It's too hot which is so typical isn't? Moaned for years about Wellington's cold wind and rain, moved up here to Russell to get some decent weather and now, it’s too hot. I know. Moaning Pom and all that. Well it’s not too hot at all actually. I love it. Getting up in the morning, making tea, all comfortable, bit of sun and mist, walk down, get the paper, have a chat here and there, home again, say good afternoon to all the flies, the telly or a good book on the balcony in the shade, glass of something red white or amber late afternoon. Ideal retirement days. Very civilised.
Except for the flies. We have a bit of a problem here. I have been writing about living life to the full (full of what?) for about four years now and I seem to be repeating myself (which surely can't be age) and have covered most things. This week I was going to write about young people but when it came down to it, couldn't think of much to say about them. Supermarkets? Price of food? Maybe - let's see how we go. But first the flies and I know I have done them before - and while I am at it, the vampire death moths as well.
Anybody who has used large busy international airports may remember looking up at the sky and there is usually at least four, probably more, planes circling in a holding pattern waiting their turn to land.
The flies around our property have somehow adopted this technique and are using these holding patterns on every entrance to our house to get in and head for the runways in our kitchen. Especially if we are cooking chicken. Their favourite. We in turn have adapted our own methods to foil them including various disguises and panicky dashes together with commando style crawls before their auto pilot radar systems lock onto us. But the Superfly...?
We seem to have bred a whole new brand of fly in Northland. Superfly. It’s very small, very black, very quick, and very intelligent - well intelligent as flies go.
Its only purpose in life is to get up peoples noses or ears. It attacks when we are most vulnerable i.e. comfortable and relaxing and dozing in an armchair.
It goes for the nostrils first. Then, while you are desperately snorting air out in case it has found its way up there, it goes for your ears, which is worse because human beings dread the thought of having a fly in their ears - or up your nose come to think of it. Then it makes passes at the corner of both eyes, a dab at the mouth then they will go to their safe havens in dark corners where they stay waiting for a meal to be cooked - upon which they will torment the life out of the cook with dive bomb attacks on anything exposed.
Superfly is impervious to any spray we spray it with. Great environmentalists that we are, we spray these flies with every fly spray known to man, and on one memorable occasion, oven cleaner which didn't work. Our living room walls will never need re-painting, just touch up with Mortein.
There are also the black moths. I must not forget the black moths. Circling like vultures on fly bys, the human beings, distracted by their allies, the hovering flies, may forget just for one moment to slam the door behind them as quickly as they can when they come in. Too late. These are giant moths. huge things. Bird moths. Directly descended from pre-prehistoric pterodactyls.
Hiding themselves during the day, they are black creatures of the night. They specialise in late evening terror.
When, after a long day of protecting one's food and all the dead flies hoovered up, the ones that never made to the roast dinner bonanzas, the Kamikaze. Dropped in mid flight. History. One wearily retires to bed, begins to read one paragraph, eyes beginning to droop and out they come. The latter day Nazgul. Stealth bombers.
Welcomed by the usual screams of terror and frantic diving under the bed (they always tell me in good time when it’s safe to come out) that will be another peaceful evening ruined, just a half hour or so of newspaper bashing, tea towel waving, spray anything that moves until at last the disgusting thing goes to a watery grave. Down the toilet. Actually there is still one up there at the moment in a hiding place - not sure where, as no one has been up there for two days.
Now we need more poisons as the ants are here again. Wasps are due in Autumn. This means visits to the Supermarket.