I DON’T know if you’ve ever spent a fulfilling morning scraping ivy off a wall? Normally it’s a pastime that I would not recommend for stimulation or relaxation. Mind-numbingly repetitive about sums it up as an activity.
It is a rare day when wall-scraping is enlivened by excitement or intellectual curiosity. Today was that day.
About half-an-hour before I ascended ladder with scraper in hand and a spare prudently tucked in the back pocket in case of breakages, I sprayed the foot of the wall with a liberal dose of strong weedkiller, to kill the ivy at source while I attended to matters aloft.
There I was, scrape-scrape-scraping away when I became aware that I was not alone. A glance to right and left confirmed that I had been joined by The Insect Kingdom.
Beetle, louse and other multiple-legged creatures were steadily climbing the wall. I’d number them in the low hundreds.
Clearly, as the weedkiller had been absorbed, these citizens of the sub-soil had decided that the neighbourhood had taken a pronounced turn for the worse, and that it was time to pack the bags and get the kids to higher ground.
How did they know? If there is an entomologist among us tonight, please raise a hand and explain.