Here is my column from last weeks Irish Examiner’s Feelgood. Sadly this week I will have one reader less, as an amazing mother, sister, grandmother and friend to many, Sheila Courtney, passed away all too suddenly on Monday.
Sheila was well known in this house by our children as ‘Nana Courtney’ despite not being a relation at all. She and her two sisters, ‘the aunties’ were wonderful characters and her loss to all who knew her, but most especially her eight children, twenty three grandchildren and of course ‘the aunties’ will be immense.
Sheila, I salute you and your many achievements in this life. You have left a large hole in many lives. Rest in peace and I hope you are enjoying your time with your leading man once more.
I feel lucky to be here today writing this, as I quite honestly nearly melted last week. I never felt more Irish, as I watched the weather forecast daily, waiting for news of rain, and could be heard on a loop sighing,
“It’s too hot.”
From early morning I was obsessed with keeping the house cool, closing curtains and opening windows. However, there is something other than air guaranteed to enter via open windows… flies.
In recent days whole families have moved in, pushing me to my limits.
Having had the chance to study the many who find their way into my home, they seem to lack any intelligence at all. Daily, they fly in large open windows and never again find a window to leave by. Continuously, I hear angry buzzing, as one after another kamikaze’s themselves against the glass.
I’d not realised they were tipping me over the edge until the other day, although I suspect the tipping began the night before.
I’d got into bed and flicked on the bedside lamp (the one with the very effective eco bulb which takes forever to light up), as yer man snoozed beside me. Opening my book, I tried to remember what page I was on.
I peered into the half light to see if I could spot the culprit. There was no sign and no sound. I read on, but he buzzed again, this time closer and louder. I swatted wildly, which had no effect whatsoever on Mr Buzz, but did lose me my page.
So it went on, but about twenty buzzes later I’d had enough. Pretended to read, I lay there, waiting. Just one more buzz, I thought, and he’s dead.
Flinging back the covers I chased Buzz from roof to wall, armed with my book. However, he was onto me and lay low. The room was quiet, except for yer man’s breathing. Maybe he’d escaped?
Reluctantly I returned to bed and searched for my page… BUZZ. BUZZ.
I leaped up, murder on my mind and scoured the room, my book at the ready. Unfortunately, Mr Buzz, having literally eyes in the back of his head, was too quick for me. My blood pressure, and temper rose as we played hide and seek.
Then I remembered, flies are attracted to light.
I stood for a moment and sure enough spotted him crawling around the lamp. Overwhelmed by killer thoughts I whacked him, missing my tormentor and sending the lamp crashing to the floor with an almighty clatter.
Yer man stirred. “Good night,” he muttered and rolled over.
The noise of the lamp falling brought me to my senses. I opened the bedroom door, turned on the light outside and waited all of two minutes for Mr Buzz to leave. Closing the door I wondered at the madness that had overcome me.
The following morning, sitting in the kitchen, looking out at the glorious blue sky I closed my eyes. Such peace.
I spotted Mr Buzz, a particularly large bluebottle, wandering the window sill as if he owned it. I crept forward and with lethal force brought my newspaper down. Splat. Got him. To my shame I continued to ‘get him’ for another seven frenzied whacks.
With no hint of remorse I scraped Mr Buzz off the sill and disposed of him. Unrolling my newspaper, I looked at the glorious blue sky and sat down, once again to enjoy the peace.
BUZZ, BUZZ, BUZZ.