In pursuit of the classics.

By Andy Williams.


When we bought the croft we found a big burned mound behind the house. When we dug into it we found that at some point, a large volume of someone’s personal belongings had been piled up and set fire to. When it was pretty well ablaze, a mattress had been thrown on top, partially smothering the fire so the things at the bottom didn’t completely burn away. Over time the scorched mattress grew moss, grass and buttercup all over it. Since we moved in we’ve occasionally spent an hour sifting through it all.

Yesterday we raked out another section of The Amazing Pile Of Partially Burned Crap. We sorted it as always into piles of rubbish, scrap metal, paper, ash and wood. We unearthed several rotten and partially burned bags of books which got added to the ‘will burn’ pile. Some people may not know this, but when you heat a book the first thing to burn away is the binding glue. It takes quite a lot longer for the pages to begin to burn. The books, paper and wood were all put into a wheelbarrow ready for a fire next week, when it’s not as windy. I put a big bit of chipboard on top to hold it all down, job done. Unfortunately, while we were out shopping, the chipboard blew off the wheelbarrow. Pages everybloodywhere. It’s not every day you can say you spent twenty minutes chasing Charles Dickens around your field.

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