The Ugly Bug Ball

Posted by on September 8, 2014

September 2014 Round Robin.

The Ugly Bug Ball, Health and Safety and Italy.

Snoring for England or even France, JS is oblivious of the gathering of insects accumulating on our bedroom ceiling.

A particularly balmy evening, earplugs in situ, new Kindle Paper White in hand, finally I have had just about enough of this interruption. The bugs and the snoring if I am honest. Reached for the French “bugger off” insect repellent, advised to purchase by our youngest when working in the garden centre, “Kills everything Mum, instantly.”
What Tash omitted to add was that indeed it does exterminate, but only after about 30 minutes. Prior to this it actually attracts, not repels. From every corner of our house I can truthfully say that every creepy crawly entered our bedroom; it was amass of ghastly little hairy insects.


JS continued to snore, with mouth wide open, a big mistake, because after this hugely successful bug ball, came the Shipman end. Dropping from the ceiling like “flies” having experienced a high on bugger off, death was inevitable! I dived under the bedclothes, whilst JS remained totally unaware of all this activity, mind you, how does the song go,
” When you swallow a fly to catch the spider that wriggles and tickles and giggles inside you”….


Health and safety?
A large luncheon party, 30 guests arriving in half an hour, JS decides to clear the patio with his “leaf blower”. A Stihl 1hp, a beast of a machine.
Now if anyone has one of these machines you will know that there is a minute calculating brain deep inside its engine. It thinks “Start first time, give the chap a bit of hope, then pounce.”

“Good God, the bugger has started first time Nessie!”

I am doing a quick inspection of the loo and bathroom before the guests arrive, then I hear this shriek of panic from outside. JS was blowing happily, when the motor caught his swimming trunk cord and gathered JS and his trunks into the revving engine.

“Turn the bloody thing off Nessie, it’s got me by the G..lies”

“Where is the switch? “

“If you don’t do something soon, our married life will be finished in one gobble!”

Thankfully Tasha walks past, calmly flicks the switch off, continues to march on and asks if she can borrow a bikini! I could have sworn she had a smirk on her face.



Just spent a few days in Italy. The principal reason was to see a production of Carmen in the open-air arena, Arena di Verona, which could host more than 30.000 spectators in ancient times. An enormous stage, wonderful opera singers and they even had horses and donkeys parading on and off the stage, followed by a pooper scooper!

We British were careful to obey all the rules and regulations when entering the arena, only plastic cups and bottles, a small but not too invasive torch, obviously no cigarettes etc. etc. First interval, ALL the Italians start preparing their picnics, Prosecco, antipasta, pamigiano reggianno, il Pandora di Verona and numerous packets of grissini and  very loud voices!

We stayed in an Agriturisimo in Borgo Priolo (wonderful Italian names) which are delightful B&B’s, usually working farms, subsidized by the government to encourage tourists to visit.

Genoa was our next stop, influenced by the BBC programme “Italy Unpacked, The Art of the Feast” with Andrew Graham Dixon and Chef Giorgio Locatelli.
I booked us into a Holiday Inn, opposite the port and the old part of the city.
After a long drive on the very dangerous Italian two lane autostrada, JS checked us in and up to room 614 we went. What I didn’t realize that on the booking form I had selected a double room with a queen sized bed, accessible? Just assumed it meant it would be easy to leap from the bed in the middle of the night when the pelvic floor or prostate plays up!

Accessible means disabled.

Well, I know these rooms are essential, but it is really strange to be staying in one when not disabled, especially when one is accompanied by Frank Spencer!


Sit on the loo, and automatic safety barriers descend from the wall and lock you in, or on the throne. Then you press the flusher either on the floor if you have any legs or on the wall if you haven’t got any legs, without any limbs, you’re buggered. This “flush“ then releases a valve somewhere, which in turn, gives you a full colonic irrigation, whether you want one or not! JS’s bottom has never been so clean!

Shower. Wide entrance, obviously, wheel oneself in, sorry, walk in, close shower doors, and notice that doors only come to ones hysterectomy laparoscopic scars, (although you would hardly know they were there now!) and commence with your shower. There is a seat, more automatic safety handles surround you, and I get comfy, but can’t reach the shower head. It’s fixed in an area which even a 7ft man would find high, a definite design fault. Extract oneself from the safety seat; turn on shower and the power pump kicks in. Gallons of water descends, missing me, the seat, and even the shower tray, but like a missile aims for the bathroom door just as Frank Spencer comes in, who gets absolutely drenched in a second. I was still as dry as a bone!


Fridge, electric plugs, mirrors, even the wide screen TV was only inches from the floor.

Thoroughly cleaned, knees a little sore from all the crawling about to reach switches etc, we head for the restaurant.

“Room number please Sir”

“614” replies JS.

“Aahh, we have a large table in a nice isolated corner of the restaurant, with full accessibility, Sir!”

“Do we look disabled?” I ask.

Bedtime. Huge low level bed, with one of those emergency cords dangling from the ceiling to the floor.

We settle down, I’m dead to the world in seconds, until I am awoken by alarm bells.

“What’s going on JS?”

“I’m tangled up in the emergency cord”


Whereupon, reception have been alerted that the disabled lot in room 614 are in trouble. Two burly men enter our room with their master key and look at us both from the end of the bed!!

Please, whenever you visit Genoa, do not stay in room 614 at the Holiday Inn.

All my love

Olif. xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx


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