Down at the allotment we have been having trouble with the neighbours. It's the age-old problem that has caused fractious relations between gardeners and their neighbours since forever: the bonfire. Gardeners need to burn their rubbish. Bonfires produce smoke. And anyone unfortunate enough to live downwind of that smoke usually finds the experience distinctly unsettling.
(Perhaps the eviction of Adam and Eve from the Garden of Eden had nothing to do with apples and snakes, but an unfortunate misunderstanding concerning the burning of some autumn leaves).
Most of the time you can get away with it. With a bit of sensitivity - waiting until the wind is in the right direction, only burning the stuff when it is good and dry - it is possible to have the occasional bonfire without sparking off civil war.
On the Bromyard allotments, however, it has all gone a bit far for that. There is a new block of flats just across the road, and they have been getting very narked at the smoke coming their way. Voices have been raised. Threats have been issued. It has all got very nasty.
It is not nice of course having smoke blowing in through your bedroom window. But the allotments were there long before the flats were dreamed of. Are they telling us that we are going to have to run our allotments without ever being allowed to burn our old prunings and cabbage stalks? Are these people for real?
I can foresee the next complaint. Every spring I go to a nearby stables and stock up with horse manure for the following year. What with the noxious smells, the environmental disturbance and the health risk, I expect to be on the receiving end of a restraining order before the year is out...