The Cottage Smallholder


stumbling self sufficiency in a small space

Anyone for tennis?

Some of my favourite swatsThe only sport that I’m actively engaged in is killing flies. I have a good collection of swats. The blue one works the best.

Not being a athletic type, I’m delighted that I’ve found a sport at which I shine. I did win the Junior Doubles Tennis Championship at school. But that was only because Petronella Lovegrove played heroically for two, whilst I skulked by the net. Now my weedy backhand and embarrassing dolly drop serve have been supplanted by a well honed whoosh and the happy click of fly on plastic.

The fly killing season runs from early March and it’s the end of October before I’m hanging up my swats for the winter. I’m at my peak by mid September, standing confident, swat in hand, ready to whip through the air and backhand slice a passing fly. I can now see exactly how Petronella felt when she won the championship all those years ago.

There’s nothing more enjoyable than coming home, reaching for my favourite swat and going into battle. Needless to say, it’s largely a spectator sport for Danny. This is great for me, as he spots flies that are lurking beyond the reach of the gladiatorial swat. And, as every sportsman knows, an occasional roar of approval is heartening, even if it’s from the depths of a cosy armchair.


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