I feel kind of bad about it but I actually had a bonfire today.
Usually I cut up any wood in to fire wood or put small sticks through a mulcher.
However, this time, I was overwhelmed with the amount of rubbish we generated when the quarry dust was replaced with soil.
Fortunately for me, Ross had already used his machinery to drag much of the rubbish up in to a large pile ready for burning.
However, it consisted of sticks liberally coated with wet sand.
Despite two attempts to apply accelerant and light it I had no luck.
Instead, I created a hearth, crumpled up newspaper, added accelerant, piled on a few pieces of canopy and gradually nursed a fire in to life.
At this point Ross came over and showed me how to keep heaping up the materials to encourage a vigorous fire and establish some hot coals.
He even brought out his machine again and used it to add various piles on to the bonfire.
The heat from the coals drove the moisture out of the materials and allowed them to burn.
A lot of this exercise was conducted in the rain. I changed in to a wet weather jacket and bathers and donned a hat - this let me keep working in the rain and the bonfire kept going - even though I had to carefully keep feeding it.
I also managed to rake up an area near the gararge with a lot of fallen twigs and bark.
In addition, where I had stored my purlins I had a lot of wood - some of it potential fire wood (which I gave to Ian) and a lot of scrappy twigs (this was also consumed in the bonfire).
It turns out that Ross really enjoys bonfires and he stayed with it late in to the evening allowing me to head home