I’ve recently noticed a few large wasps lurking in the downstairs bedroom, around the French windows. Apparently (so beekeeping friends tell me) they are likely to be fertilised queen wasps which have been over-wintering somewhere and are now coming out of hibernation to found a new nest. Last autumn we suddenly had an influx of dozens, actually probably hundreds, of dozy and dying wasps into another bedroom upstairs finding their way in through a tiny hole in the ceiling from a nest under the eaves in a roof space. Possibly these came in during that invasion.
I’ve closed off the downstairs bedroom and am gingerly opening the door each morning looking for more. So far so good … until this morning when I caught sight of a lizard on the doormat where I expected I might see a wasp. Grr. I know many people find lizards very cute, and I don’t mind them outside (although they’re not my favourite). But I absolutely hate them inside the house.
I had to leave the house soon after, certainly no time to go chasing lizards, so I went and found a small box which I carefully placed on top of the lizard. Trapped until I returned and could deal with it.
Or so I thought.
On my return I unlocked the French windows and carefully slid the mat and box outside before lifting off the box to enable the lizard to run free. No lizard anywhere to be seen. Double grrr! Quite how it had escaped I’ve no idea. In the hope it might have been lurking somewhere under a flap in the box I’ve left it outside. But I fear it’s still loose in the house.
Only the other day I’d left my fleece on a bench in front of the house, taken off as the sun began to get hotter. I remembered at the end of the day, picked it up, brought it in, about to put it on saw what I thought was a bit of banana leaf on it, went to flick it off and whilst doing so thought “that banana leaf is very lizard shaped” … whereupon said lizard-shaped banana leaf leapt for the kitchen floor. Fortunately I was able to shoo that one out of the back door within a minute.
I went to the market in Eymet this morning, about 30 minutes from us, as there’s a chap who sits there each week making and mending chairs. Our dining room chairs have rattan seats and one was broken. I fear someone had stood on it … He’s mended one for us before (that culprit owned up!) extremely well. I felt mildly silly walking across the small Bastide town from the car park to the market carrying a chair. But people in rural south-west France rarely bat an eyelid whatever they see so I didn’t get a second glance from anyone.
My other reason for going to the market was to buy a wheeled shopping trolley. Huge numbers of people use them in the markets. I’ve a number of baskets but they become very heavy as they fill up so I’ve been thinking about a trolley for a while.
So I’m now a fully fledged little old French lady with a shopping trolley. Although as I returned to the car, pulling my new trolley (by now filled with fresh locally grown Swiss chard, white asparagus, strawberries, and a small chicken warm and juicy straight off a spit), I passed a very much younger French lady pulling one market-bound. So perhaps I can ditch the age thing and simply be a fully fledged little French lady …
Life in rural south-west France is quiet but rarely without incident!