My last post was about our Scottish trip and this was going to be about our camping in North Yorkshire but then this happened. It's not entirely unrelated to our North Yorkshire camping in that it involves trout; it also involves fire. And some of you will be thinking by now that Crofty's record with fire is not a good one. You'd be right.
Let's start with the trout: lovely big ones from the trout farm at Pickering, excellent value from the farm shop and irresistible when barbecued, stuffed with parsley butter. Which is what we did last Sunday and it was gorgeous. Later that night when the barbecue was cold, I deposited it in the bin (which, just to set the scene, was at the side of the house alongside it's green companion bin, recycling box and bag full of recyclable paper and card).
Let's now cut to the morning when, after an undisturbed night's blissful repose, the Croft family breakfasted together.
"Can you smell smoke?" asked Mrs C.
"Yes, and quite strongly." I replied sipping at my morning tea before sauntering through the patio doors to sniff the air, noticing that the smell was stronger and then noticing that where the bins were was a pile of smouldering plastic welded to the driveway.
After a few well chosen words and my insistence that this could hardly be my fault (pointless really), we decided to seek the advice of the local Fire Station, after all we wouldn't want to come home to find that a stray spark had lodged in the rear dormer and then ignited the house would we? The Fireman was very nice and said he would create an incident log that would generate someone to pop along to check it out for us. What he didn't say was that the Fire Service seem to only have two grades of response: either 'we're coming' or 'we're not coming'.
Four minutes later the road was blocked by two huge red fire engines and a man was running up my drive with his dribbling hose in his hand. I explained, after he had spread most of the debris in a soggy mess over the rest of the drive, that they needn't have rushed and that I hoped I hadn't got them out of bed, something that didn't seem to endear me to them. A chap in a big white hat offered me a look through a device that looked a bit like one of those 1970s View Master things through which you could look at crap slides of London but in 3D. It wasn't one of those but rather a thermal imaging camera (illustrated right) that reassured us that all was cool at chez Croft.
Meanwhile a wellied fireman was idly scraping his boot through the debris and came across the only surviving identifiable item: one disposable barbecue. He looked down the drive to where his colleagues were clustered in a knot at the bottom of the drive; he mouthed the word 'barbecue' to them; they mouthed the word 'tosser' in reply. Then they left.
Just so you know, North Yorkshire was fab. Here are some pictures, including one of a responsible man with a firey engine.