Sunday, 10 May 2009

No Smoke Without Fire

Orange Blossom from a neighbour's garden. It has a lovely perfume.

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!


Nessa said...

I am picturing you with a flaming sword. Happy Mother's Day.

The Gossamer Woman said...

You sure were an heroic woman on that day, Maggie. I didn't know you could be so assertive. My respect for you has grown enormously. Facing down a bunch a workmen, no less. You've got guts!


lakeviewer said...

Maggie, your motherly instincts kicked in and you let those guys with bonfires know a piece of you. Happy Mother's Day.

Cheryl said...

I'm glad you confronted them. That is just awful.

I loved the photo of the orange blossoms, they are so beautiful and I bet the smell (minus the smoke) is heavenly.

I'm looking forward to seeing more of your garden.

Happy Mother's Day!

VioletSky said...

And all without bringing down the arm of the law on them! I am mighty impressed. And a teeny bit scared.

MarmiteToasty said...

LOL@your fire photo :)

Its not a smokeless zone here and most adhere to only having the occasion bonfire in the evening.... there use to be a miserable old man 2 doors down that would on purpose light a small smoldering fire and put green grass on it to make it smoke just to annoy everyone....... well, that was until after the 5th time of asking him to be so kind as not to do it, and being told to P*ss off...... I dragged me garden hose down the garden and aimed it high to reach over 2 gardens and drenched not only his annoy smoldering fire, but him to LOL


Moannie said...

O the power of we women. Know the feeling, but boy were you brave. Love to have been there to see you rousting the big boys.

Sniffles and Smiles said...

Oh, you are a rare and bold, lady!!! Bravo!!!! Happy Mother's Day! Hurrah for taking care of Mother Earth! You are simply super! ~Janine XO

Suburbia said...

Gosh, I could have written that!! I love putting out the washing and opening wide the windows, and I have been known to speak my mind when some thoughtless neighbour has lit a bonfire! Good for you :)

Lovely orange blossom!

Akelamalu said...

Good for you getting the workmen to put the fire out Maggie!

Granny on the Web said...

Bully for you!

As you say they would have had to 'pay' at the tip. A lot of unscrupulous workmen are too fond of doing this just for a bit more profit.. but with the Maggies of this world, the knives are out!!! I am impressed.

Love Granny

Thumbelina said...

There is nothing worse than sitting down in your garden, just enjoying the sounds and smells and sights... and then all you can smell is something burning! Well done you - I would just have given up and gone in.

The incense stick at least shows some smoke!

Working mum said...

I'm just enjoying my first spring with my new Orange Blossom plant! (Slowly stocking the garden)

We're a smokeless zone too, due to the airport; I'd be livid if someone spoiled my washing! Not sure I'd have the nerve to go and tell them, though - good on you!

bindhiya said...

Dear Maggie,
Happy Mother's Day!
love & ((hugs))

Maternal Tales said...

I did a whole load of washing today and hung it out on the line only to find that a huge flock of seagulls (or what looked like a huge flock of seagulls) had emptied their bowels along the length of the washing as they had flown past. Seriously. I was most displeased!

Eddie Bluelights said...

Maggie shows her teeth! Good for you! Pity you didn't take a photo from your upstairs window of the fire before you let rip!

Wendy said...

Oh Maggie, I hear ya. I would have been so angry. Especially after hanging out the wash. And I must admit, I love hanging out clothes to dry in the fresh air.

And isn't it strange that I went through almost the same thing a couple of weeks ago? I also hate it when people burn things in their backyards. It stinks!!

One of my neighbours was burning sticks in his backyard. The fire roared up quite high! So, I called Security Patrol and told him. He told me it was o.k. as long as the fire was "contained". Well, I didn't know that. I thought we were living in a "smokeless zone too". Anyway, this man's fire was NOT contained, so the Security Patrol man went to investigate. That fire was put out in a hurry!!

Wendy said...

Oh, I forgot to say I love your pic of the orange blossoms. You don't need a pic of a fire to illustrate your point. The flowers do nicely!

Expat mum said...

I am picturing it now - Maggie loses it!!! Well done!

Jeni said...

I know this was not funny to you but as I read it, memories came to my mind of my Grandma and how irritated she would get with the lady who lived across the street from us as it seemed, in the fall, when this lady did all the raking of leaves around her home, she waited to burn them until my Grandma had just hung a big load of wash out on the line.
But, good for you for addressing the issue with the culprits and forcing them to abide by the regulations!
And, Happy Mother's Day a day late too!

Reasons to be Cheerful 1,2,3 said...

Oo-er I know where to come when I have some battles that need fighting!

Bina said...

Ha Ha Ha!!!! Good for you! I'm sure others wanted to say something but were afraid. I'm glad you stood your ground. There is nothing worse than choking on rancid smoke when you are simply trying to enjoy being outside.

rosiescribble said...

Go Maggie!

SandyCarlson said...

Good for you. That crew will think twice before doing that again.

imbeingheldhostage said...

YEAH MAGGIE! You won one! I have a friend who was at her wit's end last month when one neighbor was burning every saturday-- the day she did wash for her family of five. She handled it but I doubt it was as graceful as you.

Crystal Jigsaw said...

Looks like I might have lost some of our mutual blogging friends!

The fire has gone now but yesterday you wouldn't have liked to be here. Bearing in mind however, we live in the middle of nowhere, no neighbours for miles apart from holiday cottage folk. The Farmer does have to burn bales and we have rights to do it on our land. It was just unfortunate the wind changed and the poor cottage folk got blasted! My washing wasn't out but believe you me, when it has been out and the fire has been lit, I can be quite fiesty myself!

CJ xx

Rose said...

The incense fire illustrates it perfectly, Maggie May; I certainly wouldn't have wanted you to start a little fire just for the sake of blogging:) Good for you to stand up to those workmen! I like to hang out laundry on the line, too, but living on a farm I have to watch when the fields are being worked or fertilizer is being spread. I can't just go out and tell them to stop, but I do wish they'd wait until my laundry is dry:)

Sandi McBride said...

Oh my, no illustration necessary May neighbors in front are going to get tired of seeing the fire brigade pull up in their front yard demanding they put out their trash fires! Yes yes, I'm heartless, I turn them in every time! But even out here in the country, this is a bad bad thing to do! Good for you! You deserve a medal!

Mean Mom said...

Good for you, Maggie! I have a frosty relationship with my next door neighbour, for many reasons, but one of them is that he occasionally lights a bonfire on a lovely sunny afternoon. We don't have many sunny afternoons and it's awful when one is spoilt by acrid smoke. I live on an estate and I can hardly believe that it's legal to have a bonfire in your garden, but it is. My neighbour is too idle to go to the tip.

2sweetnsaxy said...

LOL! I love your photo interpretation of the smoke by using the stick of incense. :-D Very clever.

Hilary said...

I would have loved to see a video of you confronting them. Nicely done. :)

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