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Beake Speaks talks Chris Packham, flies and wasps

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I am often told that the only fan I have is the mechanical one atop my desk that offers a cool breeze. Charming.

I saw the word atop used in an article and fancied using it myself.

Talking of fans, (or should I say fan, singular) I want to reassure George Wood, of Congham, who recently wrote in to the Lynn News.


You have completely changed my view of Chris Packham, I’m sorry I meant wasps. You have completely changed my view of wasps.

I may have mentioned I met Chris Packham and I will indeed, once the 2m rule has been decreased, speak to him, I hope, about wasps.

You will be interested to hear, George, that I now rescue wasps from terrible deaths when cats try to eat them.

I also feel I am saving the cat from a hideous demise, too, as eating wasps is a dangerous occupation, something I will not consider.

But I have changed my attitude towards wasps and their raison d’etre upon this earth.

Instead of seeing them as a ruiner of peaceful pub gardens, with sudden outbursts from groups of drinkers frantically jumping about for fear of the little blighters, I mean pollinators, clambering in to their chilled pint of amber nectar and the horror they may have of swallowing aforementioned wasp.

Now I see their value, I no longer detest their buzzing in my face with a look of utter hatred, or getting trapped behind my curtain panicking and ready to sting me.

Buzzing around when I am napping no longer angers me. I see it as nature’s way of telling me that there is more to life than hating wasps and splattering them to death with my Yellow Pages. I am a changed woman. Flies on the other hand. Now there’s another story.

Why are flies so annoying? When I used to be taken to the matron’s office at school with one of my ‘turns’ ( I was a sensitive child) there was a poster on the wall that was, unusually, kept on the wall in the sick bay. Instead of making the sickly person (me) feel better it turned the stomach. It stated ‘this is what happens when a fly lands on your food.’

It went on in graphic detail about the technique of the fly vomiting and regurgitating the vomit to digest it.

The poster has haunted me for years, terrifying me in the same way that a restraining order from Chris Packham’s lawyer might.

For now, George, I will no longer harm wasps with household items.

However, an iron is a good way to get the wrinkles out of flies and decreases my frustration.

Jenny Beake

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