The day I was stung by a very strange thingie in NSW

To:    Brian and Kathy
Subject:    20 Feb 2000

Hi, seems ages since I sent photo’s to your home, hopefully Jackie is vastly improved now mum’s there to look after the emotional side of things. And that your world is better now the end of this contract must be near – three weeks maybe??

We’ve carried on much the same way, he’s been dodging about for one reason and another but mostly just getting on with it all.  There was a team building exercise (group grope??) the other week, he made it back with only half an hour before we were due at the next hotel for drinks at 1900, 1930 start.
Waitangi Day is February 6th and there is an annual ball closest Saturday at the Regent where everyone comes together to celebrate in a way that we’d never do in our own country.  Beautiful wines, fish or lamb, can’t remember what else was on the menu as I didn’t have it, chocolate fish, yummmmm such a neat night. All dressed up in formal gown, black tie event so had to be a princess and that was that.  All over far too quickly which was a shame as Vince said it was a good way to unwind after his long three days interstate.

Had to throw your flowers out on Saturday, they were on their last legs which was really a very good run after being carefully watched over since they arrived.  That was indeed a kind thought from both of you and hugely appreciated.

Sunday was  a bit queer here, I was just doing a little tidying around the pool and the path when things flew at me then started to bite/sting, in my mouth, up my nose, left booby, all sorts of uncomfortable places. I raced inside quietly to grab the vinegar and some ice, by then it was really stinging and eventually MOTH decided I was in trouble so came to help.

 Anti-histamine cream out of date, pads soaked in vinegar stuffed up my nose was not a good look and he didn’t know what to do. Wanted to know if it was a spider, he’d heard on the radio day before that Huntsmen are dangerous at present, not that either of us would know what one looked like. No, it was either fly-like or moth-like, small and quick.  Then a blister started to rapidly form on my chest in the clear shape of a heart, left side too, panic inwardly but carry on with ice then cream.

Bet you can’t guess his next question……rum and coke?? I said yes just to give him something to do, he was probably reasonably concerned as he earnestly told me I was to tell him if I felt sick at all and he’d take me straight to doctor, and not to worry if it was even during night. Huh.
By then the heart blister had developed a clear stalk, I figured if that turned red then I would panic but went and had the rum anyway, it was near 1600 I think so that’s ok.

The ice had made my face blotchy red, inner lip was itchy, shame.   Next day there was virtually no evidence of any drama, the swelling in my nostril had gone down and that was that.  Clear message to me now is that I will not muck about in the garden, that’s his domain.  And no locals have a clue as to what it may have been that I disturbed either, scary thought.  The only thing I could wonder about was that the previous afternoon there’d been the worst storm in twelve years so maybe that had something to do with it, Saturday had been fine and hot, then thunderous etc, Sunday was beautiful again.  Who knows, not this little black duck.

And with that thought I shall send this in case you think we’ve forgotten you, no chance.   Almost time for lunch, if I wait half an hour I can watch Coronation Street which has just celebrated The Millennium so not too far behind.     Be safe old dear,  let’s do it all again sooner next time.  Love,  Annie and Vince xx

“Is that really the time…??”