Dear Blog – 11.07 – 11/06/21

The Wild Duster Dance

Items Needed for Wild Duster Dance
Very hot weather, 20 wasps, 1 Queen wasp, 1 featherduster, 1 wild lunatic

Swarmed – Trailer

The last few days have been very hot in Kent, finally the British summer has arrived in the form of a heatwave that is already being forecast to still be here on the 16th June with some potential light showers and a drop in temperature on the 17th – so from where l type now – l have five days to get my garden planting completed and as much dry work in Suze’s garden completed as well! No pressure, none – just non-stop work, with very few breaks and no time to be poorly!

I had my second jab yesterday delivered by a bulking hulk of a guy who although very courteous was incredibly efficient in the injection department and had a very firm application with needle in hand, so much so that l felt it go in and felt it smarting for a good ten minutes afterwards. No reaction as far as l can tell this morning, although a bit achy all over, and yesterday when returning home l was a bit ansy for a while [irritable], but l may have just been overly hot.

Something l have noticed over here in the last thirty years with British summers is that our heat seems to have shifted times!

When l was growing up in Surrey which is a county sandwiched amongst several counties including Kent, our average summer heat was very different both temperature wise and when it was actually hot during the day. My mother would always tell me to watch out for the heat early afternoon, and yet over those 40 years, l have felt the summer heat staying longer and being present in the day ‘heat wise’ for longer and later. It used to be really hot between the hours of 12 – 4pm, but now it is [when there isn’t a heatwave like now] 12 – 7pm, never mind the pre and post -heat stages of the day. It reminds me of heats l experienced when younger in Australia and Malaysia and yet they were very distinct heats – Britain is a very distinct heat.

Environmentally we know that climate change is literally changing the heat factors globally and l read an article online last year that talked of 30°C, 35°C, and 40°C plus summers in the UK alone by 2100 – yippee ….

I am out in the garden today, l will be mindful of the jab and the heat, but l want to try and press on, it’s already a bit too late in the day to start planting because of the heat, but l can trim various things down and l do have administrative work on the second blog to complete also, as well as l am planning a trip to the hardware store to get some wood to make some frames for the cubicles. I do also have to consider transferring the contents of the worm farm over to the currently empty cube, so l don’t not have stuff to do. But sitting here in my pj’s with my curtains shut and sensing the heat of the day at the front of the house on the street l can tell it’s going to be another seriously hot one! It’s forecast to be 25°C but in built up areas it’s way hotter.

Willow here, holds heat, and there is very little refreshing respite to be found. But l have taken to walking in the evening when it is marginally cooler and the significant difference alone when stepping outside my front door is almost like a 360 in comparison to the back garden. Courtyard gardens are very lovely to look at BUT very bloody hot!

Yesterday l had three main tasks to complete before my jab at 5.35pm, meaning l had to be finished, packed up and showered by 5pm. Suze was driving me to Deal. The tasks were 1] to finalise the emptying out, sieving off the finished compost and harvesting the worms from the compost heap and transferring the content to the right places and new bins, 2] weed the gravel path which due to the birds l feed here and their remarkable talent for dropping seed produces lovely shoots every week and 3] preparing the soils in containers for planting out all the seedlings l have here in the kitchen.

By 2.30pm, l was two thirds of the way through my task sheet. I had started at 9am and was very pleased to have gotten to where l was with the third task which was by far the easiest. So, l got my garden tools, kneeled down to the containers and started the chore of soil prep. I was about 8 feet away from the open back patio doors leading into the house and the kitchen when l heard a strange buzzing – like a troop of bees. Curious l thought and when l turned around l saw three wasps flying very closely to the side of the recycle bins, just circling, thought nothing of it for ten minutes when l decided l needed a drink. So, l got up, walked into the kitchen and poured myself a cold drink, when l heard buzzing ……………. in the kitchen! Bloody hell l thought, not bees in the house … l had already rescued three bumblebees who had flown in and l had caught them and guided them out.

