A Waspish Tale, Part 2 (A Waspish Tale Part 1)
I think I’m suffering from ‘empty nest syndrome’. The wasp has gone.
The car seems a drab and lonely place now, with no fellow passenger in a black and yellow striped jersey, coyly regarding me from the gap between the wing mirror housing and the glass.
I miss the company of my little French friend as I drive about my business.
I miss his impromptu song and dance routines when I shine a torch into his den; I miss the companionable buzz as he crawls over the papery cocoon he’s constructed behind the wing mirror, nudging his companions aside in diligent pursuit of his duties, whatever they may be.
And most of all I miss effecting that high speed transition from the side of the car into the driver’s seat, hoping he doesn’t choose that particular moment to vent his spleen at being abducted from his country of origin, to a life where his home gets thunderously shaken every time I enter and exit the car.
It doesn’t matter where I park the car now – no point in my trying to find the only tree or flower bed in the car park so that I can brighten his day with a change of scenery, or tempt him and his family out to smell the roses. And perhaps to stay there.
No point my adjusting the positioning of the glass in its frame, so they won’t get wet when it rains…. whoa! Wait … no I didn’t go that far.
But there was a certain ‘bonhommie’ between us, (he was French after all) and now he’s gone. And I find I miss him.
I hope he enjoyed his summer in England; his occasional trips to the doctors, the dentist, the supermarket, the gym, the hairdressers (yes, my life really is that boring). I hope he enjoyed the occasional foray into the apple tree by the garage, and the odd outing to the kiddies’ playground on the green opposite the house.
I’m sure he didn’t mind if I occasionally returned home from one of my scintillating outings, leaving a member of his entourage adrift in the wilds of Cambridgeshire. Without a sat nav, the errant family member would have had no way of retracing his steps to our driveway.
And if he did mind, he never showed it. He was an undemanding, if slightly persistent car-guest.
He travelled at least a couple of thousand kilometres with us, and survived two ferry crossings. He had the benefit of an indifferent English summer as opposed to the raging heat of central France, and he saw a bit of the world from the comfort of his mobile home.
We returned to France two or three weeks ago and he was still happily ensconced in the wing mirror when we arrived back at the boat. But when we checked the car on returning from our cruise between Pont de Vaux and Lyon last week, I discovered our little friend (and his other colleagues) had flown the nest, leaving behind the desolate papery grey coil that had represented a summer abode for himself and his family.
I’m grateful that both sides remained unscathed by the enforced co-habitation, and oddly pleased that he survived to enjoy his forcible repatriation to the land of his fathers.
I get a kind of warm glow that I didn’t have to resort to the wasp killer spray, (not the least because I’m hardly the fastest sprinter from a standing start), and I’m pleased that we managed to sustain a harmonious co-existence for several months, before bringing our relationship to an amicable conclusion.
All that remains now is to hoover (or poke) out the remains of his lodgings from behind the mirror, so that no squatters can be tempted to seize occupancy of a ready-constructed mobile home.
And perhaps to seal up the wing mirrors next time we park the car up at Pont de Vaux, just in case any members of his extended family still nurture happy memories of an all-expenses paid sojourn in the temperate English summer, and decide to repeat the experience.
C’est la vie, c’est fini. Bon voyage, ma petite guêpe!