Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Beware the fires of March

There's always lots of woody waste at the allotment that won't compost or is best burned; prunings from fruit bushes, brassica, sweetcorn and sunflower stems, diseased material and old tomato vines. Allotment rules only permit bonfires between November and the end of March. After one of the wettest winters recorded, burning anything's been impossible until recently. Now everyone's at it.

Irritatingly, Plasticman - or The Fireman - as he shall be known, who has a plot 20 metres upwind, has a habit of burning plastic bags in an old bath. He sits there in his blue overalls right next to it. Instead of the not unpleasant waft of woodsmoke cut with a sharp sweet perfume from the Daphne odora bush against a background smell of earthy early spring, comes a toxic fume of pong. What's he like?

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