The Cottage Smallholder

stumbling self sufficiency in a small space


Inca examines fly swatI woke this morning to a dead fly in my mouth. I had opened an eye, clocked a fresh gently steaming cup of tea and swigged. The hot tea had killed the fly but it hadn’t lost its crunchiness. I leapt from the bed in horror but where was I going to spit this noxious intruder?

Danny was sympathetic when I bustled out of the bathroom with clean teeth and virtually anesthetised palette (someone once told me that toothpaste is great for cleaning the manky areas of a fridge). He volunteered a fresh cup of tea complete with a handy fly screen that he had fashioned from a piece of kitchen roll.

I don’t know how it has happened but over the last two days we have experienced an infestation on a biblical scale. Flies are creeping out of every imaginable crevice in the cottage. It’s the whole gamut, small nippy flies that float away from the swat and vast experienced flies that lumber through the air until they spot the swat and then tease me for hours on end. It’s horrible. Last night I went to bed at ten, claiming exhaustion but actually to avoid the flies.

Despite killing like a maniac, every time that I open a door I can guarantee that there will be another twenty or so in the next room. They are strutting across the windows, pretending to be sleepy but on red alert swat wise.

Inca’s insatiable appetite has come in handy. Initially dubious when she approached her first fly corpse, she crept towards it gingerly, tail wagging just in case it turned nasty. She finally plucked up the courage to sample it – clearly more appetising than the fat one basking in my morning tea. She is now my partner in arms, hovering up the debris as the battles rage above.

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