More wasp mishaps, When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit, and some good news

I inadvertently disturbed a wasp’s nest in the compost heap at the allotment today. Someone told me a couple of weeks ago there was a wasp’s nest in my compost heap but somehow this information failed to make it to my brain as I hacked into weeds growing around the base. At first I thought it was stinging nettle then I looked and there was a wasp and another and by the time I remembered about the nest I was in a cloud of wasps.

I briefly wondered what the best thing to do is when you find yourself in this situation. Do you stay very still and wait for them to fly off you or do you run away and panic and freak out? I’m not sure what the official advice is but I chose the latter and went tearing from my plot shrieking and flailing my arms all over the place. At one point I looked down and there must have been at least a dozen wasps on my shoes so I discarded them and kept running. My socks were wet and muddy by the time I’d had a chance to think about whether that was a good decision or not.

I was only stung three times in the end which is not too bad considering. One of the buggers even managed to sting me through my denim jeans. Eventually they abandoned my shoes and I was able to put them on again sans socks. This is my second encounter with wasps in less than a month when one of them stung me on the lip. I wonder if there are more of them about this year?

We’re currently reading When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit by Judith Kerr. It’s based on Kerr’s own experience as a German Jewish child fleeing Nazi Germany. Judith Kerr is something of a national treasure in the UK, having written a children’s picture book that is now famous here: The Tiger Who Came to Tea. When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit is very good and we’re all enjoying it.

The UK inherited lots of talented Jews feeling Germany during the second world war. In addition to Judith Kerr there’s also the German Jewish inventor, Max Gort-Barten. He also fled the Nazis, came to Britain, and started Dualit, manufacturer of toasters. Dualit toasters are to this day very popular and still manufactured in Britain.

Another is Cornelia James, an Austrian Jew who fled the Nazis for Britain and started making gloves. Cornelia James gloves became a favourite of the Queen who issued a Royal Warrant to the company to supply gloves. The gloves are still owned by the family and manufactured in East Sussex in Britain.

These are just the few I know about so I thought I’d have a look to see how many others there are and lots of refugees in general go on to do great things in the countries they adopt. I imagine their experience and the desperate situation they find themselves in likely provides a strong incentive for someone to work hard, take risks, and succeed against all odds.

Speaking of refugees, readers of my blog who have followed the Nowzad animal shelter rescue from Afghanistan will be pleased to hear the Nowzad staff have all managed to flee Afghanistan and are safely ensconced in the British High Commission in Islamabad. This is such terrific news and I for one didn’t have high hopes they’d make it out of there but they did and they’re all safe and well and will soon come to the UK. Such happy news but sad also for Afghanistan which has seen a huge brain drain over the past few months. It can’t be good for the country long-term to lose so many good people.

25 Replies to “More wasp mishaps, When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit, and some good news”

  1. Thatโ€™s fantastic news about the Nowzad staff. How gut wrenching it would have been to have had to leave them behind, especially after their incredible efforts to rescue the animals in their care.

    1. Isn’t it amazing? He’s just done the impossible and I imagine they have some incredible stories to tell of their passage out of the country.

  2. My husband ran over a wasps’ nest with the mower once, he went into the house but on the allotment that is not an option. You did well to get away without worse happening. I did think it was funny when you said that the information somehow failed to make it to your brain, I am sure we all have moments like that, although they make no sense.
    One of the Cordelia James shops is a few doors down from me, I never knew that story. Also their registered office is in the village I used to live in, once they gave the village a box of single gloves for the kids to play with, I never realised they were so well regarded.
    It is a big relief to know that the staff at Nowzad are safe. They were very brave to stay for such a long time.

    1. Oh no! Did he get stung? It seems a strange place to build a wasp’s nest on the lawn but I don’t know much about them.

      And how cool to have a Cornelia James store just a few doors down!

  3. Oh my gosh!!! Your experience with the wasps nest sounds like a real nightmare! ๐Ÿ˜ฑ I’m sorry to hear this happend to you. But I’m glad you only got stung 3 times (considering ๐Ÿ˜ณ). I hope the stings don’t cause too much pain. Feel better soon ๐Ÿ’

    1. I’m fine. Thankfully I’m not allergic. They’re just itchy today which is driving me a bit insane but that will pass.

  4. Ohmygosh that is so scary about the wasps!!!! You are really lucky! I read about a man that ran over a nest with a mower and ran into the house and the wasps came in with him. I forget if just the old man died or if his wife, who was in the house, also died. Horrible!!!

    1. That is horrible. I didn’t realise you could die from disturbing a wasp’s nest. I guess he must have been allergic to them?

      1. I watched an interview with his wife. Whoever wrote the news article left out some important details. The guy was 70, mowing the grass, and was soon covered head to toe with the “killer bees” variety. By the time he ran into the house you couldn’t even see him through the bees his wife said. So, that’s quite different from your situation. The wife was trying to wipe the bees off of him but whatever she got off, more got on. He just kept running inside and outside and died of cardiac arrest. Very sad. She had known him since she was 10-yrs old.

      2. Oh that is awful. The wife must have got stung too. I wonder whether he could have jumped in the shower? Or submerged himself under water somehow. I don’t think bees can swim.

  5. I recall telling those in command of the walkie talkies to inform others of the hornets nest in a field I was surveying, but that someone still fell into it and had to go to hospital. I wonder if that Avon Skin So Soft stuff dispels wasps as well as midges? As for fleeing, I fled one person (who wanted to be a partner) wishing to kill me and that was horrific, but to think of a whole hunch… I will never forget the feeling on the train of having to leave home behind and start again.

    1. I hope that person who fell into the nest was ok. And oh my goodness I can’t imagine what you must have gone through fleeing a violent partner. That would have been terrifying. I hope you had the support you needed and that you’re now in a better place.

      1. A wanna-be partner, I never wanted them in the first place. I moved hundreds of miles and became who I am today. Peaceful and a time has made me a completely changed individual.

      2. It worked out so beautifully too. I arrived in the low season and rented a caravan. Then I went to the estate agent and asked for the contact of someone wanted to sell the house of my dreams. I contact them to say “Can I rent until you find a buyer and thus keep the house safe and warm”. They agreed and even bought me a car. Talk about falling on my feet. ๐Ÿฆถ ๐Ÿฆถ

      3. They woman who fell into the nest ๐Ÿ๐Ÿ๐Ÿ ๐Ÿ๐Ÿ๐Ÿ๐Ÿ was with others, so they got to hospital quickly and were given the necessaries. It made me ponder the risks I took surveying on my own and the importance of informing others of where you are.

      4. This is an important thing to say to ourselves occasionally “I am the support I need”.

  6. Sorry to read about your close encounter of the waspish kind. Eeek. Hope that is your last wasp experience. Love them as pollinators but they have an awful temper. Years ago Eddie Izzard made a documentary called โ€˜Mongrel Nationโ€™ his point was that Britain has flourished over the centuries because of the people that have come to live here. You might be able to catch it on YouTube.

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