Sunday, 2 November 2008

A mad Englishman in the midday sun

At this time of year Sunday is a sacred day to me. Not for the usual religious reasons; the NFL is on TV all day. Unless I'm at work I try and set this day aside for a bit of relaxation and watching some exciting, albeit violent, sport. It still doesn't compare to rugby though...

Unfortunately, this morning the TV picture was rubbish. It was watchable so I enjoyed the first game while planning and preparing for the fix before the later games. Many of us here still live in the third world and rely on antenna TV rather than cable or satellite and I was certain it was the roof-top antenna again. Early this morning some of the local mynah birds were having a party on my metal roof and probably used the antenna for gymnastics practise at the same time - it's happened before.

It's not easy to get to the top part of my house and it is rather high, I would guess about 35-feet. I can get to it via the ground-floor roof, a ladder, some chocks to stop the ladder disappearing into the garden and a little bit of muscle to pull myself onto the top of the house, where, I have to admit, the view is stunning. I must take my camera next time.

So, shortly before noon, I made my way out onto the roof only to attract the attention of these critters.

I don't know exactly what species of wasp they are but they're everywhere right now and have built nests all over the outside of the house. They don't seem to be aggressive but they are curious and will fly up to you to figure out what you are and not go away. I've not yet been stung by one, but I don't like them. I'm sure they're beneficial and eat all the other annoying insects such as mosquitos, but they're big and I'm sure the sting will hurt when and if I annoy them enough. The last thing I want is to be attacked 35-feet above the ground with no emergency escape route.

What was the solution? My patented flying-stinging-critter-swatter which I took to the roof along with my tools.

I'm glad I took it. After only a minute or two a couple of them were buzzing around me and wouldn't leave despite my polite requests, so I let fly with the swatter. After a few swings I wasn't bothered again until a little later and by then I'd perfected my swing, so the next wasps were dispatched rather efficiently, even if I say so myself - one of them with an impressive amount of topspin. I then found and fixed the problem with the antenna and spent the rest of the day enjoying some great football!

What my neighbours thought of me, however, is something I'd prefer not to think about.

If you see something appear on YouTube in the next few days entitled "Crazy man practises his forehand on a roasting hot tin roof" then you'll know who it is.


Beep said...

And here I've been bested by only ONE large, very annoying, but common housefly. I was just thinking tonight that I wish someone lived here who could move fast *and* see well enough to get the little creep. I have to turn a light on in another part of the apt. so that he can be kept busy enough to let me get some sleep. We are just wimps here!

Tom said...

I'm sure you could hire me to get rid of the fly, I've become very expert today in smacking annoying insects - I even got one with a backhand and that was always my weakest side. You'll need to make sure your furniture and anything delicate is insured though.

Keera Ann Fox said...

Really, Tom, pretending you didn't upload that video yourself. ;-)

Tom said...

Now I'm really paranoid! I really did check to see if the neighbours were around, and they weren't, otherwise I'd never have gone up there with a tennis racquet. It would have been a cricket bat instead. I'm much more talented with one of those, but then people would really think I'm nuts.