My researches today revealed something I’ve not come across before. A family of two sons and a father, all of whom served during the war. One son in the Bedfordshire Regiment, the other a decorated a flying ace in the Flying Corps and the father serving in the Medical Corps.
The other amazing thing was it was also my first time coming across someone who actually has a Wikipedia page. The flying ace, William Joseph Benger MM, is here.
The youngest son, Alfred, having been born in 1901 was possibly too young to have served in WWI. At least I’ve found no record of his serving and, given the rest of the family, I assume he would have if he could.
So that was all exciting. Almost as exciting as working out the name of the memorial I mistakenly thought was a churchyard. This revelation had me fixing up a few records.
The day passed beautifully outside my office while inside, nature was being fought in tooth and claw. Well, legs and webs really.
I was sitting, staring out at the wildflower patch in a moment of quiet contemplation when I noticed a wasp flying against the window. This is not unusual. This time of the year, I get a lot of flying insects in my office. Generally I help them find the open window to freedom. I wasn’t quick enough for this little wasp.
Rather than fly towards the freedom, it flew downwards, directly into an almost invisible spider web. It struggled. The web vibrated. The spider was there in an instant.
I then watched, transfixed, as the spider spun the wasp around, and around, cocooning the frantically twitching wasp in web. It was very fast and effective.
Having completely immobilised the wasp, the spider grabbed its takeaway meal in two legs and darted off, behind the external hard drives and out of sight. It was all over in a matter of seconds.
I have to admit I wasn’t that sad for the wasp given I’ve been the victim of wasp stings too many times to feel much pity for them. The spider, on the other hand, I was quite happy about.
In fact, the other day someone on Twitter asked how effective fly paper was, saying they had a fly problem in their house. In exasperation, they asked what people thought was the best solution for flies. I tweeted back ‘spiders’ and I stand by that. I don’t kill spiders.
A little later a bee came in and was hitting the window directly above the spider web. Suddenly he flew into the web. This time I was ready with a pencil. I freed the bee before the spider could reach it and I sent him on his way through the window.
Unlike wasps, I’ll always save a bee if I can. Though I have been stung by bees in the past, I realise it was completely accidental. Wasps, on the other hand, are just vindictive little bastards.
That makes me sound like a heartless wasp killer. I am not. I don’t knowingly kill things just for the sake of it. More importantly, I don’t spray things with poison because they’re smaller than me. Insects are as much a part of the planet as I am and I don’t see the benefit in killing them.
On the other hand, I have no problem with spiders filling their tiny tummies with tiny wasps.
And speaking of tiny things…five years ago today, Freya was born and, about eight weeks later, came to join our family. A tiny bundle of cute whose arrival gave Emma something to exert control over in the same way that Day-z did to her.
To celebrate such an important event, we took the girls to Frensham Little Pond which was alive with dogs, families and squealing, splashing toddlers. It was almost as if the world was normal again.