There is little in life so evocative as a smell.

They manufacture perfumes that frankly leave me cold.  I have a reaction to most and one whiff stings my nose and can even make my eyes run.  Not that I would ever demand that scents be banned as I practice a thing called tolerance, and if a smell offends me or affects me, I move away.  I wish others could take a leaf out if that?

My favourite smells are the simple ones – wild honeysuckle, gorse in bloom and of course the heady scent of freshly mown grass.

One smell that I love is becoming very rare these days and that is the sweet scent of a bonfire.  One of the pleasures of Summer and Autumn was the regular burning of leaves and other garden detritus.  Nations like Merca and China pump out vast volumes of coal smoke [and fair play to ’em], but in their infinite wisdom, the Nannies decided to ban the humble bonfire.  A good garden fire produces a bit of smoke I grant, but it is a gazillionth the amount put out by a single power station, yet somehow this humble conflagration is supposed to destroy the atmosphere by warming it through dozens of degrees and by pumping out a picogram of Dioxin.

Over the last couple of days I have been doing some more destruction in the garden.  This naturally produced a small mountain of stuff that I piled up in the back field.

Now the Nannies tell me I can't burn this.  I have to dispose of it in some other way.  What way?  Am I supposed to hire a tree-muncher to convert it all into pulp?  Can't afford that, and anyway I would have to do the hiring several times a year.  Am I supposed to hire a skip?  Can't afford that either and again it would have to be an industrial sized monster several times a year.  And anyway I would presume that would just go into landfill, that they scream doesn't exist any more.

So what am I supposed to do with it?

I did what I always do – the only logical, sane thing.

I threw a match into the mountain.

The scent in the air is beautiful.  The whole house has filled with it as I left the windows open.  I reek of burning wood as my clothes are saturated.  Fabulous!

And remarkably, the sky hasn't fallen on my head.  The temperature today is much the same as yesterday.  The Ozone Layer hasn't vanished.  Seal levels haven't risen an iota.  The ice cps haven't melted.  No animals were destroyed in the making of my bonfire.  The World still rotates upon its axis.

Those fucking Nannies can kiss my arse.

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Sniff that — 10 Comments

  1. Yes indeed, the smell of a bonfire is wondrous and very, very natural. Like freshly mown grass, baking bread and roasting coffee. All natural products, and all evocative of life.

    I'm very much a supporter of preserving our natural environment and not despoiling it with pollution. I'm emphatically NOT a supporter of 'green' legislation that serves no purpose other than that of furthering some bizarre 'environmental' agenda that wants us all to revert to a cro-magnon way of life. Fuck that.

    • My little bonfires are but a raindrop compared to the oceans of shit that industry pumps out.  Add to that the fact that nature has been burning off undrgrowth long before man was invented, so I have no qualms whatsoever in ignoring their petty little regulations.  As you say – fuck that.

  2. I like the smell of a good bonfire myself.

    Yet another unenforceable law. You’re pretty unlikely to get caught in the countryside.

    What kind of a person would report someone for having a bit of a bonfire?

    And who would they report it to, the guards?

    People are sick and tired of senseless laws and nannying.

    • There are always those who might feel it's their "civic duty" do run to the authorities.

      Fortunately people around here have the sense to respect the old traditions and enjoy the benefits of a rich scent in the air.

      I believe that if you want to dob your neighbour in it, the local county council are only too happy to send their enforcers around.  What a sad world we live in?

      • I tried to burn the mouldering small branches lopped some time ago off a willow tree in my garden. A dog behind the tall hedge separating my home from a nearby village estate began barking as smoke blew upward and sideward. Its owner came out and peered at me through the hedge and gave me a ticking off. I filled the kettle with water and dampened the rustling fire.

        What can I do about future garden debris?

        Agreed that mountain gorse in bloom and freshly mown grass are nature's perfume during the Irish summer. In May and June the musk wafts from hawthorn hedges (an sceach geal, which we're not supposed to bring inside a house) are for me more sensual than any erotic movie.

  3. We aren't allowed to light a bonfire here until October for obvious reasons (the local nudist beach is still recovering from a forest fire last week) but apart from only burning in the winter we can have one whenever we want.  Once the olive harvest starts the smaller branches are burnt in-situ and small fires are everywhere on the island.  I'd like to see anyone try and stop that!

    • I could imagine that flying sparks would pose a small hazard on a nudist beach all right. 

      Greece may have its problems but it sounds to me like an eminently sensible country.  Maybe I should move there?

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