GAME: Natalie Vs. Australian Bugs!

The tally sits at about 15 to the insect’s – 155 to me. Unfortunately my game is superior because I own a water gun and ants don’t do so well in puddles.

Unfortunately for me, the insects leave more of a mark: my skin is a little pinker where tick and mosquito bastards have had a snack. Hopefully the marks will disappear before summer really gets here and beach body conformities arise.

Just yesterday I was drinking some wine, merrily watching the red sun-sky-disappear behind the dark mountains when Dee started talking: “Christ, can you hear that?” Once I’d started listening I noticed the distinct sound of an alarm, “is that an alarm?” I asked, to which Dee replied, “No… it’s the bugs. You can’t turn that off!” Naturally we swiftly made it back into the warmth of home and relaxed a little more as the bugs seemed further away. They come alive at night, you see. Possibly the most haunting of Australia’s outback is when you move away from daylight and everything becomes spookier and very much alive – I have a head torch by my bed which comes on almost every night to scan the room from nightmares of suicide spiders or slithery snakes or even those persistent buggers, mosquitoes, who seem more relentless than ever.

I was recently awoken by a scratchy sound and this is why night-time makes me more jumpy, because in daylight sound is more likely than not to be someone in the house, but at night when everyone’s asleep a scratchy sound can mean only two things: it’s not human and you should turn on your head torch immediately. My first thought was that it was eating my book, laid on the floor beside my bed. Torch light confirmed (with a little relief that I could read the rest of my book) that it was actually coming from inside the wardrobe. I managed to get to Dee’s side of the room where we watched the little creature run under my bed, along the side board and attempt evacuation by squeezing its fuzzy body under the door and away. I suppose a mouse isn’t anything to get too freaked about, but if that thing can push its way into this room with almost no notice, what else is moving around in here?

Sometimes the light outside flashes on, it’s one of those that come on when you move in front of it, not with a switch. We have discovered that there are two creatures that motion around on the veranda; the first is the goanna – a very, very big lizard to you and me – fully grown they reach 6 foot. Apparently if it bites you the wound never heals. How nice is that? The other creature is something that my friend describes as a cross between a rabbit, an ant-eater and a rat: the bandicoot. Actually pronounced how its spelt, which I think sounds a little stupid. The bandicoot likes our rubbish bins and the guano likes the chickens.

On a final note, I leave you with the Huntsman spider, this one is crawling around the kitchen:



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