21/07/11 Midges

The midge, unlike the large, slow and sluggish beast that was the East Wemyss pterodactyl, is tiny, fast and generally suicidal.

Lou and I had walked sufficiently and knocked on a door of a friendly family to see if we could set up in their garden.

“Yes, of course,” came the answer. They couldn’t have been more kind. In retrospect there must have been a look in their eyes, a subtle nuance that would have given away their true identity as the keepers of the midge.
If we hadn’t turned up I’m sure the young woman and her mum and their friendly little Yorkshire terrier would have turned into the Witches of Clyth, Hell bent on finding food for their ravenous hoards, pulling in passers by to fill the tiny bellies of their masters.
We walked up to the corner of the garden/ field – a spot that was ideal for our gas cookery things – hardly any breeze.

As a happy coincidence that is just the perfect environment for the midge(y bastards).

We were determined to enjoy the delights of the 2 hob chicken curry come what may.

We slapped on Avon skin so soft (which sports the warning “flammable” ideal for cooking with volatile camping cookers) which served to make the midges stick to us in a creamy petroly soup.

We ate our tea and dived for cover in our tents. I woke up to find lou launching herself into the cooking of the early morning sausage. She was sporting the midge net which covered her head completely and inhibits any manner of eating or drinking.

After the savaging from last night I looked not unlike an extra from Dr Who – complete with dripping wounds.
Lou has no bites. None. Not one. I recently heard about some midge research on the radio. Scientists have found that midges are 5x more attracted to a compound that smells like sweaty socks than to your average human.

That’ll be me then. Lou has, quite unkindly I thought, commented on the rancid smell of my feet. She just doesn’t understand that I was trying to protect her.

Later on in the day an older chap, Bill, called us in for a cup of tea.

“It’s not 5 star,” he said as he ushered us in. How very true. Lou described it as the inside of the house being full of the outside.

As a social worker I had experienced this a number of times. Lou hadn’t. He made the tea and brought it through – we chatted about the walk a mile thing.
He told me that he’d been an alcoholic and had turned that around when he found he could sponsor children in Indonesia. So instead of spending money on alcohol, he spent money on them.

There were photos of him on the wall talking about the sponsorship programme and looking altogether better cared for.

He seemed happy and comfortable.
I, on the other hand, accidentally swallowed a moth that had been stuck to one of the dirtiest mugs I’d ever drunk from, while lou popped outside taking a fictitious phone call to allow her to pour her tea somewhere in the garden.

She is truly wise.

That said, by eating an insect, I felt I was scoring one for the humans.

Walk a mile


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