'Bread in the windows,' she said.
'Why is there bread in your windows?'
'Flies bred in the windows.' After a frenzy if fly-swatting she had to clean the walls. The art of fly-swatting calls for the proper implement with the right kind of flap for the swatting action. Their old stone cottage is fringed with woodland, that's where the plague of summer flies originated. The beck dried up, leaving only a couple of puddles for their golden Labrador to lie in. Didn't have the wit to keep in the shade. The cat had more sense.
Another day, once more a captive listener. I hone my skills.
There's a discipline in being a good listener, as I've learnt over the years. Don't jump in the moment your speaker pauses. Relax, be at ease and give them opportunity to fill the silence. Invariably, they do. 'I wish you'd tell John Humphreys that,' said a friend. The thing is, when it works it's so satisfying. You're gifted with cameos of someone else's summer, quirky domestic detail. 'And when it came to an end it was all over, just like that. The flowers died.' Does she mean during the heat-wave. ' No, the moment it ended.'
I'm preparing a talk on the heat-wave summer of 2018. Did you love it or loathe it? that's the question. Climb every mountain, or aestivate? Some creatures do, apparently. To aestivate/ estivate: to go into a period of dormancy in response to severe heat-wave or drought conditions. Some insects. And you can see that snails won't cope well in drought. To become sluggish- like an aestivating slug. Anyway, for pub-quiz compilers: aestivate.