Saturday, 22 August 2009

The Wasp Factory

I had a lovely day out with the boys yesterday. Really lovely. The sort of day where everybody is just loving and giving and happy (well bar the small incident where a reasonably extreme summer storm erupted out of nowhere, just as my 4 year old poked his head out of a rather large wooden door......Storm hit door, door hit boy's head.....Boy's head was somewhat crushed by storm driven door and boy fell to floor howling..... Approximately 200 concerned mothers turned at once and gasped, while secretly being pleased it wasn't their child, and then watched as I screeched 'well what do you expect if you stick your head out a door in the middle of a storm?' before falling to the ground to administer hugs and hide the fact that I was in fact crying).

Anyway, it was a lovely day - only marred by the head-slamming incident and the BLOODY WASPS.

You may have noticed there are a lot of wasps around this year. Apparently the UK has seen a 70% increase in the wasp population over the last 2 years (geek fact of the day) and they are blaming this on 'the un-naturally mild weather' which means more and more wasps survive the winter.

I find this slightly suspect - yes the climate has been getting milder but we seemed to spend a large chunk of last winter under several inches of snow - surely that should have killed some of the buggers off??

A couple of years ago there was something of a PR campaign on the behalf of wasps (quite who instigated this I don't know, I very much doubt the wasps have any kind of formal arrangement to try and promote their 'better side' so clearly someone woke up one day and decided that they loved wasps and wanted to take on their cause - odd. Very odd. When weighing up the needs of the disadvantaged and misunderstood of the world, wasps wouldn't be top of my personal list) which tried to convince us that wasps were good and a natural part of our world and actually a useful, pest killing addition to the garden.

Hmmm. I remain unconvinced. They are actually small packages of black and yellow evil sent from the bowels of hell. I am not their friend. They have previously eaten through the masonry of my house and shot up my shorts before stinging me on the backside (this particularly incident sent me fleeing from the room screaming with my pants round my ankles).

Anyway - there I was having my nice day out when the boys wanted to go round a crazy golf course. So I left the pushchair by the gate and off we went. We were gone for quite some time (the toddler loves crazy golf - really loves it. Unfortunately his love is mainly focused on fetching the balls out of the holes and then throwing them as hard as he can, normally into bushes. And he's not bothered whose ball he is taking out of whose hole.....The next Tiger Woods he ain't. More like the next Olympian shot putter).

Half an hour or so (and many apologies) later I returned to find that my pushchair - which was once red - was now sporting a black and yellow hood.

Oh dear god.

I had left it by the bin and, it appears, that large parts of the pushchair have spent the last couple of years marinating in a sticky combination of spilt drinks, apple ricecakes and bits of biscuit which offer an irresistible combo to the average wasp. Millions (well Ok, dozens) of the things were writhing around in a sea of ecstasy.

Forget those wasp traps you can buy from the shops - you just need my bloody pushchair.

This left me with something of a conundrum.

I stood there, holding one child and with another at my feet, staring at the pushchair, which I needed to put the ball-stealing toddler in asap, wondering how the HELL I was going to actually move my pushchair away from the bin and the wasps (what with there already being circa 50 odd wasps all around the handlebars) let alone get the wasps off the pushchair without getting stung?


I put the toddler down (cue much screeching) and start to whack at the wasps enthusiastically with my older son's lunch box. The lunch box was pretty ineffective as a wasp killer but very effective in terms of knocking the pushchair over backwards so it was lying with its wheels in the air and, of course, the handle area is still covered in wasps, so I can't pick it up again.

The next logical(ish) step was to change my weapon of choice and try and kill the wasps with something flexible. This meant taking off one of my flip flops.

So now I've got one howling toddler, one concerned older child, one pushchair on its back with its legs in the air, one shoe on and about 50 or so very angry wasps and I'm hoping around doing a kind of mad shoe waving dance, trying not to get stung yet get close enough to kill them.

People were staring.

People were muttering and pulling their children closer (probably whilst whispering 'isn't that the same lady who let her son's head get slammed in the door earlier? During the storm? Thought so......well it's doesn't surprise me, she's not even wearing a shoe on one foot.....STAY AWAY!').

Meanwhile, I still wasn't getting anywhere with regards to annhilating the wasps. As soon as one fell it was replaced by several more angry comrades from the bin.

In the end I figured I just had to get away from the bin, and the circling swarm and the staring nosey parkers (none of whom I note offered to help disperse the wasps) so I had no choice but to hold my head up high, grab the buggy by one of its (wasp free) wheels and march briskly off into the sunset, smiling bravely and shouting 'come along children, let's go and watch the ferret racing!' whilst dragging the upside down pushchair (and wasps) behind me.

Once out of sight I set about some highly enthusiastic flip-flop flapping and got rid of the plague.

I put my shoe back on and the toddler in the pushchair and the rest of the day went swimmingly.

Which was pretty fortunate really because, thinking about it, one near decapitation and attack of the killer swarm is enough for one afternoon, surely?


  1. Oh boy!
    I reckon you were very brave with the wasps.
    I had to laugh at the images you conjured up - seriously pleased that you weren't stung!
    Apart from that (and the near decapitation) sounds like a fun day out!
    Sue xx

  2. You were very brave attacking those wasps without getting stung. That was one hell of a heroic job and showed the kids that their mom was no ninny. They'll be proud off you one day when they're old enough to realize how dangerous that was. Well done!

  3. FPMSL - that's made my day chick!

  4. you make me laugh! We have them too, but also bluebottles 'cos they are muck spreading locally. I mean, what a daft time of the year to do that when everyone wants to sit in the garden DUH!


  5. Glad no one was seriously hurt what with the door slamming and wasp feeding. You do such a great job with your description I felt like I was there. Thanks for the chuckles. Always look forward to your blog.

  6. There is an award for you on my blog - you really deserve it!
    Sue xx

  7. There is a second award for you on my blog - this one is really well deserved.
    Sue xx

  8. Thanks everyone.

    Wow - cheers Susie and Claire! Very flattered - shall try to get on to them later this week...or maybe next week the way this week is looking!! Anyway - I really appreciate it so MWAA (that was supposed to be a kiss....).