Copyright © Louise Bostock 2007-2013. Please give credit where credit is due.

Wednesday, 22 October 2008

Carmine creepy crawlies

Twelve degrees at 9am. Overcast, with the not-so-distant Alps at the top end of the lake obscured in autumn mist once more. Rain on its way.

In India, too many years ago, I once stayed with an ageing couple whose only sanitation was a breeze block khazi plastered with cow dung. The mechanism was fairly primitive, involving as it did a metal cup of water and the active participation of one very large, very pregnant pink pig (and later her eight piglets).

I very quickly got used to the pig, and eventually felt for her an affection born of enforced intimacy, but something I couldn't ever quite get used to about this particular toilet experience was the presence of dozens of small, almost transparent scorpions on the walls of the khazi.

The inside walls.

About four inches from me. On all sides. In the depths of night, with only a kerosene lamp for guidance.

In order to stem the rising creepy-crawly hysteria at toilet time, I would venture outside with a nod to the pig, chanting inside my head the words, "When a girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do, the girl's gotta do it." And so I did. Do it. In the full knowledge that just one of these little critters could put me in hospital. Or worse.
So it should come as no surprise to my husband and family (although it does seem to) that I have no problem with the latest infestation to hit our house.

You guessed it.

It seems to be scorpion season in Carmine. I'm evicting an average of two a day, using the old glass-and-postcard method. They're everywhere : feigning dead under the firewood, clawing their way up the curtains, dawdling in the door jambs. I even found one doing a surprisingly accomplished front crawl in the washing-up water the other day.

None in my boots. As yet.


But these are not the tiny transparent demons that will give you a nasty that sends you into the netherworld. These are 'orrible big fellas of about one inch plus, and they're black as coal and lazy to boot. And contrary to what you'd think, I'm told that their sting is on a par with the humble wasp.
No problem.
Oh, but there is a problem. When I've got them in my upturned glass, hemmed in with a postcard of printmaker Colin Moore's limited edition linoprint 'Sandend', what then? Where do I put them?
Well, that's for me to know and you to find out. All I can say, people, is ... be very, very nice to me...

Copyright © Louise Bostock 2007, 2008. All rights reserved. Please ask first.

13 comments:

Anonymous said...

Well, what a great little story, i'm sorry, but I would go to war on the scorpions, you girls are far too soft, get your big boots on and have a good stamp around.

Vanessa said...

Scorpions. Yuk! Rather you than me!

Louise said...

Oh, no, anonymous. I can't bear to hear the crunch!

Anonymous said...

Had an experience like that in Nepal, on the banks of a river, it made toilet time an interesting experience. The scorpions in Italy are the same as the ones in Spain, and the sting is not that bad.
I'm so glad you don't stomp on them.

Anonymous said...

Go on, if you can't bear to hear the crunch, get some ear plugs. I dont put up with wasp stings, I spray wasps with hair lacquer and watch them crash dive.

Anonymous neighbor said...

I'm scared - what do you want for your birthday?

Louise said...

Hi Anonymous neighbour...do you know the Gallotti jeweller's near Hotel Pironi....? I like rose gold!

BPOTW said...

I was squirming the whole time while reading that. Yuck!!! I'm sorry to animal/bug lovers, but they wouldn't be long for the world if they startled me. If I knew I could scoop them up and deposit them outside, far, far away from the house, then maybe I would try.

Oh, and I would have pooped in public before sitting with those things all around me. You are very brave. :)

Thanks for submitting your post again! (I sound like such a sissy don't I!?!?)

Star said...

New to your blog, but found your scorpion story fascinating! Not along ago I wrote a post complaining about an invasion of gnats. After having just read your story, I think I'll just shut up! Great post!

Brenda Jean said...

EEEEEEKKKKKKKKKKK...oops sorry for my outburst. I can handle most spiders, snakes and other crawlies, but having never lived in a state with scorpions they just scare the poop out of me...you are one brave soul, both for the bathroom story and the current problem. You deserve a medal:) Just dropping in from BPOTW.

JourneytoFamily said...

Oh that is CREEPY!!! I don't do well with creepy crawlies! Nope I don't. But fun post! (visiting from BPOTW)

Debbie said...

This was wonderful. Thanks for sending me back to read it! I've got a lot of catching up to do on your blog.

Martin in Bulgaria said...

Hi Louise,
Snakes no problem but scorpions? Rather you than me!

