Much of a muchness

Things that make you go 'hmm'…

A blistering time…

I’m feeling very sorry for myself today. About 10 days ago, I was playing tennis at a friend’s house and it was a beautiful sunny day. Idyllic you might think, except for lots of small flies which were flying around the court and even worse – biting us. I must have had a bad reaction to the bites because the next day, I had 6 bites which turned into blisters and then continued to grow. I looked like I had bubonic plague of the leg. I won’t go into too much detail about the ‘bursting blisters on cream trousers while on shopping expedition’ scenario, suffice to say, it was very embarrassing and itchy/painful as well. The blisters were just starting to heal when it was time to play tennis again.

This time, I wore cropped tracksuit trousers (not only to hide the ugly sores but to keep my legs covered in case the flies were around again) and I covered the small part of my legs which were still showing with insect repellant spray. The little buggers must have found the only square inch that I missed and have bitten me twice and I now have two nice fresh humungeous blisters again. They hurt and itch like crazy and as they are so close together, the effect seems twice as bad as before. I now have antibiotics to try and get rid of them once and for all – and when I play tennis next Monday, I am going to wear a full beekeepers suit. I’ll keep this image small so as not to frighten you too much…it’s quite disgusting.

Anyway, before I was eaten alive, I’d been having quite a jolly time. I’m trying to remember what I have been doing since my last post and my photoblog is as good a reminder as anything, so apologies if you’ve seen some of this before!

I visited the Hampton Court Flower Show with some friends and we all loved this garden seat which was somehow woven out of growing bamboo.

I went to a ‘Back to the ’80s’ open air concert with my sister and niece in Shrewsbury which was great fun. We saw Go West, ABC, Rick Astley, Tony Hadley and Howard Jones – it was a really fun evening and great to hear all the old songs again. The highlight for me was seeing Peter Cox, the lead singer with Go West who just seems to improve with age. I swear he is much more gorgeous now than 30 years ago and his voice is amazing. I’ll even forgive him the ear ring…

I’ve been to an air show – the Royal International Air Tattoo and saw some rather amazing planes in action. Particulary awestruck by the F22 – Raptor, a mere £4 million.

I went to see ‘Inception’ which I really enjoyed and now need to see again to work out just what was going on – such a good film. And it had Cillian Murphy and Ken Watanabe in it….

I went AWOL for a day and had a girlie shopping expedition/lunch/afternoon tea in Exeter.

Exeter Cathedral

I went sailing with a group of friends in Weymouth Bay. The weather was pretty rubbish but it was quite breezy so we had a good sail and a lovely picnic while moored in Portland Harbour.

In between all this I have been working very hard on some web sites I have been asked to create so it’s not all fun and games. Honest.

To finish, I must share with you the work of a wonderful sculptor I discovered yesterday. She’s called Annawili Highfield and this is from her website. Do check out her work, the paper sculptures are especially astonishing.

24 responses to “A blistering time…

  1. TeresaR August 4, 2010 at 3:28 pm

    Oh. My. Gawd. Diane!! Those are the most horrible looking blisters ever! You poor thing!!!

    I love those paper sculptures; what talent! I’m inspired now. If only I had energy to attempt something artistic. ;)

    Glad you’ve been having such a grand time this summer, and glad I was able to partake via your photoblog.

  2. Diane August 4, 2010 at 4:13 pm

    Disgusting aren’t they? I don’t know what bit me but I’d like to get my rolled up newspaper on whatever it was! The other three who were playing tennis were also bitten but just got an ordinary small red mark which disappeared fairly quickly :-(

    I adore those paper sculptures they look so simple and yet they are anything but.

    As my main regular reader over at my photoblog, you must have been experiencing a distinct sense of déjà-vu reading this!

  3. strugglingwriter August 4, 2010 at 4:41 pm

    Those blisters look painful. I hope they get better soon. My wife had a really terrible case of poison ivy last year and was covered in the things. Got better eventually, but terrible at the time.

    Love the photo of the garden seat.

    I hear good things about Inception. I’ll most likely catch it on Netflix when it’s there. We are most likely going to see the Scott Pilgrim film in the theater when it comes out, which will fill our theater quota for the year.

    • Diane August 4, 2010 at 4:47 pm

      I’ve got to stop looking at them…every time I do, they seem to have gotten bigger – so revolting. I feel for your poor wife if she was covered in blisters. We don’t seem to have poison ivy over here (thank goodness) just nasty bitey flying critters…

      You will love Inception – so complicated but really satisfying at the same time and astonishing special effects.

  4. claire August 4, 2010 at 4:43 pm

    Sweet Jesus, my friend. Looks like bubonic plague. Gross and yet fascinating at the same time. Poor you. I am feeling your pain. Glad you’re having some excellent adventures.

    • Diane August 4, 2010 at 4:53 pm

      I know! God only knows what bit me – they only looked like house flies (but with HUGE teeth!) I’m almost dreading tennis next Monday. I’m not sure I can stand yet another set of bites just when these will be healing.

