Last night was spent chasing a mosquito around my flat.
After arriving back from my rain soaked camping trip I went to bed looking forward to ten hours of uninterrupted sleep. But at around 2.30 I woke up to the malevolent, evil buzz that had plagued me six months ago. After the debacle with the fruit flies in March – who incidentally still insist on gathering in the corner of my window for reasons unknown – this intrusion was one flying insect too many.
I dived out of bed and grabbed my dog-eared copy of ‘Improve your French’ in the vain attempt to swat it dead. I’m just glad my blind was drawn: the sight of a 38 year old naked teacher dancing around his room at 2.30 in the morning thrashing wildly into thin air with a teach yourself French book, may have caused concern in the community.
I sat down exhausted and remembered the scheme I had waged against them in the autumn. They’re clever you see. When you turn on the light they fly back into the corners out of sight and wait for you to go back to bed. The key I discovered back then, is to turn out the light and wait silently like an ambush patrol.
After five minutes, I heard this one returning for another attack. I flicked the switch but it was too quick and disappeared out of sight. This was a good one. A real fighter. Every time I flicked the light on, it quickly sailed back behind the wardrobe. Until the forth time, when being a touch too slow I crushed it joyously against the window with my book leaving their trademark spat of blood and mangled legs on the pane. Like notches on a bedpost, I know exactly how many I’ve had since I’ve lived here.
Camping in Pilat I got wet again and again and again. I dried out a lot as well, but it wasn’t long before I got wet again. It’s that type of weather at the moment. I took the train to Givors, walked in the park till eight, pitched my tent, ate ham and bread and cheese and drank wine and then slept. I woke up wet, walked more, dried out, more wetness prevailed, ate more ham and cheese, finished the wine, now dry, got wet, and headed back to Givors and Lyon. Not immensely enjoyable but not overly disagreeable either. More functional than inspired. Fresh air, exercise, discovery, time to kill.
Today is Sunday and it’s been unusual to have these four days off so soon after my two week holiday. I feel a bit spoilt and perhaps it would have been better to do a couple of full week’s work and then have the holiday. But I don’t have the power to move Ascension, neither Pentecost, which is next Monday; so another long weekend.
I’m going off again and I’m thinking of the beach. I’ve done a lot of walking and running around since I’ve been here. After my run this morning, my legs felt a little brittle. Like sticks of rock ready to crumble. What I need is to lie on the beach for a weekend and drink coconut cocktails and Campari and sodas. I’m sure I could think of worse things to do: like walking in the torrential rain in a National Park, for example.