top of page
  • Writer's pictureLizzy Shannon

Flies Anonymous

Life at Robin Hill has returned pretty much to the funny farm that I remember. This morning didn’t start out too well. I got a bit cocky about waking up early and didn’t set the alarm in my phone, so at two minutes to nine, I awoke to: “For God’s sake!” being bellowed from the hallway outside my room.

Tuesday is the day the girl who cleans for Dad comes in. At nine o’clock. I’d overslept so the blinds and curtains hadn’t been pulled back, or the back door unlocked for her to get in.

I leapt out of bed, threw on some sweats and set to, opening up the house. There isn’t much of a system as far as whether blinds or curtains are pulled. Sometimes Dad closes the blinds at night; sometimes the curtains. I’ve just gone with the curtains as they’re quicker, but obviously I’ve been doing the wrong thing.

As I pulled back the curtains on one of the windows in my work room/Mum’s old bedroom, Dad charged in to do the other window. Underneath the curtains, the blinds were closed too.

“Must you use the curtains?” grumbled Dad.

I recognized the querulous tone. “I guess not,” I said affably.

You can’t get away with anything around here. Dad is like Big Brother. Seriously. For instance if at the end of the day the laundry hasn’t dried on the line, I’ll put it into Dad’s clothes dryer for a few minutes to finish off. Last time I didn’t put the timer at 10 minutes, but left it at a random length, knowing I’d come back in about 10 to retrieve the clothes. Right away Dad tracked me down me to say, “You’ve that timer set at 40 minutes. That’s far too much.” No point in explaining, so I smiled and turned the timer all the way to 5 minutes.

Just now he thundered in to say, “I’m looking for some spoons,” then charged out again toward the kitchen.

This is my cue to put down the computer and follow, so I did. “What spoons are you looking for?”

He opened the kitchen drawer and pulled out one of the old dessert spoons we used as a family way back in ye olden days. I resisted a sigh. Of course I had one beside me in the work room, as I’d just finished a bowl of cereal. I told him this.

“There should be four of them,” he said.

“I have only ever seen two while I’ve been here,” I told him, and the matter was dropped.

And the other day a whole lot of flies got in through the open back door and congregated in my work room, where I had a light switched on. They were huge insects! Normally I wouldn’t bother but the collective buzzing was as annoying as a group of mopeds passing through the Riveria as you're sleepily sunbathing on the beach. I got the fly swatter from the kitchen and laid round me, bodies hitting the carpet right and left.

Then I hear: “Where’s the fucking swatter!”

Of course he’d want it as soon as I took it. “I have it!” I yell, and hurry back to the kitchen to hand it to him. More flies are on the loose, and he sets to, brandishing the swatter as though he were tackling Darth Vader.

Not for the first time I wonder why fly screens aren’t used over here. But then, swatting flies that large is a great upper body workout, so I suppose there’s a reason for everything. ;-)


bottom of page