The autumn bonfire...
Late Flowering Dahlias
What a horrible, horrible day! Don't worry - am being a bit dramatic here. I lit the first autumn bonfire. And immediately, in came the wind to whoosh the smoke this way and that, mainly all over me. Humph. Great timing - not!
So I dismantled things as best I could and stood guard with the rake for the next hour, while that nasty smoke swirled around. Perfectly horrible.
And now I'm filling in time waiting for the wind to die down. Have trimmed the last of the dahlias, and have discovered more flattened Astelias. Very puzzling. It's as if they're rotting (?) in the middle : lots of leaves are dead, and the remaining green leaves are too easily pulled free.
A sensible idea would be to take the mess straight to the bonfire. But remember, no bonfire. Still too windy.
Blast. No wind. OK. Bonfire. The first proper day of the autumn bonfire. I can do this. First, I shovel off the ash volcano (nicely dampened by yesterday's late rain). Then I do my online ballet class (quick change artist, me - off with the gumboots, on with the ballet flats). Then I re-dress, so to speak, in my stinky gardening clothes, shut all the house windows, hide my hair in my cap, and burn for the rest of the day. Humph.
So far so good. Have burnt about fifteen barrowfuls. That's lots! Gathering my strength for the next session - chocolate milk, avocado and banana (separately) on toast. Need to think about a reward if I make it until the end of the day...
Bonfire - End of Day One
I trundled more barrowloads over, heaved the contents into the flames, and poked and prodded for ages. I made a list of rewards in my head, but it wasn't very successful.
Rewards for First Full Bonfiring Day
- Soak in hot bath. Hmm... Trouble is that I get stuck in there and have to do lots of wiggling to get out.
- Shower and change into clean clothes. Hmm... I do this every day.
- Curl up with a good book. Hmm... Libraries are shut, and my old Agatha Christie paperbacks are saved for bed-time in the cottage. Curling up with an e-book doesn't have the same appeal.
- Aha! Enjoy a fruity cider or an iced white wine. Hmm... But I don't drink alcohol any more.
- Take a pill. Hmm... Silly idea, a pill is not a reward.
But at the end of the day, quite by chance, I found my rewards in the garden.
I lay down on my back on the damp grass by the bonfire to cool off, and gazed up at the clouds. Beautiful. An all-black fantail landed on my leg and chattered at me. Lovely. A hawk floated overhead, gliding up and over the gum trees. Stunning.
And I could smell the fragrant Wedgwood roses nearby. Delightful, such a strong perfume, a great foil for the smoke.
I thanked myself for working so hard, thought about salmon for my evening meal (pity about the wine), and decided on a soaking bath in which I would get my fingernails and toenails clean. Don't do that every day!