It’s September and something is in the air. Something has shifted.
A barely discernible change of heart. Something empowering from a few written words, edged with a hint of regret, yet remaining still and strong. Opinions, debate, points taken, pause for thought…time for reflection and time to press on and time to hold my head high.
Summer hangs on for a little while even as September’s bronze blurs the sun’s still warm rays, growing just a little shorter with each passing day as Autumn is gently ushered in. Blackberries burst into purple goodness and golden hay bales dot the newly harvested fields. Over-ripe apples, brimming with cider-ready juice, fall from heavy laden branches onto the dew-damp grass below. Children, wearing first-day and pristine (not for long) uniforms, skip happily (not for long!) to school.
Yes, September is upon us in all its glory, heralding the beginning of my favourite time of year. All is perfect. In my ideal world.
In the real world, something else is in the air and it is this:
Or should I say these as in numerous, like an evil swarm. I can’t believe I have posted this photograph here. Just looking at it makes me feel quite ill and I am not exaggerating. I have a phobia of these ghastly creatures.
Can someone please tell me just what their purpose in life is other than to dive-bomb into our faces, creep into our sandwiches and land on us ready to sting at the
manic flailing of hands merest shooing away? Can’t we be left alone to enjoy what remains of the late summer sunshine, sitting outside in a pub garden with a nice, cool glass of lager minding our own business without being hounded constantly by these yellow-striped demons from hell wasps?
Worse. A recent newspaper article warns that due to the extended cold winter and late spring (those little chestnuts again) wasp season has been delayed by 3 weeks. After an extended hibernation they have now emerged, healthier and stronger than ever for their long-overdue feeding frenzy!
Even worse. Due to the increased numbers of wasps, there isn’t enough work for all of them so now we have out-of-work wasps who have nothing better to do than to gorge themselves all day long on the juice from the fermented apples. This is making them drunk and even more aggressive and more likely to sting us! What?!!
Jobless, drunk, agressive wasps? Whatever next? Oh, I could say so much…
So watch out, you read it here and you have been warned!
I was born in September and my mum tells me that it is her fault that I hate wasps so much as she was plagued by them when she was expecting me so I have obviously caught ‘the bug’.
As kids, my brother and I used to spend hours playing lovely games outside like daring each other to see who could avoid landing in a bed of stinging nettles after sliding off the rusty corrugated roof of the old abandoned barn (you know the one, that old barn where the old tramp lives but who nobody has ever actually seen?).
One such time while we were out and about, I felt something sting my leg. I batted at my jeans, thinking it was a nettle or even a thorn. Then I felt another sting. This went on a couple more times and then I felt something move beneath my hand. I froze. I knew instantly what it was. Not caring, I immediately dropped my jeans and there, sure enough, was the semi-crumpled body of a wasp, and several red bumps on my knees where it had stung me. I didn’t care a jot that it had stung me, it was the fact that it had actually touched my flesh. I cringe even now just thinking about it and to this day I have no idea how it got inside my jeans.
Recently, we spent a day with the family at Longleat, a wildlife safari park. It was wasp season and they were out in droves that day. Watching the rescue monkeys in their lovely new cages, I felt a slight tickle on the back of my left hand. I was holding a cup of coffee at the time (I’m left handed). As I looked down, there, sitting right below my wedding ring was a wasp. My horrified reflex action was to throw out my hand not even thinking that at the same time I managed to fling the entire contents of my coffee cup down the back of my mother’s beautiful white jacket as she stood innocently in front of me.
Here is a little story which has nothing to do with wasps but everything to do with the bond between brothers and sisters. I was reminded of it as I wrote this post.
Growing up in a rural village in Suffolk by a nearby farm my brother and I
got into all sorts of trouble had lots of fun. He is younger than me (not by much, 18 months…had to get that one in!) but he was always more daring.
Another one of our games was to see who could jump the highest off the haystack into the soft straw below. On this particular evening, and it was getting darker by the minute, we had worked our way to the very top of the haystack. My brother had managed to leap off several times already and he was exhorting me to do the same, but I just couldn’t do it (I don’t like heights either!) I would almost do it, I really tried. I would run up to the very edge, and then, as I looked down I would lose my bottle. I just couldn’t do it.
My brother jumped off one last time and called up to me, urging me to give it one last go but I was ready to accept defeat. I stepped back, ready to climb back down. Except this time when I stepped back I felt something soft and rather large under foot. I turned around, and there, staring right back at me, now on its haunches and squealing hideously at me was the biggest, ugliest, barn rat I’d ever seen.
That was all the exhortation I needed. Letting out a loud scream, I took a running leap, jumped clean off the edge of the haystack, landed in the straw below, got back on my feet and ran all the way home, much to the astonishment of my brother.
As I ran faster than ever before, I heard my brother’s words ringing in my ears as he called after me:
“Well done Sherri, I knew you could do it!”