There are a few things which really annoy me in life but one of the most annoying are insect pests and especially flying insects. It seems to me that some of them think I am the source of their next meal by the way I am not left alone. Some insect pests can be very irritating and can lead me to abandon what I am doing because of their not leaving me in peace. In the summer months flies and wasps buzz about my person and the flies especially like using my exposed flesh to land on. I have to apply lotions to deter them but it isn’t always successful. Creams with lavender in them seem to work to a point as long as you like the smell of lavender which I do. Now that Autumn is upon us we have more damp days especially in the mornings which appears to favour certain insects like midges and mosquitoes. I know first hand how annoying it is to be pestered by these two particular insect pests having experienced both offenders several times in my life. I remember being in Scotland on a camping holiday with family and being pestered so much by mosquitoes and midges forcing us to duck inside to get away from them. The only places free from them are either freezing cold or extremely hot and dry. Unfortunately I live in a temperate region where they like dwelling too!  On Monday 17 th I resumed work on the lawn project spending just two hours but it was early in the morning just after six-thirty. The air was still damp and right on cue whilst I was digging out the sods and cleaning off the soil from them the midges and mosquitoes arrived. I was wearing overalls and gloves so only my face was exposed. They appear to like my face! I got so annoyed I returned indoors to fetch the fly spray (it kills mosquitoes too) and sprayed the air around me. Normally the spray would have dissipated immediately but because there was no wind it lingered. I wasn’t pestered anymore. I got this far which was enough for the day.

The bag of soil was getting too full but rather than fetch another bag I deposited most of what I had dug up on the day in one of the flowerbeds. I could have continued and completed the digging but I have no deadline to keep….and it is hard work.

Shirley Anne


They’ll soon be back

A sketch from a short article on my website ab...

A week or so ago I was working in a house trying to trace a fault in the first floor lighting circuit and found myself clambering around in the loft. Unlike many lofts spaces this one had been floored, that is floorboards had been laid by the householder. Loft spaces should never be floored unless they were originally planned that way because the joists are generally not deep enough to take a heavy load. That doesn’t stop people doing it anyway and then piling up as many boxes and pieces of furniture up there for storage. I wonder why such stuff is kept in lofts as it usually remains there for years untouched and obviously not required. I have seen bedroom ceilings sagging under the weight of too many things stored in the loft above. This particular loft area was small however and there were enough supporting walls beneath to make it safe to store things. Now I won’t normally start shifting boxes and other things around someone’s loft unless it is minimal. That’s not part of my job, it is up to the customer to clear spaces for people to work in. That being the case, I asked the customer to clear the area I wanted to work in. Whilst that was being done I remained in the loft to assist. I noticed a couple of house flies crawling about on the floor appearing very lethargic and unable to fly. I disposed of them and thought to myself it won’t be long before there will be thousands of them making a nuisance of themselves soon. we tend to think they all die off in the winter but that is far from true. They linger about in out-of-the-way places until the weather gets warmer. They are surprisingly resilient. I remember sitting in my office where I used to work and being pestered by one such creature who, despite me leaving the window fully open refused to fly out of it. I was working on a printed circuit and had a can of freezer spray for use on the electronic components whilst they were being soldered in place. I managed to spray the fly as it landed and continued to spray it until it was white and presumably frozen. It began to thaw out and then it flew away. I couldn’t believe my eyes. This is the only drawback to warmer weather, the nuisance we call flying insects. I discovered the fault by the way. A cable had been trapped under a floorboard on top of which had been placed some heavy objects. the cable was burned through and was in danger of starting a fire that would have had plenty of material to fuel it had I not discovered it when I did. There would be no flies and probably no house in that event.

Shirley Anne