So when l turned around imagine my surprise at seeing not 1, or 2 or even 3 buzzing things .. but 5 all behind me and dancing above the stove area. I mistook them initially for bees but realised not much later they were indeed wasps! I moved quietly around them to try and shut some doors and trap them in one space [kitchen both doors to garden open], when as l glanced in the downstairs shower room, l saw crawling on the floor a massive wasp ……. “Oh no!! That’s a bloody queen!!”

As l went to the shut the door leading to the rest of the house, l could see 3 more in the hallways and l heard some in the loungeroom .. “WTF??!!” l shouted in alarm, my house was filled with wasps and a queen wasp? It was like a royal party packed with sting! “Why me, why now!” I knew l had to do something, so l grabbed my trusty feather duster hanging on the door, and a piece of paper and a glass so that l could capture, trap and guide all that was required. When l turned back into the kitchen the situation had worsened ……..oooh no!! Now l had at least 10 wasps in the kitchen and the queen had disappeared, and 3 in the loungeroom.

I shut the door between the kitchen and the rest of the house, closed the shower room door, once l was happy the queen wasn’t there and started to try and herd the wasps out of the kitchen towards the back door and the garden ……….. which is not an easy task in a hot house on a very hot day with angry wasps and a knackered guy armed with a feather duster! Two of them started to target me and l started performing this strange wild crazy dance ……..duster in one hand, folded paper in the other and waving my arms around and chanting .. “Get outa here, get outa here, get outa here!!” One of the wasps targeting me got too close and l feather dusted it to the floor .. dazed.

This was obviously a bad move and l would read an hour later that wasps and bees send out signals if they feel threatened or under attack and then any passerby wasps or if a queen is present, an army can arrive to shovel in on the offensive! As fast as l was getting rid of wasps, more were arriving on the scene, l had to shut the back doors and suddenly the house was enveloped in sauna like heats, and so the strange feather duster wild lunatic chanting dance began in earnest!! I tried NOT to swat any more, and so l had to capture them using the duster and the tall glass to capture and release. I had managed to gently open the back door and as l was doing so to release the trapped wasp, l looked up and was suddenly very alarmed ……. frightened even might be more apt a phrase!! Outside was a wall of wasps, l am talking thirty or so maybe more, all buzzing and flying at the glass doors!!

How does one say sorry in waspish about dazing wasps? ZZZhorryzzz? Matters not, they weren’t listening, they all seemed to have one intent – getting me!! I ran upstairs to the bedroom above thinking, maybe l had a bloody wasp nest somewhere? I opened the window and looked down upon the conservatory roof and all l could see were wasps and a lot of them and they sounded angry!! They saw the window open and started towards me, l slammed it shut!!

I felt like that scene in the film The Birds and then l remembered that film Swarmed ……… l was in trouble!!

It took me roughly 40 minutes to get all the wasps out of the house …. and yet still they were swarming the back door …. it then made me wonder, if it wasn’t a nest, why were they swarming me still? Because l had dazed one of them? Or ………. where exactly was the queen? Was she gone, was she still in … the …. house …. with … me?? As it happened ….. she was!! I found her in the loungeroom in the folds of the net curtain by the front window, angry and trying to get out ……!! So, l grabbed the tallest glass l had, the trusty feather duster and trapped her in the glass and decided to let her go out the back but realised if l did that, l might get seriously stung by many pissed off wasps and so released her out the front door. Five minutes after that … there wasn’t a single wasp outside the back door …. not one!!

I was exhausted, and simply decided to call a halt to the gardening for the day, where upon l will resume in a moment …. anyway, thought l would share that with you all for some Friday fun and frolics!

Thanks for reading catch up with you all again .

14 thoughts on “Dear Blog – 11.07 – 11/06/21

  1. Rory, you’ve the strangest of adventures. I can just picture all this in my mind and it must be quite threatening for you. But if it were a movie or a show, it’d be quite…… hilarious. Sorry but just seeing them all lined up and gunning for you makes me laugh out loud! 😆

    1. Oh worry not, at the time l was also Facebook messaging Suze and when she wasn’t laughing at the thought of me crazy duster dancing she was trying to offer help 🙂

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