Wednesday, 31 July 2013

The Incident of the Fly in the Night

Our house is incredibly quiet at night, but the disadvantage is that it makes you hyper-aware of the smallest sounds. I once became aware of a tiny rhythmic rustling noise and eventually realised it was my heartbeat disturbing the feathers of the duvet! But tonight there’s nothing but the click of my Kindle and Tom snoring gently as he drifts off to sleep. Investing in a Kandle (pricey, but so superior to those stalky lights that wobble about and poke you in the face) has even put an end to the ‘when are you going to turn the light out?’ debate and has made my love of reading in bed more comfortable for both of us. 

I’ve just finished a chapter of a childhood favourite, The Little Grey Men, by BB reissued as an ebook, and now that I know Baldmoney, Sneezewort and Dodder are tucked up and safe, I feel lovely and cosy and decide to settle down too. I have barely fallen asleep when there is a moan of protest beside me. A gnat has decided to take a bite out of Tom. I’m largely untroubled by insect bites due, I’ve decided, to my Rhesus negative blood, but Tom reacts so badly to them that recently he could barely bend his elbows they were so swollen. On a mission, Tom switches on his bedside light, looking for some After Bite, but instead sends a large glass of water flying.

After a huge mopping-up operation, we become aware of a new sound. A fly has entered the fray. We keep very still, trying to locate it, but the fly torments us wheeling round our heads, landing briefly and spiralling off again. Tom grabs a tee shirt and flaps wildly at the air. At this rate we’re going to have a second glass of water drama! I decide to go for chemical weapons and dig out an ancient tin of fly spray. Unfortunately my aim’s a bit off and I liberally spray my pillow by mistake. All the lights are now blazing, we’re both wide awake and the fly refuses to be caught. It’s also very hot so neither of us has a stitch on which suddenly strikes me as terribly funny – especially when I look at Tom’s grumpy face.

After much swiping and spraying, the fly does a lap of honour and disappears off to the landing. Tom quickly slams the door and we flop into bed. You’d think with all the fly spray on my pillow I’d go out like a light, but no. All I can think of is us chasing round the room in our nuddy-pants trying to catch a fly. The more I try to stop giggling, the worse it gets, so now the peaceful night is disturbed by guffaws of laughter. It’s quite a long time before I finally fall asleep!


18 comments:

Jane Lovering said...

Yep, we've suffered that one too! Have you done the thing where you're asleep, and a moth lands on your face, causing you to wake suddenly and flail aimlessly at your cheeks? Sleeping partner usually wakes at this point and tells you you were dreaming, at which point moth flies slap into his forehead...
I'm laughing too, at the thought of the pair of you running around trying to swat a Midnight Fly... not that I'm laughing at the thought of you naked, oh no, that would be BAD...

Chris Stovell said...

On balance, I think flies and moths are better than the scritch-scratch of mice in the loft, Jane, although I agree that a moth in the face isn't fun. If I wake up to find a mouse on my face, though, the whole world will hear about it. It was the naked bit that made me laugh most and how ridiculous we looked... but fortunately there were no other witnesses!

Pondside said...

Oh my goodness - been there and done that! Our house is silent, silent too and there's nothing worse than a buzzing fly. I can't rest until it's been dispatched - and no thoughts of humane catch and release.

Chris Stovell said...

No, I wasn't in the mood for anything humane either, Pondside, but the fly must have realised it was run or die time!

Fran said...

Brilliant! When things like this happen to me in the night, I wake up the next morning thinking, 'That was bizarre! Did I dream that?' But, no, real life is like that!

Chris Stovell said...

Thanks Fran, now let me tell you about my fly-spray-induced hallucinations that I had when I finally fell asleep...

Lins' lleisio said...

I can vouch for the Kandle too, brilliant and worth the investment. Flies, spiders, moths, birds on the roof and bats in it it's a jungle out there....

Chris Stovell said...

Thanks, Lins - you've made me feel less guilty about my Kandle. Big initial outlay but really worth it! Mind how you go in that jungle! x

Linda Mitchelmore said...

Am totally in love with your phrase 'it was my heartbeat disturbing the feathers of the duvet'......I see a gentle fluttering up and down, whisper-like. Lovely. I'm blood group A positive and am like Tom when things bite.....so not nice.

Chris Stovell said...

It was a strange sound to hear, Linda! And poor you on the bites, DD1 suffers too - she had cankles recently and had to sellotape frozen peas to them!

Chanpreet said...

I love that you're able to share this with us! I laughed aloud while reading because it's easy to imagine what it's look like to someone seeing it from the outside. Very funny and hard to explain!

Chris Stovell said...

Chanpreet, Tom's just come in with a bee sting... but I don't think I'd better make any jokes about that just yet! He is Mr Moany-Moanisson at the moment!

Amanda said...

T guess there are worse things than laughter to keep you awake :-) Glad you got rid of that pesky fly, though!

Cara Cooper said...

I was plagued on holiday by the dreaded, mosquito bzzzz, was up for hours and blamed the other half for not managing to swat it! Jane, I've nearly knocked myself out trying to swat mozzies in my sleep.

Chris Stovell said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Chris Stovell said...

ou're so right, Amanda! Much better than lying there fretting.

At least you didn't knock your OH out, Cara - then he definitely wouldn't have been able to swot the mozzies!

4 August 2013 05:24 Delete

Mandy K James said...

You MUST work that into your next book. Hilarious!

Chris Stovell said...

Mandy, I thought you'd be busy packing :) Thanks very much, dear heart!