings, old tyres, sheep etc. Whereas I get a bit nervous about this.

My very second encounter with Short Tony next door (after the time when he came to apologise for getting the LTLP horribly, incapably drunk within two hours of her moving in) was to apologise to him for an inappropriate bonfire. He was very nice about it, and didn’t say anything about having to re-do his washing, clean the ash out of his open-topped car, etc.

Since then, we have got to know each other better, and I have smoked him out many times without him complaining, moving home, etc. Although admittedly, the time the smoke was inside the house was still a bit embarrassing on my behalf.

I chuck another pile of the green leaves on and crawl around the garden holding a hanky over my mouth and nose. A shape looms out at me – at first I think it might be the police wearing those chemical suits, but it is the LTLP calling me in for dinner. (Although her maternity outfits do look a bit like those chemical suits).

I disappear indoors, leaving my bonfire unattended in strict breach of the law that I am sure there must be.