Thursday, 8 May 2008

Smoked out!

Yesterday, Mr G ripped out a huge section of hedge which had died, owing to the man next door having creosoted his fence. He dragged it down to the bottom of the garden (300 feet away) and lit a bonfire. It smelt very fragrant but, as there was no wind, a huge plume of smoke hung in the air and deposited ash over a wide area. This morning it was still smouldering.

I had gone to bed late as I am enthralled with Phillippa Gregory's book, The Other Boleyn Girl, and was still reading at 1 am. I was awoken by the binmen at six and had just fallen asleep again when, BANG, BANG at the door. I peeped through the curtains and a strange and belligerent looking man was standing there, the shaven-headed, chunky, testosterone-fuelled type. I couldn't see his tattoos but I just knew he'd have a Union Jack and a bulldog somewhere.

I wasn't prepared to answer the door in my nightie, so I ran barefooted through the house and found Mr G down the bottom of the garden, admiring the remains of his bonfire. He came back, answered the door and I caught the odd words such as "Smoked me out!" "Not allowed to have bonfires."

Mr G is quite adamant that, as the foot of his garden is so far from any houses, he IS allowed to have bonfires. The man lives two doors away and has never spoken to us in the ten years he's been there. Mr G muttered threats about the broadband connection to the man's garden shed. If you see a figure flitting over the fence in the moonlight holding a pair of wire cutters, you know who it will be. I hate neighbour disputes myself, and the man did offer to take the garden cuttings to the tip for us, which I thought was very nice, but Mr G is fired up and on the warpath. I really do think it's time I moved before missiles start flying.


Jacula said...

Loved your description of the neighbour, I could really see him. Bet he's got a Rottweiler or an English Bull Terrier for a pet!

Sounds like a reasonable chap if he offered to take the hedge-clippings to the dump for you, though. Let's hope Mr. G. doesn't hop any fences with wire cutters.

The rules about bonfires vary from area to area and you;d have to check your county council's rules. I think bonfires are only allowed after 6pm here.

I've got a neighbour who used to have a bonfire every single Saturday lunchtime at the end of her (very short) garden. Her bonfire used to pour smoke and ash all over my rotary airer, which was by the house in my (much longer) garden. At that time, I was working full-time and only had Saturday mornings to do a weeks' washing. After repeatedly asking her to wait until later in the day to burn things (what the hell did she find to burn every week anyway?) I finally lost patience, climbed a ladder and put her fire out with a hose. She stopped burning stuff after that.

hydra said...

I think this neighbour was being a bit unfair. It was 8pm when the fire was lit, and we only have three or four bonfires a year, unlike your neighbour. I'd have trained the hosepipe on HER!