Monday, 28 June 2010

The great northern midge

After a fabulous few weeks at Loch Awe, the rain is back but it's still warm - so ideal Midge weather. It turns out that all theories that the hard winter would reduce midge numbers were wrong. Instead, the midges survived better than their natural predators - bats, etc. - and so there are MORE this year. So here's my midge advice:

1. Buy Jungle Formula but spray it on a hat or neckerchief, not your skin.
2. Put bog myrtle lotion or Avon skin-so-soft on your skin.
3. Wash with Citronella soap:
4. Take a vitamin B table every day, or a baker's yeast tablet, or eat tons of Marmite.
5. If you react badly to bites - just take the anti-histamine tablet daily!

Here's my midge poem for your entertainment:

West Highland peace talks
We sat round the table;
the midge representative was flighty
and hard to pin down,
we put our offer.

Each arm free for one hour from sunset.
And in return, we switch off the machines
that suck in billions.

Her response, beyond our hearing
translated as: “You would still condemn millions,
thin the Great Cloud to a mist.”

I leaned towards her and spoke passionately:
“And yet we might end the war,
the crushing and poisoning that leaves a bitter taste
in all our mouths.”

“We live so intensely,” she replied,
“our one brief day on sedge and lochside,
absorb the scent of birch and pine
and then bite, lay our eggs and die.

“Those that do not bite –
what would you have them do?”

Our chairman smiled that smile,
kindly, lofty.
“Perhaps they could write poetry,
form theatre groups?
stand for election?
learn to salsa?”

The midge sighed: “I have consulted
the collective mind of the Cloud
and this is their answer.”

Flying to our chairman’s dainty ankle,
exposed between trouser turn-up and silk sock
she bit him
then she laid her eggs
and then she died.

We withdrew without speaking and separated.
It is always like that when diplomacy fails:
some rushing to be first blaming the rest,
others already planning the next phase of the war.


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