It’s fly Armageddon: Little black corpses litter beds and floors

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The carpets on the landing and bedrooms hint, indeed strongly indicate, that a fly Armageddon has taken place.

Upstairs reeks of fly spray. Little black corpses litter beds and floors. In the words of granddaughter Jess: “It’s gross Mamma”.

Gross indeed and a direct response to turning the heating up for seasonal cheer. A combination of turning out little used cupboards and leaving the attic doors open at the top of the stairs. The no doubt endless nooks and crannies that cluster flies can hibernate in in an old Georgian farmhouse have suddenly warmed up and promised a false spring to all those dormant flies.

Usually I am tactical with the heating.Downstairs fires, oil fired cooker,underfloor bathroom heating and electric blankets, plus hopefully a hot farmer, usually suffice.

But with children and visitors and Christmas, I let the heating have its head.Cue a fly invasion.

Another new calf in the foldyard. Born on Christmas Day. Makes for an eventful 24 hours as our youngest daughter had her first baby early on Christmas morning. Turning out to be a real culture shock for a pair of career minded professionals who had learnt the “My Perfect Little Baby” book by heart prior to Sophie Elizabeth’s birth, and now appear traumatised that she has not read the book as well. Fortunately big sister is going down to stay this weekend whilst we have her children,

and, as a GP , will be able to dole out proper advice rather than the mystic folklore Jo suspects me of offering.

Like many families our Christmas was spent entertaining and charging up and down motorways to try to see everyone. We also had to fit in several days’ shooting for John and make sure the livestock at home is fed, bedded up and in good health.

It is just so wet everywhere. In our village we have a constant stream of neighbours asking for help with blocked drainpipes, bridges under lanes and just sheer quantities of water that should be getting away much faster than it is.

Often it is a matter of rodding through, but it seems that not one other man in the village is capable. They stand and watch and praise John’s manual skills, but demonstrate none of their own.

The problem appears to be that the drainage anchorites are not keeping the main drainage dikes clear, are holding water back so as not to flood urban populations, not regularly dredging rivers to get water out to sea or clearing undergrowth and vegetation from banks so as to speed up the water flow.

The result is water is backing up and leaving roads that are akin to ponds rather than tarmac. The plus side is, and I am an optimist at heart, the car and Landrover are sparkly clean underneath. Our actual yard may be muddy and straw filled, but take the vehicles out onto the road, and it is better than a pressure washer car wash.

Mrs Downs Diary