Lovely Awkward: A Year of Wine, Romance and Life Among the French

Lovely Awkward: A Year of Wine, Romance and Life Among the French

Wednesday 2 June 2010

The beekeeper's assistant

I have just finished zipping the protective suit of some sort of bee man who has come to the house to take care of some hornet nests that have been appearing under our terracotta roof on the terrace.

Last week, I really became a princess trapped in a tower because of the bossiness of an evil queen.

I've only been able to describe this queen as being the size of a humongous footballer's thumb -- or maybe the thumbs of Andre the Giant. She's huge. And mean. Black and yellow. And she's been coming around anytime we bring food or wine or laundry out on to the balcony.

Luckily, my knight, M. Beeman, came to rescue me. Mind you, he came to my rescue after accidentally scraping the side of his car along a wall on the road below -- I watched from the tower. But, he's here. And he has a silver spray container with some secret ingredient inside that he says he can't talk about. He told me that it's hard to remember because it's scientific.

I've never called an exterminator before; M. Professeur did it -- but he's at work and I'm again practicing my French with a stranger.

And so ... after much banging of the ladder and spraying I couldn't see happening out on the terrace (I had the doors closed because I don't have a special suit), we are now free of the giant insects that have been interrupting our dinners, keeping me inside and thus, making into a dungeon-crazed lunatic. Well, making me restless and sad and homesick.

M. Beeman said that they are "les guêpes," which means wasps. And after helping me google that, he wrote on my receipt that their "pulverisation" is "complète."

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