Bugs galore, friends or foes?
I seem to have developed an allergy to insect bites. Years ago a bumble bee got trapped in my trouser leg, and in its frustration, stung me on the ankle. Having lived in Africa most of my life, it never occurred to me to get medical help for a sting. My leg blew up like a balloon, the swelling reaching up to my knee. I suffered for over a week, dunking my leg in cold baths, and applying ice packs as often as I could. They helped a little but not enough. Eventually the swelling subsided.
Since then I have had several bites, from a variety of bugs, and most have blown up rather rapidly, with some of the worst reactions coming from the smallest midges. It has taught me to rush for the antihistamine tablets and creams as soon as I am aware of a hit, in the sometimes vain hope of reducing the impact.
My most recent encounter was with a wasp. Yes, I was foolish, I thought there was a wasp nest in the creeper I wanted to trim, and I went to investigate. Swoosh they flew out at such speed, I was taken by surprise. One got me a direct hit on the forehead. I managed to run fast enough to avoid the rest adding to my woes. This was the consequence.
Later properly clad in protective clothing, armed with a long range spray I got my revenge.
Bugs, Wasps, Stings, midges, antihistamines,
I am struggling at the moment with nature taking over my garden. I am not a perfectionist when it comes to plants, but sometimes there is a limit as to how much control wild plants can be allowed to spread. This is especially difficult to explain when some of the wild flowers are stunning.
These beautiful flower belong to the ground elder plant. It is so pretty right now as it flowers, but beware of all those lovely seed heads developing. At the same time, below the surface it has a network or roots that resemble spaghetti, which suffocate all the other flowering plants in the flower bed, like the Phlox fighting for survival in the photo above. Digging it up is hard work and results in barrows filled with what looks like spaghetti bolognaise. If one tiny scrap of root is left it carries on growing with gusto.
It is hard to hate something so pretty, but there are times when it drives me mad.
Meanwhile back to editing my next book. Nearly as frustrating as dealing with weeds. All those extra words that manage to get in the wrong place that need to be sorted out.
What plant causes you problems?
What part of editing do you dislike most?
Sunshine has made a huge difference in the garden.
It makes it hard to get on with revising my next book, but is lovely for guests to enjoy now that the B&B is open again.
Rosa Lutea Banksia is at it’s best, an Akiba is twining through it with a contrasting deep red/purple flower.
And my beautiful Tree Peony is bursting into bloom.
In the last few years I have spent more time in hospitals visiting loved ones than I had ever expected.
The hospitals ranged from The Children’s Hospital in Bristol, The Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital, The Bristol Royal Infirmary, Musgrove Park Hospital in Taunton, Franklyn Hospital in Exeter, with short forays to the community hospitals in Wellington and Williton.
In that time I have come to appreciate the stalwart efforts of the staff from the lowly cleaners to the amazingly skilled surgeons. The care and compassion of the ambulance teams, the nurses, physiotherapists, dieticians and the dozens of other support staff has been present in every ward and department I encountered during my visits. I know that many of these people are stretched to their limits, and don’t get the thanks and praise they deserve.
While the staff were all doing their best, it was easy to see some of the things that make their life more difficult. The shortage of full time staff on the wards, endless waiting for deliveries from pharmacy, the knock on effect of beds not being available, the lack of simple pieces of equipment can make a busy shift into a nightmare one.
I can only hope that some of these issues can be addressed to help ease the burden on those who care for our loved ones so well.
I’m hoping that all my hospital visits in the future will be confined to out-patients appointments.
On Monday 7th November, Peter will have his last round of Chemo. Still a long way to go to the end, but one more stage in his treatment is complete.
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The Mallaig Link.
Evening sunshine bringing out the best of the autumn colours.
This passion flower decided that getting entangled with the overhanging wisteria was not the way to go.