Friday, July 22, 2011

Termites! Yikes!

As usual, all my best laid plans to write a regular blog post have flown out of the window ... if only the termites would fly away too! I'd never heard of the wretched things until I moved to California.

This weekend my husband and I are being banished from our home whilst the fumigators come in. I'm not happy. My husband's not happy. Mr. Tig the cat will definitely not be happy but hopefully, when he realizes he's going stay with the amazing Joanne O'Brien from Sittin Kitty, he'll forgive us.

Agatha Christie once had a problem with termites—or rather, an exotic bug that stowed away in her luggage.

According to her wonderful autobiography, it started during one of her travels to the Middle East. She had fallen in love with a gorgeous chest of drawers in Damascas. The chest was inlaid with mother-of-pearl and silver and is exquisite—I've seen it in her bedroom at Greenway in South Devon. ANYWAY - apparently it took nine or ten months to transport the heavy chest to it's new home but when it arrived, Agatha Christie said she'd be woken in the middle of the night by a strange noise "as if large teeth were champing something." Agatha Christie examined the chest, took out the drawers but couldn't find anything. "Yet night after night, after the witching hour of midnight, I could hear crump, crump, crump."

In desperation, she took one of the drawers to a place in London that specialized in tropical wood pests and lo and behold, after three weeks, she was summoned to the shop and proudly presented with "a repulsive cross between a worm and a slug. It was large and white and obscene, and ... obese." And that was the end of that.

I've never heard the termites gnawing away within our walls, nor have I seen any evidence of them. I'm worried about the friendly spiders that I am quite happy living in harmony with but all that will change --along with oceans of bougainvillea that surround our home.

There is an up side. We've splashed out on long weekend in a hotel that is supposed to be seeped in exotic splendor. Unfortunately, after making a non-refundable booking, an online reviewer remarked that  the rooms don't share the same splendor. I quote, "If you like the smell of stale socks ... you're gonna LUV staying here!"

I can't wait.