Friday, 28 December 2012

Well we were tidy!

Thought I would give you an idea of the living space we are so pleased to have, which is away from the chaos of the rest of the house, which is going to be ongoing for several months yet due to the fact that Jean Pierre, our wonderful French builder, can only work here at the weekends. 

This video was taken in the 'before' time though. Because now we are in upsy downsy mode here in the Half Barn as well, because......

....well two evenings ago I was sitting at my PC, and a big black fly landed on my lamp. Swat. Was sorted. Then another one flew onto my PC. Swat again. Then another on the lamp again. Swat. Then swat, swat, swat, swat, as several more, at intervals of a minute or so  kept on appearing. Didn't think too much about it, although thought it odd, as did Lester, who is Chief Fly Swatter here, having lived his early life in the heat of South Africa where flies do what flies do, and that is breed with speed, including of course the maggot to pupa to adult fly stages. This has rendered Lester with 'Fly Phobia', so that whenever a fly enters the house he will, with speed, hunt it down. It also means that doors and windows must be kept shut, which I have found irritating, because I like windows and doors open. 

Anyway, during the day more big black flies kept appearing, lazily flying around as if still half asleep, heading towards the French doors, or the velux windows. 
"There's a funny smell in here" commented Lester a couple of days ago. 'Must change the sheets' was my immediate reaction, thinking that he meant the beddy smell that can happen when sheets are needing to be put in the wash, not that I do not change the sheets regularly but I had gone past my normal sheet change day a few days ago. 
"That smell is worse" grumbled Lester yesterday. Ah, so not the sheets because I had changed them earlier. 
Swat, swat, swat, Lester with fly swat, me with the broom. 
"That's it", he yelled, "I've had it..... there must be something dead in here"....
Oh strooth, so then he went on a hunt for the dead thing. Sniffing the air, he tracked down the point at which he thought the smell was stronger. It was the long leather settee, covered over with a duvet because leather is flipping cold to sit on in the winter and flipping uncomfortable in the summer when one's sweatiness makes one's skin stick to the leather like glue. 

Off came the duvet, flung on to the floor. Away from the wall he dragged the settee. 
"There, see?" he said, with an 'I told you so' look on his face. I, meanwhile, helped where I could, but was useless with the 'tracking of the smell' exercise as I don't have a sense of smell anywhere near as strong as Lester has, and was not particularly enthused with the hunting down of the dead corpse, which I knew had to be done but I didn't want to really have to be involved. But he did involve me with the examination of what he had seen, which was a scattering of black little pods, which could of been rat droppings, which we are familiar with, but which he decided was hatching eggs because "They have rings on them" he said. 

Oh crikey, so it was a dead body of something or other and not the sheets which had caused the 'aroma'. Oh strooth. 

"Got to find it" Lester said as he started forcefully dismantling the settee. We didn't. So we left the settee and all its bits strewn hither and thither and went out to the local supermarket for wine and choccie, because that is what one does when one is ticked off with the endless fight with the local population of four footed things which really think it is their right to live in our house as well. I also bought some scented candles and a packet of joss sticks as I also could now smell the smell. 

Swat, swat, swat, back to the swatting task we went when we returned home. Swat, swat swat, well into the evening. Then all stopped, no more swatting was needed. Was this the end? Had we finished with terminating the lives of these young flies? Had they finished hatching? Was the still unfound carcase finished with? We do not know yet. 

The candles worked a treat as did the joss sticks. We had a good nights sleep, surprisingly neither of us having dreams about flies and dead things, although I suspect that will happen sometime in the future. So now the task today is hunt down the carcase, which means moving everything all about as we do so. I wanted to do other things today. I did not want to shift furniture about, armed with a vacuum cleaner in case more eggs were spotted. I have done enough furniture shifting over the last few weeks. 

Not to worry, Vera. This is a task which needs to be done, and not to worry that it would seem that fly-phobia is arriving in your head as well. At least that will stop the ongoing argument between you and Hubs as to whether the doors and windows should be open or not, at least there will be peace on that question, because all the doors and windows will be closed during peak fly-flying times for ever more in the future. There! Something positive to take with you as you start the hunt! 

Now off to get our menagerie fed. 

Hope your Christmas season is progressing wonderfully well. Hope your tummies are not too full such that windyness is occurring, but not to worry if it is, because a good dose of bicarbonate of soda should do the trick. It might taste absolutely horrid but it does the trick, and fast!


Denise said...

Oh blimey, don't talk to me about flies. Had an infestation in my classroom at school (or as it is now 'ex-classroom hurrah!) and couldn't find the source. Strange smells,too, but that usually happens when most of the children one teaches are teenage boys. Spent three days with fly swat (walloped only two kids in passing, though did try to get more aha!) and the caretakers refused to help because they thought that children were releasing them into the room. What?

Well, flies eventually banished as I hope yours will be too.. Hope the discovery of the source isn't too gruesome.


Kev Alviti said...

I hate the smell of something dead. We've had trouble with mice in our house but luckily they've all either died in plain view or outside so we didn't have to go on the "hunt". Glad you found it though

Jean said...

Lovely video, Vera. It's nice to see that you have a comfortable living space and you're right, you don't notice the bed. Mind you, I suppose it could come in handy if you had really boring guests !!

I can't wait to find out the cause of your smell.......sort of !!

rusty duck said...

Oh no... I hope you find it. Most inconsiderate of something to expire in the house because the smell is awful. Last time for us it was a mouse in a drain.

Love the video! It brings your blog even more alive, being able to picture the layout of the Half Barn. Very envious of your beautiful stone walls. And 4 poster!

Vera said...

Denise, infestations are not nice are they, but ours seem to be banished as well now, thank goodness! Source still not found though, but smell seems to be a long fainter.

Kev, oh lucky you to have not had the experience of having one die and not know where it is! I can honestly say that it is quite horrendous!

Jean, glad you enjoyed the vid. Sorry to disappoint you though, but the cause of the smell remains unfound!

Jessica, crikey, a dead mouse in a drain, now that must have been very horrid! Glad you liked the video,and I agree, a video seems to give life to a blog. Have you seen John of Going Gently's video of his sitting room? It is very sweet.

Horst in Edmonton said...

Hi Vera, love your video. Your house is nice and bright. Love the solid furniture and the awesome stone walls. Your floor is wonderful, easy to keep clean. It looks so nice and cosey in the video.

Vera said...

Horst, it is nice and cosy! Glad you enjoyed seeing our home, and we love the stone walls as well!

Food, Fun and Life in the Charente said...

I am not back in blog mode yet but just popped in to say hi. As you know I cannot watch the video with our slow connection..... Sorry you never trackbed down the body but hopefully the smell is now a thing of the past. Happy New Year. Diane