Imagine drinking a nice glass of milk when suddenly, you are trampled by a stampeding herd of angry cows. In a way, that is exactly what happened to me. Just on a smaller scale, of course. Well, and you would have to switch out the milk with cow barf. On second thought, that picture does not even begin to hold up…
Bees, okay? I experienced a huge swarm of bees. I was sitting down for breakfast at the kitchen table of a beekeeper (major red flag right there!), enjoying a nice bread with honey (hello 2nd warning sign!), when all of a sudden the clear blue sky outside the window darkened, so hankering of portentous disaster looming like it only ever happens in Fantasy novels, really. Or maybe cheesy 70s disaster movies. “When suddenly, all hell broke loose!” as the voice-over guy would probably say in the trailer. Thousands upon thousands of sting-y, flying bastids blackening out the sun not unlike the Persian arrows in “300”.
It all was not quite as dramatic though, of course. I was indoors for starters. Luckily, the bees were not. And even when I went there to get a better look, not a single one of them
had any desire to be ‘in my eyes, aaaaarrgh!’ The beekeeper had been centrifuging honey and for some reason, maybe entirely unrelatedly, the insects decided to swarm. Now, I do not want to get too technical, but, basically, when a hive finds it is too big and happens to have another Queen Bee hatching, part of it just might decide to look for a place of their own. Start their own hive. Make it on their own terms in this rough-and-tumble world of ours.
The beekeeper managed to get the wannabeehive back, in a procedure involving cunning use of an aluminium pole that must have been 10 metres (about 33 feet) long, and could focus on centrifuging again. He managed to finish that, against all expectations, in just one day. This time, anyway. In a couple of weeks he will have to centrifuge again, what with a single hive producing hundreds and hundreds of pounds of honey. How a frail, old man like Mr Holmes could ever take up beekeeping as a nice, relaxing hobby, by the way, I’ll never know.
Between the swarm swarming and the swarm settling down in a nice cosy tree (the very top. Remember, 10 metre pole), I finished my bread with honey (which might just have come from the very bees I watched flying about frantically, looking rather chaotic in doing so, even though I know they are not).
I thought about the teeny tiny little baby sheep I was going to feed later that same day and how great a little weekend in the middle of nature can be. Probably because a single weekend is not nearly long enough for it all to become terribly, exhaustingly arduous, melliferous breakfast pleasures notwithstanding. That way, you can light your pipe sitting on the verandah as the day comes to a close and at least give in to the illusion of a simpler life in simpler times, close to nature, just like like our forebears had. Constructed escapism as that picture always has been.