Monday 7 January 2013

Spike Milligan moments

From my comments a couple of days ago you will realise my knowledge of beetles is fairly limited. Two species are embedded in my brain, Stag and Dung. Stag beetles are relatively rare in the UK and their whereabouts should be reported at the first opportunity. This I did when I discovered a considerable number hiding in a private swimming pool pump house whilst working in Surbiton, of all places.Many years earlier, whilst helping-out on a farm near Lusaka, Zambia I offered to accompany three of the staff into the city on a daily egg-delivery run. The rear of the Mitsubishi pick-up truck was loaded with eggs and me, whilst the three staff knowingly occupied the cab. I quickly learned why all open-air pick-up truck passengers face rearwards, having quickly shipped mouthfulls and eyefulls of flying insects. Thus, facing backwards I and the truck headed for the city at around 40 mph, while unbeknown to me, a flying dung beetle was heading the opposite way at a similar speed. An adult beetle is roughly the size of a golf ball and almost as tough. Needless to say beetle and back of head made contact at a combined speed of 80 mph, the impact embedded in my brain (but not my head) to this day. I somehow remained upright and fortunately the eggs survived, as did I. By the way, the commencement of my tumour was tracked-back to a mini-stroke around 1999, not monitored by the NHS. Thus the Dung beetle was totally innocent. The title of Dung beetle in a sandstorm can be blamed on one of my Spike Milligan moments, more frequently occurring as I get older. As an example, Spike's gravestone is emblazoned with the words " I told them I was ill". We spent today visiting our stricken Yaris and our progressing boat, together with two daughters and three granddaughters. Emptying the Yaris of all personal possessions, number plates (we are retaining our personal number) and tax disc was very poignant. However, our damage was only a fraction of that to an adjacent sports car. I think it was a Lotus, the only visible recognisable clues being the hub-caps.Strangely it made us feel a whole lot better and pleased to still be alive. TARDIS TWO has gained a little weight over Christmas with the necessary ballast added. The Bubble Inn kitchens were having a hygiene inspection so we were all forced to once again visit the Dragon, which left very little time to discuss colour schemes and other vital issues with Eddie and Marian. We aim to go back tomorrow after picking up our hire car ready for the hospital trip on Wednesday.

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