This is the time of the year when we really need to make the most of our gardens. The winter seemed long and now the days are opening up it is pleasant to be able to sit out there with a cup of tea and to hang the washing out. There's nothing more lovely than the smell of freshly laundered washing that has been dried outside.
Just before I set off for work the other day, I put out a whole rotary full of washing, thinking that it would be dry when I got back!
I looked out of the window and to my horror, saw thick acrid smoke belching everywhere. The smell was even seeping into the house.
I ran upstairs and looked through the back bedroom window, just after I had taken all my washing in.
What a cheek! The workmen from two doors away had lit a huge bonfire. My pet hate!
Just before Christmas our elderly neighbour died and his house has just been sold to a builder, who is gutting it and the garden.
Now I can get feisty when I need to, so off I rushed to the offending builder up the road.
"Excuse me," I said. "Do you know this is a smokeless zone? The people round here will not be pleased with that bonfire and several of us have just put clean washing on the line and some people like to sit out in their own gardens for a bit of lunch and you have spoilt that option now."
"Oh, I'm sorry, I didn't know it was a smokeless zone. What a silly idea that is."
I was by then quite verbal, so I explained that I thought it was a very good idea to have a smokeless zone in a city where the gardens are so small and the environment is not always as fresh as it could be and I went on to say, "and what's more there are birds nesting!"
That's when he lost his nerve with me, thinking I was either a raving lunatic or too overbearing to cope with.
He said he would ask his boss to put it out.
Later that day, I noticed that the men had a small lorry in the back lane and they were putting the rubbish in it, probably having to pay at the City tip when they could have burnt it for free.
I was saying to Sam, my son that I was going to blog about it.
"How can I illustrate that post?" I asked him and he suggested that I set fire to some rubbish in a plant pot and take photos.
At first that sounded like a good idea and then I realized that it meant making my own mini bonfire! Did I really want to be seen to be making one, however small just so I could illustrate my post?
Bonfires are my pet hate, don't forget!
So I started experimenting with smoke from incense sticks!
A bit pathetic and not very effective, is it?! Still, I did save the environment from another bonfire!