Monday, 7 November 2005


Ah, the blessed rains have finally come. Lightening the load of the temperature which has been in the mid 40s C for weeks. And, of course, bringing also the delights of the termites in flight.

For the first couple of rainstorms of the season the termites come out of hiding in their millions and fly about. Mostly at me. They are particularly attracted to light, making the start of the rains at night-time hazardous. I am reading a book when the sound of the rain begins to thunder on the roof and the temperature drops. I breathe a sigh of relief at the sudden coolness, but fail to notice the profusion of winged things which have wiggled their way in to the house through the cracks in the windows, the doors, the roof. The torrent of water makes me want to pee, but when I look up from my page my exit is blocked. A wall of termites is between me and the door. Well, actually between me and everything else. But I need to pee.

I put my hands over my face and race through the termite wall. Running to the outhouse my torch-holding hand is covered in critters. In the outhouse I switch on the lightbulb. A mistake. Not even Hitchcock in his finest moments could have envisioned the horror. I am immediately swarmed. Covered from head to toe in flappy flippy termites. I am not dropping my pants in there.

But I do not want to use the longdrop in the dark, in case I fall in and drown in poo. I run out of the outhouse spitting out wings so that I can scream, and tearing at my clothes to rid myself of the persecutors. A neighbour hears my yells and asks if I have been bitten by a snake. Um, not this time, but that might be preferable to a bazillion flickering fliers hellbent on tickling my nether regions.

Yelling, I fling away my cumbersome umbrella and the torch which is attracting my attackers mid-run, getting soaked in the process, and head back towards the house. In desperation I squat down in the dark beside the verandah.


I have peed on a frog.