Tuesday, October 21, 2008


Current work: new Medical/tinkering with other projects
Listening to: The Fray
Reading: Nicholas Orme, Medieval children (interesting subject matter and I like his style - good read - it's research and am thoroughly enjoying it)

It's harder to get up on these dark mornings. And I think we wished we hadn't bothered when we were divebombed by wasps! There appeared to be a stream of them heading just under the garage roof. Clearly a nest. Not good. Son was relatively calm, but Madam was starting to panic. I managed to be cool, calm Mummy, told them to walk slowly and stay very still if a wasp flew near, and get into the car.

OK, so wasps aren’t anywhere near as scary as what Jill Shalvis has been facing this week. Bu-u-ut… Last time I was stung, I reacted quite badly. I can laugh about the sting story now, but it hurt like mad at the time. But what do you do when a wasp flies down your cleavage, just as you walk into a lift with a complete stranger? You can’t exactly rip off your shirt and yell, ‘There’s a wasp in my bra!’ because… well, you don’t just rip off your clothes in front of a strange man, do you? So I was polite and British, and the wasp panicked at being trapped and stung me. So that’s why I’m a tad nervous around wasps. (No, I haven't told the kids why. I still regret telling them why I'm a tad nervous about cats. They think it's hilarious.)

As soon as I got home (after getting my slides done for Thursday’s talk and seeing the phlebo for routine blood tests – the joys of an underactive thyroid), I rang Environmental Health. The woman on the other end of the line was utterly lovely and very patient. She said that the wasps should die off in a few weeks when it gets colder, darker and wetter; and, because they don’t use the same nest twice, we should be fine next year. My choice: put up with it for a few weeks, or she could send some men round to sort out my wasps.

Had they been bees, I would’ve been very flattered to be chosen and then would’ve called a local beekeeper to collect them and keep them safely over the winter. I like bees. But wasps… I’m sorry. I know they’re good for biocontrol, and I know they make beautiful, beautiful nests, but I can’t live with them. So the environmental health people are coming out today. (I would’ve preferred yesterday, but…!)

And the floor... still waiting. I have made the point about mud and the fact that I am tired of waiting and the sheer lack of contact. I have a feeling I'll have to do a bit of chasing on this (sigh - as if I don't have anything better to do).

Righty. Glass half full: some nice news. My mate Amy Andrews has her first Presents Extra out - and it's hit #5 on the Waldies list. Go, Amy!

Plan for today: work, guitar, then wait for the wasp men.


Jan Jones said...


Um, call me an exhibitionist, but I almost certainly would have ripped off my shirt and said "Help, there's a wasp in my bra! Kill it! Kill it! Kill it!"

But I am sooo pleased to know they don't use the same nest twice, because we had a massive one in the loft last year and I've been hoping and praying that they wouldn't make a reappearance!

Shirley said...

I loathe wasps. Get rid of the things asap!

And yes, I'm with Jan. I would have ripped off my shirt pdq!

Anonymous said...

Hope the blood test results are hunkydorey.
I don't have any problem with flying things - except those huge monster cockroaches you get in the Caribbean, but even their mothers loathed them - but several of my family members need tranquillisers and fast legs if anything vaguely waspish comes close.
Many hover flies and bees have perished in vain!
I never told my SIL about the wasp nest in my chimney above the back bedroom - where the fireplace was supposed to be closed off. After 2 weeks of manic buzzing, they flew off, but I am still finding dead wasps on the carpet 3 years later.
I am mega impressed that you kept calm and did not let the kiddles take on the wasp fear which seems to be incredibly contagious.

Best of luck with the floor and hope the guitar is soothing.

Diane said...

I think you need to remind us all about the cat story ... :o)

Diane said...

... And yes, I would have ripped off my shirt too.

Anonymous said...

We have bees at the moment. They fly up through something (heating ducts?) into my old room, and then buzz around at the telly; then leave. EXCEPT....

One night around 1 AM (American of course), a bee landed right on my neck. I thought it was a fly, so I swatted it, got stung (1), i swatted it again after the first sting and got stung AGAIN (2) and then a third time before I got stung again and it died (thats 3). That's right, 3 stings right on my neck. That happened about a month or so ago.

To this day, I would rather see the bugs and their nest dead in flames than call a beekeeper.

Kate Hardy said...

Jan - that's hilarious. (And no, I couldn't.)

Kate Hardy said...

Shirley - I did :o)

Kate Hardy said...

Diane - absolutely not!! (And that deserved two screamers. I know you know that story.)

You, Jan and Shirley are clearly braver than I am.

Kate Hardy said...

Lou - hugs on the stings.

It wasn't a case of the nest in flames... more in powder. But they seem to have gone.

Gillie said...