Thursday, 19 March 2009

A meditation on insects

It’s not so much their giant waspishness- their sting alone is longer than the wasps I’m used to. It’s not so much that their back ends are articulated like a lorry, or hinged like an old gate, and their legs are so long I can see the barred colour markings. It’s the way they drift aimlessly about, driving me mad with anticipation of their journey’s destination.
Still, they haven’t shown much interest in stinging. Yet.

It’s not so much the way they crawl over my hand when I fetch a clean plate from the drying rack in the evening. It’s not so much their affinity for evening darkness when I am more likely to blunder into them. It’s the way their oblivion to my shared creaturehood gives them utter confidence in barging around in, on and ALL over my personal space.
Still, at least they don’t bite.

Kaboura flies
It’s not so much the way the tiny little black specks of git-hood bite wherever you have missed with the mosiguard (knuckles are a favourite). It’s not so much the wild itching. It’s the unfairness that even though you strive mightily not to scratch, an inadvertent brushing of the bite from a worthy cause like washing up is enough to scar and itch exponentially.
Still, at least they don’t give you diseases.

The beloved female anopheles mosquito
Ah, lady of the dusk. An ode to thee becomes an odious, a paean becomes a pain. Trust D.H. Lawrence to write a poem about thee. Typical.

How can I compare thee? Bringer of malaria, whiner in the sleepless night, invader of nets, munchea indiscriminata, festermeister of infected ankle bites (poor B!)

What shall I say in thy favour? Is there no ‘still’? Nay, I fear not. Thou art ugly beyond compare in a not-at-all ladylike fashion. Thy song is like unto the worst whingeing nag. Thou bitest without discriminaton or remorse. Thy body is host to foul disease, thou spreadest pestilence literally before breakfast. I cannot find a good thing to say about thee. Verily I am off for a good sulk, throughout which I will nevertheless strive not to scratch.


  1. Insects. I remember as a child getting bitten Like Anything on (otherwise delightful) camping holidays in France and every year thinking, 'Hmm. I'd forgotten this bit. It's crap.' Every now and again I get a bit wistful thinking about how much fun I had visiting Foreign when I didn't have children... thank you for reminding me why I love living in damp rainy old Wales! Not big on the insects on the whole, though we'll be watching for the global warming. Today also reminded me of camping - one of those delightful days where the sun is really warm, but the air is really fresh. It felt just like coming out of a tent on a day you know is going to be hot, but hasn't got there yet, and you have the pleasure and smuggery of tasting the best of the day before house dwellers get out into it. (Except today it was like that at midday and by 7pm it was perishing, but you can smell it, can't you?)

  2. I am afraid I am going to have to invoke the dreaded compliment of lyricism. This isn't necessarily you at your most lyrical, but the description (compliment?) seems apt for this post :)

    I am not entirely pleased I came across yours and your husband's respective blogs. He makes me feel inadequate about my photos and you make me feel inadequate about my writing :)