Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Why is washing up tedious

but digging in the garden feels meditative? It's really the same thing, a repetitive physical activity.

I had the mother of all centipedes living in my compost, it must have been half a foot long. They are possibly the most horrendous thing in creation, something Noah really should have left off the ark. Poisonous, too: my Big Island Revealed book reckons the bite ranges in painfulness from a bad bee sting to a bad gunshot wound, and that some local doctors recommend staying drunk for three days. (As pain relief for a centipede bite, not just generally.) Never mind the pain, I would die of horror if one got within biting range of me. I have no intention of letting that happen. I check the bed every night before I get in.

I knew there was a centipede in the compost, I have seen it before when I've turned the compost over. Turns out there's probably several, as the one I saw when I went to spread the compost for my banana trees was twice the size of the one I've seen there previously. It just wouldn't die - I went at it with a spade, and any decent creature would've been chopped in half, but not The Beast. It moves in this vile cross between crawling and wiggling, and that's what it did. It got away from me. I knew every shovelful of compost that I carried might've had The Beast in it. I pictured it suddenly wiggling up the handle of the spade. I had to keep looking at the handle to make sure I could drop it quickly enough. Now, I've realised The Beast is not contained in the compost anymore, it may be under the banana trees but it may also be anywhere else in the garden. I don't want to think about it, or about it getting indoors.

We haven't had any bananas since September or something. I don't know why or what is wrong, or if it is as it should be. The locally-grown bananas are wonderful, small and plump and so sweet they remind me of strawberries, or raspberries. I am pretty sure they are not an endemic species. Neither are the centipedes, or the coqui frogs who whistle their name all night: ko-ki, ko-ki. The coquis invaded quite recently. They are a West Indian species, and widely hated by the locals as they are really very loud. I don't mind them so much. Next door has chickens and roosters - that was the hard thing to learn to sleep through. The frogs never felt as bad for me.

What I really want to do is post a coqui frog whistle here, but I haven't even managed a picture on my profile. I tried it today, but kept getting an error message saying the HTML contains unallowed characters. It took me five goes or more to post the Flickr badge. I realise they are making it easy for me, but I am a dummy and don't know about these things at all.

© 2006 Anna MR


nmj said...

Lordy, I would NOT cope with that centipede, you are doing very well. I congratulate myself that I can cope with the slaters here, there are many in the rockery, but if I see a garden spider, I may have to give up my new hobby for a while, they are my room 101. Keep tryin with the photo, it'll happen eventually, have you tried the google forum, it may help . . . washing up is just BORING, it has to be the worst household task!

Anna MR said...

*Anna MR accepts the congratulations with a bow. She will not tell about her first encounters with these creatures, which saw her flapping around, screaming and yelping.*

I have a photo! Yay! Next, I am going to try an updating view of the Earth from the Moon, facing the side of the planet I am on. Don't hold your breath though, this is said to be challenging even for those who aren't HTML illiterate, which I am with a hat on.