When I was little, I used to think Popeye was based on my dad. Not because he smoked a pipe or talked in a funny voice or was in love with Olive Oyl because my dad was nothing like that. But Popeye was a sailor and he had a tattoo of an anchor – just like my dad – in fact my dad had dozens. He was a walking work of art.
He was also incredibly strong and didn’t need to eat spinach to make it so.
So yesterday I was out with Dusty when I saw a mozzie on my upper arm. I brushed it away quickly and almost immediately started to itch. It wasn’t just in that spot either. By the time I got to the beach (about three minutes later) the itching in my arm was driving me crazy.
The bite on the front of my arm was about as big as a penny. I got my husband to check the back of my arm and the two there were bigger – see, crafty little devils were hiding out of sight. Another on my elbow wasn’t quite as bad.
By lunchtime I had biceps and triceps any self-respecting body builder would be proud of, even if they are red hot and glowing. In fact, if you turned Popeye’s arms round so the bulgy bit was at the top… that’s me that is. Then there is my extra large elbow…
Once, when I was small, I saw lots of little fish swimming round in the water butt. So I scooped a load up in a jam jar and took them in to show my dad. It was the only time in my life I ever saw him scared. He told me to get them outside and NEVER bring them in again.
So off I went, muttering about them only being little fishies and there was no need for him to be so GRUMPY about it.
They weren’t little fish of course. They were mosquito larvae. And my dad had almost died of malaria when he was in the RN. Not only that, he had the kind of malaria that can – and did – recur.
I’m not as scared of them as my dad was, but I am scared of the bites.
On a lighter note, here’s Dusty having a bit of a swim this morning. Very hard to throw a ball, hold on to leads etc and take photos. Didn’t get the ball out as far as normal, but you can see he no longer goes in for the Jacques Cousteau thing. If he can’t see the ball, he waits for it to appear on the surface of the water – I am very glad to say.
And while I’m here – just a quick mention of The People’s Friend who are looking for young romances. More details from Shirley, their lovely Fiction Ed, here.