I love retreating to the country, a little solace, verdance and sunshine, yet there’s a special place in hell for Australia’s flies. I can understand one of these bastard insects searching for moisture from beads of sweat, snatching a cool libation, yet delving into the ears, really? Why are they so obsessed with ears? Not just near the ears, that annoying buzz flitting around and making the hair on your neck rise to attention and your spine squiggle like an eel, but deep into the ear canal. Last evening, one flew head on straight in and out again (the same ear, not out the other side), creating a god-awful din as it went, effectively playing the drums as it thrashed around in there. Then there’s the corner of the eyes, flies capitalising on the tears of frustration, and then there’s the nose! Not just under the nose, at the philtrum, or landing on the tip of the nose, but into the nose, searching right up in the naval cavity for entertainment. What can possibly be so enticing that any insect would think, ‘that looks interesting, gonna get my feet wet up there! Ohhhh yesss, here I come!’ And if it isn’t the flies . . .
A few weeks ago, my friend that owns the property where I’m currently staying sent me a picture of a snake. Now, I don’t know much about snakes, other than Australia has a significant number of nasties. This one in particular was curled around itself and looked all kinds of dangerous. It was in fact a red-bellied black. Although extremely venomous, this metre-long beastie endemic to Australia isn’t aggressive unless provoked, which to me pretty much describes anything in the universe. The gorilla was perfectly placid until he ripped the arm’s off the man for hiding a banana. In this case, they managed to relocate the snake, pacifying it with a broom and a pillowcase . . . I don’t know, I wasn’t there, but I’m assured by my friend this was standard protocol. Last time I’d stayed at the house, I woke up one morning to see a huntsman crawl out of the bed I was sleeping in. Now, these don’t bite humans, often – well, they don’t bite me, because I’m about ten feet away usually – but are scarily large enough to put one into a coma of fright. Call me crazy, but I think I’ll take the flies.
Writing and writing...