Thursday, 30 June 2011

Murderous Rampage

I’ve been on a killing spree…and I have absolutely no remorse. My living room was transformed from a place of quiet repose to the scene of a massacre. Bodies lay discarded, empty husks on the terracotta tiles. Each tile resembled a giant Garibaldi biscuit.
Flies! I hate them, detest them, loathe them (refer to the Thesaurus and keep substituting words – they are all relevant). Unfortunately with campo living comes flies, and they are numerous. It is not only me that is irritated by them, the dogs are too. Jake, so placid, merely twitches to disturb them from his body; Charlie on the other hand is like a dog possessed. He snaps at the air, turns in circles to avoid them and pleads with those sweet brown eyes of his for me to obliterate them. I am only too happy to oblige.
I have decorated the pages of various magazines with fly innards and already smashed to smithereens one fly swat; I can see the current fly swat having an equally abbreviated life. Dead Fly – like a big full stop; the end. Only there is no end; there is a queue of the blighters outside the front door; a second wave of aerial onslaught. I even send up clouds of gas to choke them but the only creatures to be driven away are me and the dogs. It is a blitzkrieg.
So I am afraid I have no choice but to apply the most robust solution to these uninvited guests. I am going to continue with my murderous activities with no abatement.
May my swat remain sturdy and true!!

Weapon of Mass Destruction (Campo Style)

Wednesday, 29 June 2011

Departure of the Mantid

I liberated the Praying Mantid from the curtain which had singularly failed in its duty, that being to prevent insect intrusion, and set it on the floor of the verendah. Placing myself not too far from it in order to indulge in some much needed reading, I watched as it arrived at a place about six feet in front of my face.

The Mantid lowered its ungainly body to the verendah floor and proceeded to clean each of its feet in turn, bringing its long threadlike limbs forward to its alien-shaped head. Two tiles in front of it a grasshopper arrived and remained stationery – was it aware of the potential danger represented by the proximity of the Mantid?

The Mantid crouched down and with movements reminiscent of a cat, cleaned its face and front legs. A sparrow landed on the verendah step and surveyed the scene, the presence of human and dog sufficient to deter it from snatching a mid-morning snack. The Mantid looked tired, after all it had clung to the curtain all night, and lowered itself to the floor, a bizarre looking twig. The grasshopper remained still as the Mantid fidgeted, raising itself from a prone position onto its bristled front legs before returning again to prone, its head resting on the ground seemingly too heavy for its long, slender neck.

As the heat of the day built and the air shimmered creating a hazy light through which the crags of the mountain took on an ethereal presence – constant but ever-changing – the dog rose and stepped into a cooler area, front paws narrowly missing the resting Mantid.  Sensing danger the Mantid rose onto its hind legs, and front legs held in prayer stepped out of harm’s way before slumping once again onto the cool terracotta tiles.  The grasshopper retreated a further four tiles, resting beneath the laundry that was gently swaying in the light, warm breeze.

Then with a sudden burst of energy the Mantid raised itself, took two steps forward and took to the air, transformed from ungainly to aerodynamic, its wings whirring as it sought sanctuary in the wild grasses and flowers of the scrubland I refer to as a garden.