Well I had planned today to be the day that I finally waffled here about my trip to the Alps in July. It was a trip that I am beginning to reflect on with pride despite it being the first one to the Alps where not all my goals were achieved but more of that on another day, it’s August so let’s talk about Wasps instead!
The story begins with Cherry Plums in our Fruit & Veg. garden & women think they no best. Of course they usually do but not on this occasion. I’ve been a keen gardener for most of my 49 years but clearly this reasonable level of experience was not enough to convince the two women of our household that I knew what I was talking about. When I said several times last week ‘the Cherry Plums need picking, now’.
An attempt to placate me led to half of them being picked last Saturday but the others were described as not ripe & duly left un-picked. Two more attempts at logic were ignored so on Wednesday I stepped into the breach put on thick rubber gloves & headed off with a degree of trepidation. Trepidation? you may well ask why would someone who’d just been risking life & limb in the Alps, be scared of a walk in his garden to pick some fruit. To help clarify my thought process I should clarify that over the last two months in my dilapidated garden shed a Wasp nest has been continually growing & has now reached the size of a small football, Wasps like fruit, the riper the better!
My worse fears were exceeded when reaching the Cherry Plums, this was no longer a small risk of grabbing a plum to find a Wasp on the other side tucking into a juicy meal, this was Armageddon! There followed some inner cursing of the fairer & more knowledgeable sex followed with logical soul searching along the lines off ‘if one stings me they’ll all come after me (or is that bees) as I run back to the house with scores of angry Wasps chasing me I’ll be running towards the Wasp Mansion in the shed, will they launch the main fighter squadron before I reach safety. I did the only logical thing & began picking!
After 20 minutes or so with approx. half the remaining fruit picked I decided the risk of moving deeper into the branches was simply too great, I had picked more than enough, time to get out whilst I was ahead.
Now don’t get me wrong I am not totally anti-Wasp, for much of their life cycle they are part of nature’s intricate system & unlike Human’s live in balance with nature. From August onwards though they seem to be nature’s way of saying Human’s you are wrecking the planet, time to dish out a little retribution!
Despite needing to cut down two enormous Chinese Laurels (a ‘weed’ if ever there was one) next to the shed I have resisted the Chain Saw, which might aggravate the Wasps, throughout the summer, leaving them free to do nature’s work rather than attack me. However on Wednesday I also managed to load all of the builders rubbish into a skip leaving the only things left to load it with being various bits of accumulated crap, yes you’ve guessed this crap is in the same ‘out of bounds’ shed!
Thursday came, it was finally the time to make the call, ‘Rob (pest control man) I’ve got this nest in my shed….’. It simply had to be done, time to remove the threat, there’s a skip to load & weeds to cut.
Morning turned into afternoon & having done some more manual work putting large plant pots etc. back in place following the builders it was time to join Dorina in the Veg. garden with a refreshing drink of squash in my hand. This is where my ability to be a complete & total idiot took hold.
Entering the greenhouse, I saw the Wasp, un-usual to be in here I thought but that didn’t stop me putting the glass of Squash down with-in a foot of it, mental note be careful when you come back for a sip.
Clearing the Broad Beans with Dorina took longer than expected, presumably long enough for me to develop Alzheimer’s, certainly long enough to develop a thirst. Walking back into the Greenhouse, ooohh someone’s put a drink there how kind of them. As i wiped a fury insect away from my mouth, a new cure for Alzheimer’s was discovered called a Wasp sting on your top lip. Shit, hand speed was impressive enough to swat it away so fast that I ripped the sting & the Wasp apart leaving the sting & some venom pumping away at my lip (well it felt like that) until Dorina said ‘you’ve got the sting still in your lip’. My mild & relaxed response was simply ‘well could you please get it out if you would be so kind’, she remembers this sentence a little differently (once again the woman could be right).
The following 20 minutes were spent in shock & pain with illogical thoughts of ‘I’ve been stung before, I’m not allergic to Wasp stings but can this change, does a wine habit affect Anaphalactic Shocks?’.
Then it was the inevitable trudge back to the house to view the damage, looking in the mirror the best description I can give for my feeling sorry for himself face was ‘shit I look like Miss Piggy with Botox’.
24 hours on despite a fair bit of Botox seeping away I’ve still had the odd funny look at the Cafe & it still hurts! Enough about me you say, what about the Wasp? After the swat it hit the Greenhouse floor clearly worse off than me, here my humane side to all living creatures came into play & I stamped on it. I will have to live with the knowledge that it was I that put the glass in it’s path, it was I that developed Alzheimer’s & it was I that tried to swallow the Wasp cocktail but it is the Wasp that is dead. Please don’t castigate me too much I’ve suffered enough since that phonecall to Rob.
A postnote to all this is that soon after sitting down to wright this at the Cafe, Dorina came & opened the side door behind me & two minutes later a Wasp came in to peruse the text, I asked the Wasp to leave & shut the door, it could be a long August & early September!