I have been chasing butterflies. I would like to report this has been in a wildflower meadow, with me running in slow motion, clad in a floaty Laura Ashley number - all of it promising a soft focused assignation with a Cadbury’s flake. Sadly this is not the case. The adventure has taken place in the study. Although that conjures images of Colonel Mustard and the revolver, in reality our study is a former old washhouse. The only mystery it contains is the better half’s filing system, though it is one that would rival the Vatican’s – I expect Dan Brown daily.
The butterfly in question, a ‘Common Orange Twerp’ if I’m not mistaken, flew into the study window. It took me 10 minutes to get it back out. All of that only promised a cold cup of tea.
There is a blind on this window. It is usually down leaving a very small gap at the bottom. Given the size of this gap I am constantly amazed at how many bugs come in here. They have the entire planet to frolic in and yet make a bee-line (it’s the way I tell ‘em) for that one gap.
In the way that princes dream of being butterflies do butterflies dream of being space shuttle pilots, practising their narrow re-entry on my window? Still, butterflies are better than demented Daddy-Long-Legs, who are now in season. They, in turn, are better than wasps. We had a nest in the roof this summer. Wasps were dropping down through the light fitting and aertex ceiling. The desk became a lucky dip of stings. The better half got togged up in no. 1 daughter’s dressing up veil and armed with wasp powder did the deed. 5 minutes later the ceiling was thrumming with the sound of hundreds of irate wasps and a few hours later it looked like Thermopylae.
They got their revenge. I knelt on one. Over the next few days the swelling slipped slowly down my calf like an overstretched legwarmer. I was looking forward to a big toe the size of a grapefruit. But when I remembered to look, like a lot of things, it wasn’t there any more.