Sunday, 5 July 2009

Very Little

Just a postscript (or maybe that should be postpost) to my last post really. I didn’t know until my son told me that thunderflies are thrips. I’d heard of thrips but never connected them with thunderflies.

And did you know that thrips is a word like sheep? Both singular and plural so even one on its own (as if) would be called a thrips.

I don’t mind them at all, even when they are in my photo frames and gathering in great numbers in the cobwebs (and thus drawing attention to them) – I don’t even mind the drifts of them on the window sills, but I do find it irritating when they are crawling about on my scalp and across my glasses. But they don’t bite or sting and as insects go are pretty benign.

They’re actually quite fascinating. I mean just imagine the size of a thrips egg for a start! And they have asymmetrical mouthparts with no right mandible. I looked them up on Google.

I also wondered how many we eat or inhale by accident and how many would you have to eat to get any nutritional value from them. Not that I should wonder about such things as I’m a vegetarian.

It’s still stiflingly hot. The trouble is we’re just not used to it – we’re programmed to sit huddled under umbrellas complaining about the rain and cold, particularly in summer! We could get used to the heat given time, but just about the time when we do, the weather will change and we’ll be moaning about having to turn the heating on again.

Which reminds me, I was reading reviews of some garden furniture on the Argos website and some reviewers were complaining that having bought their garden furniture, the weather had turned bad and they hadn’t been able to use it – and they had therefore had to give the furniture a low score.

We had a thunderstorm on Thursday night – I knew it was coming when I woke up with Tilly sitting on my head. For some reason she thinks she’ll be safe there. It gets very hot underneath 18 kilos of panting, panicking Springer spaniel!

And I have to pretend not to be scared for her sake. She doesn’t like loud noises bless her – unless she’s making them. There was a bluebottle in my bedroom this morning and while her brother tried to catch it, she hid under the bed.

I should get back to my story – the eleven lines I’ve written are looking a tad lonely.


  1. I love the thing about the Argos reviews. Aren't people funny?

  2. I love that too, Helen. So Argos are responsible for the weather, eh?
    Those thunderflies. Are they the little black things that get everywhere and even crawl across eyeballs?
    We don't get them here because we are all sheep and cows. I thought the rape (that disgustingly smelly yellow stuff) was the home of these creatures.

  3. Paula Williams6 July 2009 at 09:07

    I'd never heard of thrips - sorry, but I can't bring myself to write 'of a thrips' but spent a very pleasant ten minutes googling it/them. I'm giving a talk at Frome Fesitval this afternoon and am a tad nervous so the thrips was/were a pleasant distraction. And if I run out of things to say I can always tell them about thrips, can't I?
    I bet that Argos comment ends up in one of your stories, Teresa! I'll be watching for it.

  4. Ah yes! Argos - they who must be obeyed, I regularly pray at their temple! I wonder what Argos made of that rating. It was very funny. I lke thrips too but I didn't know they were called thrips. I'm going to have to google them too now.

    Julie xx

  5. There are some hilarious reviews on Argos products, Helen! I can spend ages on there tittering away to myself. I was reading some on a toy Dyson and people were actually complaining that it doesn’t pick up properly!

    And M&S is another good place for funny reviews – like the woman who reviewed a skirt that she hadn’t bought and hadn’t even seen, but thought looked nice on the website!

    Yes Lynne, they’re the ones! We’ve got rape fields and wheat fields near here so I suppose that’s where they come from.

    Good luck this afternoon, Paula! Let me know if you do end up mentioning the thrips!

    I’m glad I’m not the only one who didn’t know they were thrips, Julie! Have fun looking them up!

  6. Yes - hilarious about Argos! And your poor Springer Spaniel ... it brought back such lovely memories of our own Springer, Sophie. She sadly went on to the great rabbit-field in the sky about 3 years ago at the age of 16 - she was such a lovely dog, but actually had no fear of loud noises at all. Whereas our cat Charlie is terrified: he hides under the spare bed at the slightest hint of thunder or fireworks, turns his face to the wall and makes little low pitiful whimpering noises if we try to coax him out!

  7. Oh poor Charlie, Olivia.
    You must miss Sophie. If we hadn't adopted Tilly when we did, she was going to be bought by a working gundog kennel - I dread to think how she'd have coped with the guns.

  8. Ah thrips! Also known as thunderbugs in our house growing up. They used to cover the tiles in the kitchen when the rape was out in the fields behind our house, and drive my mum mad :o)

    Our Molly-dog hates the thunder too and kept us awake half the night with her incessant clawing of floors, doors and walls. Where she thinks she can hide I've no idea. I blame Argos ...

  9. Poor Molly, have you tried putting a blanket over her head? It worked for Tilly for a while but she found sitting on my head was better!!

    You did make me laugh - blaming Argos! What a good idea!

  10. Rebecca Holmes7 July 2009 at 09:56

    And just as we're getting used to the heat, look what happens, when I'm about to go to Cornwall, too. Thank you, Argos!

  11. Teresa, I laffed out loud as I read both of these posts. Talk about displacement. Who else would wonder at the nutritional value of thrips/thunderflies (I call them thunderflies too, but I'd never seen them until I moved up here and one of my blog commenators explained them to me when one got inside - INSIDE - my computer screen and was driving me mad crawling around)? And what a digression from insects to Argos review scores.

    Have those 11 lines multiplied yet? :o)

  12. It seems Argos will have to share responsibility for the weather with the NHS - I've heard NHS Direct received tons of complaints about the recent heat.

    Have to say I'm much happier with rain - it doesn't make me popular, but I just can't stand too much sun.

  13. I hope the weather is better in Cornwall, Rebecca! Argos has a lot to answer for it seems.

    Oh Diane - you've seen through me! Displacement activities - that's exactly what I've been doing. Did the thunderfly escape or is the little corpse still in there somewhere?
    The 11 lines are now 2500 words so I'm getting there - slowly!

    So we have someone else to blame, Suzanne - the NHS! Argos will be relieved! I do love the sun, but I prefer to enjoy it from the shade!

  14. I presume the thunderfly became a corpse and then dust and then ether. I can't help noticing how quickly tiny mice deteriorate to dust when the cats leave them in the yard in this heat.

    Well done on the 2.5k.

    Of course, it could also be called "thinking time". :o) I'm a star at "thinking time".

  15. I'm off to do some thinking, Diane!

  16. I admit to a lot of thinking time - sometimes I even think about my writing!

  17. All this thinking has made me tired, Patsy!