Blackberry Massacre I’m currently hacking my way through a mass of brambles that have spent the last three years invading one end of our small orchard. Thorn pricked fingers aside it’s not going too badly. The big question is whether to burn and when. Quantity wise the only realistic option is to burn and I don’t want to upset our local rubbish guy by dumping unfathomable quantities of bramble on his very well organised decheterie. The local commune rag states that it’s illegal to burn garden rubbish not just in the dry heat of the summer but all year round. However, I’ve spent years observing smoking piles left by farmers and villagers alike without the intervention of the forces of law and order, even when the acrid cloud represents something closer to Chernobyl fallout than garden waste. When I mentioned this to a neighbour a smile and air of concerned paternalism informed my misguided self that of course this wasn’t illegal and one simply had to be careful. So I will be lighting my pile of bramble with pyrotechnic glee for all to see in broad daylight so everyone knows its deliberate and not some field, forest or home in need of the services of the local pompiers, who have already dealt with a chimney fire chez-nous….but that’s another story.