Charlotte's Web

Blogging my world since 2006

Wasps and Al Fresco Dining


One of the joys of summer is being back in our garden. Neither of us are gardeners, so it isn’t exactly beautiful, but Thomas manages to cut the lawn and I tend some pots cruelly and neglectfully. Our lawn is filled with clover which the wasps and bees adore, thus making it dangerous for the little bare feet that run and toddle on it. So on Saturday, Thomas went out to mow. Daisy went out to spectate. She was back within a minute, tears streaming down her face, having been stung by a wasp on her big toe.

Later we had our lunch outside, and were immediately joined by the wasp that stung Daisy and all his cousins. By surrendering our apfelsaftschoerles (that will be fizzy apple juice to all you non-Germans) to the wasps, we were able to eat unstung, but not unbothered. Even little Ollie was flapping his hands around his face.

All this waspery reminded me of a holiday I had two years ago with my mother, when I was newly pregnant with Ollie. We went to stay at La Buissiere in the Lot Valley, France, for a week of yoga and walking (when WordPress sorts itself out I will include a link). If such things appeal, I can highly recommend it. For us, it was heaven, only slightly spoiled by the fact that I was hideously nauseous and could not contemplate all the delicious French food.

Although France is Germany’s neighbouring country, and we live on the west, it was a very very long drive. I love a car journey – even when nauseous – but we decided to do it over two days. I found a delightful bed and breakfast in the Auvergne, quite close to Clemont-Ferrand (ditto WordPress link) and stayed there.

It was quite beautiful: high on a hill with views of surrounding countryside, a turquoise pool surrounded by roses, loungers and genteel hosts who served us a divine evening meal outside on a lovely terrace. But the wasps! There were thousands of them.

Our host, Jacques, had found a way to counteract them. On each table was a medieval-looking contraption made of glass and iron, with a narrow neck and a wide bottom. It was filled with honey. The wasps made their way in, ate lots of honey, couldn’t get out and subsequently died. Our lovely meal was spent trying to ignore the sounds of trapped and dying wasps.

I would like to eat outside with my family without having to resort to mass murder – anyone got any tips for wasp-free al fresco dining?


Author: charlotteotter

Novelist, feminist, crime writer

2 thoughts on “Wasps and Al Fresco Dining

  1. tricky one.. apparently wasps follow smell, so flapping at them jiggles the smell wafts and sends them off zig-zagging in all directions.. which makes us nervous and flap more at them. I have yet to stop flapping at them. We often have hornets in our garden, but they are completely un-troublesome, never bother anyone, just get on with buzzing round the cherry laurels. It is very strange that the wasps are so annoying.. alternatively, drink beer, dear C, but I know that’s not taking us anywhere.. 😉

  2. Or what about an outside mozzie net hung from a tree?

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