Thanks for your comment and follow. :)

Wednesday, 22 October 2008

Carmine creepy crawlies

Twelve degrees at 9am. Overcast, with the not-so-distant Alps at the top end of the lake obscured in autumn mist once more. Rain on its way.

In India, too many years ago, I once stayed with an ageing couple whose only sanitation was a breeze block khazi plastered with cow dung. The mechanism was fairly primitive, involving as it did a metal cup of water and the active participation of one very large, very pregnant pink pig (and later her eight piglets).

I very quickly got used to the pig, and eventually felt for her an affection born of enforced intimacy, but something I couldn't ever quite get used to about this particular toilet experience was the presence of dozens of small, almost transparent scorpions on the walls of the khazi.

The inside walls.

About four inches from me. On all sides. In the depths of night, with only a kerosene lamp for guidance.

In order to stem the rising creepy-crawly hysteria at toilet time, I would venture outside with a nod to the pig, chanting inside my head the words, "When a girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do, the girl's gotta do it." And so I did. Do it. In the full knowledge that just one of these little critters could put me in hospital. Or worse.
So it should come as no surprise to my husband and family (although it does seem to) that I have no problem with the latest infestation to hit our house.

You guessed it.

It seems to be scorpion season in Carmine. I'm evicting an average of two a day, using the old glass-and-postcard method. They're everywhere : feigning dead under the firewood, clawing their way up the curtains, dawdling in the door jambs. I even found one doing a surprisingly accomplished front crawl in the washing-up water the other day.

None in my boots. As yet.


But these are not the tiny transparent demons that will give you a nasty that sends you into the netherworld. These are 'orrible big fellas of about one inch plus, and they're black as coal and lazy to boot. And contrary to what you'd think, I'm told that their sting is on a par with the humble wasp.
No problem.
Oh, but there is a problem. When I've got them in my upturned glass, hemmed in with a postcard of printmaker Colin Moore's limited edition linoprint 'Sandend', what then? Where do I put them?
Well, that's for me to know and you to find out. All I can say, people, is ... be very, very nice to me...

Copyright © Louise Bostock 2007, 2008. All rights reserved. Please ask first.

13 comments:

Anonymous said...

Well, what a great little story, i'm sorry, but I would go to war on the scorpions, you girls are far too soft, get your big boots on and have a good stamp around.

Vanessa said...

Scorpions. Yuk! Rather you than me!

Louise said...

Oh, no, anonymous. I can't bear to hear the crunch!

Anonymous said...

Had an experience like that in Nepal, on the banks of a river, it made toilet time an interesting experience. The scorpions in Italy are the same as the ones in Spain, and the sting is not that bad.
I'm so glad you don't stomp on them.

Anonymous said...

Go on, if you can't bear to hear the crunch, get some ear plugs. I dont put up with wasp stings, I spray wasps with hair lacquer and watch them crash dive.

Anonymous neighbor said...

I'm scared - what do you want for your birthday?

Louise said...

Hi Anonymous neighbour...do you know the Gallotti jeweller's near Hotel Pironi....? I like rose gold!

BPOTW said...

I was squirming the whole time while reading that. Yuck!!! I'm sorry to animal/bug lovers, but they wouldn't be long for the world if they startled me. If I knew I could scoop them up and deposit them outside, far, far away from the house, then maybe I would try.

Oh, and I would have pooped in public before sitting with those things all around me. You are very brave. :)

Thanks for submitting your post again! (I sound like such a sissy don't I!?!?)

Star said...

New to your blog, but found your scorpion story fascinating! Not along ago I wrote a post complaining about an invasion of gnats. After having just read your story, I think I'll just shut up! Great post!

Brenda Jean said...

EEEEEEKKKKKKKKKKK...oops sorry for my outburst. I can handle most spiders, snakes and other crawlies, but having never lived in a state with scorpions they just scare the poop out of me...you are one brave soul, both for the bathroom story and the current problem. You deserve a medal:) Just dropping in from BPOTW.

JourneytoFamily said...

Oh that is CREEPY!!! I don't do well with creepy crawlies! Nope I don't. But fun post! (visiting from BPOTW)

Debbie said...

This was wonderful. Thanks for sending me back to read it! I've got a lot of catching up to do on your blog.

Martin in Bulgaria said...

Hi Louise,
Snakes no problem but scorpions? Rather you than me!

Thanks for your comment and follow. :)