I nearly had another fireman story for you tonight. Nearly, but not quite.
I can explain by telling you what happened between 1.56pm and 2.40pm.
1.56pm – realise I am hosting a teleconference at 2pm and had better log on (a new fangled system means it takes at least two minutes to get connected. The joys of technology.)
1.57pm – dawning realisation that the person in the house backing on to mine is having the mother of all bonfires, the wind has just changed direction and my clean washing is all hanging on the line.
1.59pm – bring in washing in the speediest way it’s ever been done just as the garden is being liberally coated in ash:
2pm – start teleconference
2.01pm – close all windows and doors as the house is starting to fill with smoke
2.02pm – attempt to run teleconference
2.07pm – put phone on mute and thank lucky stars someone who likes talking is in their stride as the doorbell rings repeatedly. Answer door with phone in one hand (on speaker so I don’t miss anything) and notebook in the other for no particularly good reason. Get shouted at by a neighbour I’ve never seen asking if it’s my bonfire. Wish I could invite him to see the size of my back garden and demonstrate that a barbecue would be a fire hazard out there, but just say no. It’s the people on the next road. And no, he can’t get through to their garden from mine. No, I am definitely sure. Close door.
2.10pm – Attempt to join in on the call
2.16pm – Much shouting from Y-fronts man neighbour. Look out (no Y-fronts visible, thank goodness) to see he’s up a ladder and leaning over the top of his fence shouting at Bonfire man.
2.17pm – Move into bedroom to reduce the likelihood of anyone hearing the fun and games.
2.28pm – Attempt to summarise a 30 minute call that I’ve heard a total of 10 minutes of. Mostly fail.
2.31pm – Brave the garden to find out what the shouting is all about. It turns out Mr Bonfire man has disappeared so Y-fronts man fills me in on the fact that not only is Mr Bonfire having a bonfire (no shit, Sherlock), but he will be having ANOTHER one next week, when he chops down all the laurel and trees overhanging our back fences (which we can’t do much to, due to their height and the fact that they are all in his garden). Y-fronts man is clearly not happy. I am over the moon! I’ll have so much more light! I convince Y-fronts man that this is a good thing. Surprisingly he agrees. I call out for Mr Bonfire man to thank him. It turns out he’d had to rush off because someone had called the fire brigade and he had to show them that things were under control. This was the near miss – last time they turned up here when they were called out to his fire. Anyway, I’ve thanked Mr Bonfire man for the work he is intending to do. In fact, I told him I love him. I hope that doesn’t stop him chopping down the trees. Although that will be a big bonfire. I hope the firemen remember the address next time…
2.40pm – Finally get back to work, but smiling that my view will hopefully soon be a lighter one :)