Mosquito Uprising

Friday, February 15, 2008

Dear Mum,

It looks like the worst of the cold weather may be over now. Having said that, it’ll be a while before it actually starts to warm up again to a sensible temperature. And the island still needs loads of rain. No sign of it yet though and we’re already half way through the second of the rainy months.

I’m building up quite a nice collection of 1 eurocent coins. Very few people seem to want them. I bought something yesterday which cost €2.41 and gave the correct change. The shopkeeper laughed and handed me back the 1 cent coin, saying,

This has no value.

He’s wrong of course. Once I’ve collected a few million of them, they’ll have great value. I’ve only got 103 so far, so I’ve still got a way to go. I’ll give you an update in twenty years time!

I was thinking only yesterday that I haven’t seen a mosquito for quite a while. They don’t like the cold and they don’t like the heat. Autumn and Spring are when you see them. I managed to get through the Autumn session without picking up any bites. Let’s hope the Spring mosquito-fest goes equally well.

Synchronicity being what it is, having had that thought yesterday I was woken up by a mosquito during the night.

Staying on the subject of synchronicity whilst also going off at a complete tangent, I had the misfortune to have that awful song Day Trip To Bangor going through my head all day on Wednesday. I’ve absolutely no idea why. I haven’t heard the song for many years and I certainly haven’t missed it. But you know what it’s like when a song like that gets inside your head. It’s near impossible to shake free from it.

Anyway, having being assaulted by this song all day, I popped into the Blarney Stone in the evening and the damn thing came on over the sound system. I couldn’t believe it!

Where was I? Oh yes…

Synchronicity being what it is, having had that thought about mosquitoes yesterday I was woken up by one during the night.

My faithful German Shorthaired Pointer, Cleopatra, who has standing orders never to sleep on the bed at night, and who was fast asleep on the bed at the time, heard it at the same time as I did, buzzing round our heads.

We were both instantly wide awake. For me, it’s a legacy of the first two weeks that I was in Cyprus when I got bitten to pieces during the night by a whole family of the little critters. I was covered in bite marks for weeks. So now, the first buzzing sound instantly arouses me from the deepest of sleeps, and there’s no way that I can get back to sleep until he’s been dealt with.

For Cleopatra, I think it’s just that she knows how animated I get when one of those biters is around and she gets a bit scared. Anyway, at the first sound of this particular fellow, she leapt from the bed and scurried out onto the balcony through the slightly ajar door. What a coward! She’s supposed to protect me!

I’ve become very skilful at summarily dispatching these buzzing, biting blighters with a deft flick of a tea cloth. I used to use a spray but I couldn’t stand breathing in the stuff myself!

So, arming myself with this deadly weapon I went in search of the unwelcome intruder.

They can be very hard to spot sometimes, but I was in luck. There he was, clinging to the wall just above the bed. Great! This would all be over quickly and I could get back to sleep.

So I took careful aim, gave it a flick… and missed!

Hmmm! Out of practice. I obviously need to get myself down to the flicking range and get my eye in again.

Where was he? Where had he gone?

Try as I might, I was unable to find him again. He’d gone to ground. I had no choice eventually but to get back into bed. I left the light on though. They only seem to buzz you when it’s dark. But after half an hour, I was still awake so I had to turn it off.


It was almost instant. He’d been lurking in the shadows. Just waiting for me to turn the light off.

You’ve never seen me move so fast. I leapt out of bed, turned the light back on, and took the tea towel out of its holster. I was angry now. This was personal.

And there he was. Sitting on the blind. No mistakes this time.

I launched myself at him and wrestled him to the ground, beating him into a pulp, venting my full fury upon him.

One late mosquito!

Which was when I noticed the other one…

I’ve no idea what possessed me, having failed to flick the first one into submission the first time, but I thought I’d have another go. And no surprises… I missed again!

I watched him fly out through the door into the living room. No point in giving chase. I needed to get some sleep. So I closed the door hurriedly, leaving Cleo to do battle with him.

And with any luck he’ll spread the word about what happened to his friend!


©MPB 15/February/2008