October 16th has been ringed on our calendar for some months, and The Boss was longing for the date. It’s not a birthday, anniversary or another of those occasions that requires a frantic search in local shops for something resembling a decent greetings card. This was the first date on which we country dwellers in Mallorca could legally have a bonfire – the risk of wildfires deemed to have passed once an autumn storm or two have dampened things down.
The last time we were able to have a bit of a blaze was in spring, so the pile of garden waste had grown into a mini-mountain. The Boss had covered it with a tarpaulin at the first sign of rain, to keep it as dry as possible for The Big Burn.
He wasn’t the only one itching to set a match to a summer’s worth of rubbish. As I was driving to Palma for an appointment yesterday, the countryside en route looked like the venue for a smoke signalling convention, and the air was heavy with the autumnal aroma of burning.
Man with the matchI’m not being sexist when I say that I think that this desire to light a bonfire – and keep it under control, of course – is probably a bit of a man-thing. For The Boss, it clearly beats more mundane tasks like checking the bank statement or topping up the solar power batteries with distilled water. There’s nothing like the risk of singeing the hairs on your arms or accidentally setting fire to your jeans (without realising) to add a spark of adventure to your day. As The Boss can confirm.