Having a garden of this size creates a lot of debris over the years. The green recycle bin provided by the council doesn’t even come close to what we need, so we choose to compost ours or burn it.

Usually we have a bonfire at least once a year. The main reason is to dispose of the hawthorn hedge trimmings, which over the years have, on occasions, been quite vast.

For some reason which I can’t remember we didn’t have even one bonfire last year, so there were 2 years of hedge trimmings waiting to be burnt plus assorted other twiggery, plus what I cleared out of the ditch the other day. To say there was a huge amount would have been a serious understatement.

The truth was something had to be done, and so 2 days ago we began. Old wet wood and dead, wet leaves are not easy to light. I started before lunch but couldn’t get it going, Peter came out and, after much persuading, cajoling and bullying, a fire spluttered into life.

Sadly by this time I was shattered, it was getting cold and the light was fading. When we stopped at 5.30pm we had made some progress, but still had a long way to go.

The following morning, despite aching limbs, I went out in good spirits to finish what we had started. Peter had told me that the embers would still be hot enough to rekindle. He said that not even I could put it out when trying to resume burning. So off I went.

Whilst I didn’t actually put it out, I did manage to suffocate it, and so once more Peter had to come out and insist upon it  becoming a fire again. After another long  day, it was  5.30pm when we knocked off again, but we had at least cleared the back log.

Even today it is still smouldering away happily to itself. And so ends 2 days of extremely hard work. I expect there will be more wood to burn when the tree surgeon finally turns up next door, but at least for now it is a job well done.