let's start at the very beginning

Saturday, 7 May 2011

an orange and black wasp

We had a long, hot summer of incessant rain. La Niña after a decade of El Niño. Someone told me we'd had only 14 days with no rain between October and April. Whether that is precisely accurate I don't know, but it sure felt like it.

Autumn is finally here, the cooler days are blissful. The last few days the sun's been shining. I hope it stays. I have been spending some time on my favourite piece of furniture, the Cadillac Couch, bought for me by my dear friend at her local St Vinnies. I think it's possibly what you call a klik klak couch, circa 1950s. It's bluey-green vinyl with white arms like resplendent wings. You can fold the back down to make a bed, but we have set it up as a long couch on the back patio.

I use it for drinking tea, staring at our 18-month-old garden and feeling vexed at not being able to just move that plant to the left and wondering when the fundamentals of garden design will coalesce in my brain, watching ants scurry about, feeling annoyed at healthy people (my new hobby), enjoying Mr and Mrs Magpie and their two grey babies strolling and pecking at the ground, and assessing the solitary orange and black wasp persistently hovering close by.

At first I was alarmed, the wasp looks dangerous: an inch long, stridently coloured, magnificently pointy bottom. It hangs about close to the ground and I worry I'll step on it. I looked it up and it's harmless, doesn't sting, and the reason it's close to the ground is because it's gathering mud to daub into a home. Several such homes have been attempted underneath the cushions on the Cadillac Couch. I always check them before settling in.


  1. I love your writing. Every word and every sentence is the perfect choice, the perfect length. Do more when you're able!

  2. Nicky. Wow! What a lovely, generous thing to say. Thank you!

  3. Oh, honey, you looked the wasp up, you are an angel, I know I would probably have swatted it by now. May you enjoy many more moments on the Cadillac Couch. x

  4. Please send us some of your rain - it's spring here and we've had virtually none for the last six weeks or so (usually pretty wet here - I don't think I've ever had to water the garden in April before).

    I do so identify with "feeling vexed at not being able to just move that plant to the left" ;)

  5. That couch sounds amazing. I am glad you are enjoying the cooler air, I hope it stays dry for a while too.


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