Wednesday, 13 April 2011

Death, where is thy sting?

overcast, drizzle, temps 5

A typical April day here. But actually, perfect. It feels and smells like spring. Fall is often described as musky smelling, but I find spring more so. Fall I always find smells quite sweet, as all the leaves and pine needs warm in the sun. But in the spring they've all sort of fermented and turned to mud.

You can see why I don't write travel brochures for Quebec.

Ah, to be in Montreal now that April is here. Smells like fermented mud. I can just see the poster too. Actually, choosing to concentrate on the mud is a kindness for Quebec in spring.

We have had a very embarrassing infestation of fruit flies off and on since late summer, early autumn. Right by where we keep the small compost container in the kitchen. We put on our thinking caps and came to the conclusion the fruit flies might be from, just might, the small compost container. In the kitchen.

So we bought a new container. Still flies.

We put all the fruit in the fridge. Even more flies.

Got rid of all food on the counter, including oils and vinegars. Even more flies. It was as though they were being born out of thin air. A miracle, of sorts. Virgin births. In our kitchen.

thankfully, Tony showed us a trick to catch them. He put small yogurt containers around, put beer into each, covered them with saran, kept in place with an elastic band, and picked lots of holes in the top of the saran using a toothpick.

The fruit flies, while perhaps tiny miracles, weren't above a trip to the tavern. Each morning we'd find a huge number of flies in the beer. As WC Fields said, 'Drown in a vat of whiskey, eh? Death where is thy sting?'

But still, they kept coming. We'd finally had enough and called an exterminator, who came today. We left, took trudy, so that not more than the flies would get it. The joys of living in the country. Tony also reminded us to take down our bird feeder so the bear didn't get it this year.

We're surrounded. Clouds of fruit flies in the kitchen, bears outside.

Well, more fodder for the tourism campaign.

I'm so sorry to have disappointed those of you hoping we could meet in St Louis for Bouchercon. I genuinely am sorry. Especially those of you making the trip specially. I hope our paths will cross on another tour stop, though.

And thank you all, for your supportive comments....and your wonderful birthday wishes for Michael! he read them all and really appreciates every one of them!

Well, back to work. Wrote 3,000 words today....but now I've figured out my rhythm for this section of the book. I put a huge number of words on the page one day...then the next day or so I go back over them and shape them. Then move forward and do the same I progress in steps. Trying not to call it 'lurches'. It actually feels exactly right, for this section. Each stage, and indeed each book, seems to have its own needs and pace. And approach.

Off to do a CTV interview tomorrow afternoon, after my writing day. Then to Quebec Ctiy this weekend for the Salon du Livres. It's also our friend Susan's birthday, so I've asked if she'd like to come along. She didn't need much convincing, since QC is just about her favorite place too. So we'll have a gals weekend in Quebec! But I'll speak to you before then, and I'll try to blog from there.


Liz said...

We're under siege too, but from ants. It's happened in every house we've ever lived in (we like old houses) and it usually happens in spring. So, it's out with the liquid ant bait that comes in a little bottle. You squirt a little bit onto a piece of cardboard and in a few hours you have enough ants swarming on it to make a horror movie. They take the stuff back to the nest, feed to all the others and to the queen, and in a week they're all dead. I feel a little guilty, but really, one has to do something! I'm almost at the end of my Stuart Pawson jag--2 more in the series left to go. Didn't think I liked police procedurals until I read your books. Now, obviously, I do.

danielle-momo said...

Vous etes votre meilleure publiciste. C'est au Salon du livre de Québec que je vous ai connue. Vous y étiez pour signer votre deuxième livre. Je suis arretée à votre kiosque et nous avons discuté. Je vous ai trouvée si aimable et intéressante que j'ai décidé d'acheter votre premier livre pour vous encourager.
Je l'ai lu et voilà, le tour était joué: votre écriture et votre personnalité ont fait de moi votre fan.

Est-il utile de préciser que j'ai lu tous les autres par la suite ?

Brenda B. said...

Hiya Louise,

First, bon (belated) anniversaire to Michael.

Second, spring bugs are a surprise, no? For many months, they are nowhere in evidence. When they appear suddenly it's a shock. Bugs? In our house? How?
I dealt with two ants last night and multiple little flies of some sort when Diane opened the window over the kitchen sink to let in the marvelous 58 degree (Farenheight) air.

Third, how wonderful that you are lurching along at 3,000 words at a clip. You are amazing.

Hope you have a blast in QC with the gals.


Brenda B. in Maine

Dana said...

Here it is house flies and ladybugs, found comatose in the sun room (unheated) and between the windows and storms when we return from the south in April. And then some of them come to life.
So much life going on while you write, so many excuses to take a break. I am imagining wonderful characters and a wonderful story moving from your head on to the paper. Yippee.

Nancy said...

A trick I found for fruit flies and has seemed to be somewhat successful, I was our fruit and vegetables in vinegar and water when I bring them home from the grocery store. Has cut down on the flies, just a thought. Bon voyage.

Anonymous said...

Had the same problem last year. If you have a pantry, go through each item that isn't canned or in a glass or plastic container. We found a paper bag of dog treats that were invested, as well as a box of pasta. Threw those away, and no problem since.

Barbara said...

Our spring invasion is ladybugs and wasps. For some reason the wasps have decided my study is THE place to be. Needless to say, they don't get much of a welcome, in fact they get slaughtered. The ladybugs I kindly show out the window.

Myke Weber said...

Time flies like the wind.
Fruit flies like bananas.

ruthie from new hampshire said...

A trick I used for fruit flies was to leave out an opened bottle of wine with just a teensy bit of wine left in the bottom. The fruit flies get in there but aren't smart enough to find the small opening to get out, and they drown drunk.
I wish I could get rid of my kitchen moths.

Colombine said...

Ah! ces mouches à fruit... une engeance! Nous en avons eues également tout l'été et l'automne derniers. Je vais définitivement essayer la bière et le vin et on verra...
3000 mots par jour, c'est extra!

Bonne interview et bon séjour à Québec entre copines :))