      We have been warned about a plague of wasps expected in the Autumn because of the warm weather. It’s like the bloody plagues of Egypt being visited on us – locusts and frogs next… :-)

  5. Daddy Papersurfer August 5, 2010 at 7:28 am

    Those blisters look as though you’ve been tangoed!!! I’m verrrry impressed …….. [note to self – just to be on the safe side avoid Dorset completely for a couple of weeks]

  6. gitwizard August 5, 2010 at 1:04 pm

    I’ve been looking at the South West Coast Path as a potential walking tour, looks like I better stock up on insect repellent!
    Those paper sculptures are beautiful. I went to an exhibition in Chichester yesterday organised by these people
    no paper involved but excellent craftsmanship.

  7. Diane August 5, 2010 at 9:42 pm

    You should still come, you will probably be OK. Five different people played tennis over both weeks and only I reacted like this. I must have an allergy to nasty stinging biting little flying critters :-(

    The coast path is gorgeous – well worth walking (but then I am biased).

    The exhibition looks fascinating, I am a big fan of ceramics. One of my favourite ceramicists is Tim Gee He works in porcelain and it is so delicate and beautiful. It almost looks like a paper sculpture.

    • gitwizard August 6, 2010 at 10:06 pm

      There was a chap exhibiting in Chichester called Derek Higbee that does very thin porcelain like that.
      His photo and website skills could do with honing though.

      • Diane August 7, 2010 at 9:54 am

        Very nice work I love light showing through porcelain used to such effect. Only problem with the porcelain bowls Tim Gee makes is displaying them so you can see the patterns well. At least tea lights and candle holders show the translucency to full effect – beautiful.

        I agree the website (and typos) are a bit distracting!

  8. Cathryn Miller August 6, 2010 at 7:00 pm

    You make such a good advertisement for walking the South Coast!

    As someone who discovered the distinctly unpleasant side effects of Giant Hogweed on a previous walk in the lovely English countryside (blisters like yours but covering most of the backs of my hands), I am even less attracted to lovely Dorset for the next trip!

    We will be walking in England again next spring, but mostly in the North. Apparently my husband thinks that the south will be best saved for “when we are older”! I am assuming that he plans to hire sherpas to carry us up and down the cliff paths at that point. : }

    Please try to catch one of the flies and have it identified: my scientific curiosity has been severely piqued.

    • Diane August 7, 2010 at 10:00 am

      I’ve lived here 18 years and this is the first (well, second!) time I’ve been bitten (and reacted so badly) and no-one else was, so I think you will be safe if you do ever make it here!

      I am playing again tomorrow (a triumph of hope over experience) I am covering up and bathing in insect repellant before I go! If I do get a good look at whatever is trying to eat me alive, I shall be sure to ask it what it is – before smacking it with my tennis racquet :-)

      Eeek! You have had first hand experience of Giant Hogweed! Nasty. I saw a photograph of a blistered hand on a site about GH it looked so painful – poor you!

  9. Kim August 9, 2010 at 11:41 pm

    I love the photos Diane…esp the boat…it would make a superb painting…
    thanks for visiting my blog…life has been pretty hectic…. and now I will have to go and see Inception after reading your review ;)
    I hope your blisters heal up …ouch!!!
    love and xxxx

    • Diane August 10, 2010 at 10:21 am

      Hi Kim! Glad you are venturing out into Blogland again. You have been missed.

      The boat shot would look good as a painting wouldn’t it?

      Blisters are still painful. I looked at that photo I posted here and they are TINY compared to what they eventually turned into – in fact they merged into one über-blister. I eventually had to ‘deal’ with it and then the dog scratched the wound accidentally…I nearly went through the roof it was so painful and I am still hobbling about. It’s geting very boring!


  10. 70steen August 10, 2010 at 10:04 pm

    Blimey they are things that shouldn’t be caught in Engerland……that’s what happens when you move Souff.!


  11. damyanti August 16, 2010 at 8:08 am

    Hope you blisters have’re obviously allergic to something in the bite…

    all other pics quite gorgeous! will come back.

  12. Kim August 22, 2010 at 1:58 am

    I hope the blisters have gone now Diane
    just popping by to let you know that you are the featured artist this week at TAD :)
    I just had to post that wonderful photo of yours ;) :)
    happy weekend to you xxxx

    • Diane August 22, 2010 at 10:02 am

      Kim! Thank you so much! I couldn’t wait to see which photograph you meant and I’m pleased you chose that one, I rather liked it myself :-)

      Blisters are now scabby messes but disappearing, thank goodness. Still playing tennis but covered from neck to toe, so am now at risk of boiling to death – but at least I will be blister free :-)

      Have a great weekend – actually, it’s probably almost over for you isn’t it? Hope it was a good one and the week ahead is great :-)

  13. Gail August 31, 2010 at 1:23 pm

    Those insects are apparently causing mass blistering for many people – they’re tiny midges known as Blandford flies.

    Just discovered your blog, very readable!

    • Diane August 31, 2010 at 8:14 pm

      Hello and welcome!

      We wondered if they were Blandford Flies – nasty little blighters whatever they are. Trouble is other people were bitten but didn’t have such an extreme reaction. It’s probably me reacting adversely to a Blandford Fly – never did like Blandford :-)

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