2017 Grateful 19

Flies poop. And they poop a lot. And they’re pretty indiscriminate about where they do it, too. Lightbulbs. Electrical cords. Walls. Windows. Benches. Ledges. Floors. Curtains. Everywhere. Anywhere. And while you might never notice, once you do, you see it everywhere. I know. I’ve spent the better part of two days cleaning up after the unsightly buggers, millions of whom have enjoyed an extended holiday at ours (before it was ours) for years. We’re caught between chickens on one side and goats and sheep and a donkey on the other, so the flies are right at home. So far, I’ve identified three types: big ones that buzz and don’t bite; medium-sized ones that don’t buzz or bite; and smaller ones that don’t buzz but bite – nastily.

They’re clever buggers, too. They can fly through locked doors and closed windows. My latest effort is to paste sticky butterfly pictures on the windows. These are supposed to lure the flies to an ignoble end or scare them away – am not quite sure of the translation. But so far, they’re like handbags on a dance floor in an Irish disco – the flies are just buzzing around them. Fly sprays are ineffective (and nasty) and fly papers don’t work either. My Hare Krishna friends, if their religion allowed it, would kill me if they knew I’d bought a couple of fly swats. But my reflexes are so bad, I can hear the flies laughing at me.

Any natural suggestions anyone? SH – is your bat colony available for rent?

But back to the clean. We’ve visitors arriving this week from Alaska and more at the end of the month from Minnesota. And the house has to be clean. What is it with us Irish and visiting Americans? Back in my bank days, I remember a woman coming in and asking for a loan to put in a new kitchen. Her young fellah was coming home from America on holiday and bringing his American girlfriend with him. And this called for a new kitchen! And going into debt for same. Piranha pine, she said. I remember it well. Little did I know that decades later, I’d be knuckle-deep in fly poop days before the Yanks are due to land.

Anyway, back to the clean. The builders have left. Finally. And I miss them, in a weird sort of way. But I’m glad they’re gone and that we now have a new bathroom and a new manhole (so christened by the inimitable MI). The carpenter still has a few bits to finish but I’m sure he’ll get around to it this side of Christmas. And what with the middle of the house looking so new, the kitchen end had to be cleaned, too. As had the windows. And the damned cement tiles, which are still resisting all efforts and concoctions and remaining stubbornly dull and listless.

I had help. Lots of help. My ministering angel was on hand. She’d come to visit for the weekend after spending 11 days walking around the Balaton (some 240+km). I suspect this was the last burst of energy before the crash. I took shameless advantage, I know, but she will get her due reward. The painter has finished the outside, too. Or at least as much as he can do until the shrubs are cut back in late September and the plasterer has done his repair work. Perhaps the carpenter can come then, too, and we can have a party.

Reality has hit. No matter how done I think I am, there will always be something to do. There’s no getting away from it. But I’m grateful that I’m still enjoying it, that the improvement is visible, and that we are blessed with good friends to share the load.

From this:


To this:



Those how have been paying attention over the years will remember that my bathroom in Budapest was built around a candle holder I got from De Wimmen on my 40th. This one has as its inspiration The Dance of Time, a framed sculpture from the Wild Goose Studio in Kinsale, Co. Cork, a Christmas present a number of years back from the queen of design, SF.

The manhole isn’t quite finished but to GP and PF, the outdoor light has been worked in, cleverly, methinks 🙂 Hould yer whist.

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5 Responses

  1. Very nice Mary. Plus your start to finish time was incredible. Took Mike and our builder 3 months to finish less than your new beauty. Congratulations on the new bathroom.

  2. I heard flies don’t like peppermint oil and lavender oil. No idea if this is true but might be worth a sprinkle around

  3. To deal with flying insects of all sorts use a little gadget called VAPE Magic. It plugs into an electric socket and exudes scentless vapour from a little reservoir underneath it. Nothing will be left alive after a few hours – keep windows etc shut, of course, while it operates.

  4. I should have said that there are other things that work in a similar way – I can’t remember names. These things can be found in house-ware shops.

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