Monday, June 11, 2007


There are many mosquitoes in our neighbourhood. In particular at the back of the house, where the gardens are, and where our bedroom faces, with the big balcony doors which remain open night and day in the summer to compensate for the unbearable heat of sleeping under a flat roof. The first summer we spent in the house (seems like a lifetime, but really only three years ago), when Isabelle was just 5 months old, Marc walked around most nights beating the various walls of the bedroom with one of my slippers. It did not seem to bother him or me (or her). The second year, I was sitting on the bed one late afternoon when I caught Isabelle looking at Marc smashing some mosquito to smithereens, and I suddenly thought: I am watching my daughter watching her father killing an insect for no reason other than that it buzzed around his head once or twice approximately 14 hours ago.

Since then, not one drop of mosquito blood has been shed in this house, and we sleep the summers away under mosquito nets. Loving every minute (it's a bit like a little house, says Isabelle, it's a bit like camping, says Marc, it feels like summer, says I).

Our most recent acquisition, the Majestic, is memorable for being able to comfortably fit around our absurdly sized bed (240 by 200). This is a great improvement on all the previous systems where some of us (those with the big no-killing ideas) slept under the mosquito net, while others (those with no big ideas but with jobs they had to go to every morning) were stuck sleeping outside the net, and being visited by a bunch of very frustrated mosquitoes (who could see Isabelle, smell Isabelle, but not get to Isabelle). So the Majestic is a good thing.

And then some weeks ago, I read this article. Ten grown men spending months of their energy and time figuring out a way not to kill even one ant. Such a happy, hopeful, smiling thought!

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