Wednesday, 10 February 2010

Revenge of the Killer Bee

Well, I was going to leave it a few days before posting this, and get back to the aim of the blog which is to post about Scottish crime fiction. However, I have had a traumatic evening and no time to do a proper post. My lovely little teeny tiny laptop just flashed up the blue screen of not-very-well when I switched it on. I've lost some documents (not much fiction as I'm very careful about e-mailing it to myself when I write anything. However, I've lost an article I was writing on my trips to Alaska and, worst of all, loads of photos. I'm gutted about that. Anyone have any suggestions for a good place online to store photos?

So I'm back using my clunky old laptop that takes about half an hour to load up, and I'm not joking. So I thought I would just post about killer bees to cheer myself up.

So, as with yesterday's post, this was another conference with work. The conference centre we were staying in was a stately home which was absolutely gorgeous - if you could ignore the not particularly unobtrusive 1970s grey concrete addition which is where the bedrooms and the lecture rooms were. The views were gorgeous - all rolling countryside and lots of green stuff (that wasn't graffiti and mouldy kebabs). Beautiful scenery and nature and fresh, clear air. Well, unless you had my bedroom of course. My bedroom was in a cul-de-sac which overlooked four skips, and a multi-story car park. And the skips were full. So the beautiful scenery and fresh clean air were out. It was like being home. However, I did have some nature. Too much of it in fact. As well as the rat which I'm sure I heard scrabbling round the skips at 3am, there was the Killer Bee the size of a golf ball which decided to come and visit me while I was doing my ironing. It wasn't so much a bee, as a hawk.

We arrived about 5pm and arranged to meet in the bar at 6, so I had a quick shower and was busily ironing, while wearing only my underwear (this is probably too much information, but it's relevant to the story). I'd opened the window as it was really warm (I couldn't decide on the lesser of two evils between a boiling hot room, or the delightful smell of rotting garbage in the skips). All of a sudden I heard this really loud buzzing noise and this Killer Bee the size of a tennis ball came flying in the window straight towards me.

Now, I don't know whether you've ever had a Killer Bee the size of a basketball up in your face singing "Come and have a go if you think you're hard enough" but it's a bit scary. So I screamed like a big girl and lashed out. Unfortunately, it slipped my mind that I was doing the ironing at the time so I ended up flailing around with a hot iron (set to cotton - this fact seems irrelevant but I can assure you it will be important later). The iron was steaming, and the Bee wasn't best chuffed either. If it had been buzzing angrily before, it now turned it up a notch. And it was so close to my face that I could smell its breath. And, let me tell you, it hadn't been eating honey. I think it had been bin diving. It was fixing me with its beady little eyes, and drawing back its harpoon-like sting, when one of my sweeps with the iron caught it and it fell to the floor.

Via my foot. Just before the bee the size of Liechtenstein landed on my foot, I jumped backwards, knocking over the ironing board which, in turn, knocked the chair towards the window. Since it looked as though the chair back was going to crash into the window I jumped forward to grab the chair, overbalanced into the television, turning it on with my elbow. The ironing board crashed to the ground, I fell onto the bed, the chair in one hand and the hot iron (remember the hot iron?) in the other. Unfortunately, since I had several things to think about at once, I neglected to hold the iron away from anything it might damage and it ended up burning a hole in my bra (the bra was silk, the iron, if you cast your mind back, was set to cotton). Even more unfortunately, it just so happened that I was wearing it at the time. Ouch.

Silence descended, apart from the steaming of the iron, the occasional weak buzz from the bee, and the gentle sizzling of my flesh. After composing myself and putting the iron down safely on something that wasn't attached to me, I picked the bee up using my conference programme and gently hurled it out of the window into the skip below. Then I finished getting ready and went down to the bar.

When I walked in, the conversation stopped and they all turned round and looked at me. One of my colleagues said "Donna, I believe you're in the room next door to me."

"I am? How do you know that?" I said.

"Well, it might have been the shouts of 'bugger off bee' followed by ten minutes of crashes and screams that gave it away. It couldn't be anyone else really."

So there you have it.

Oh, and despite my mum's protests I am doing a charity zipslide... errrr... slide. Should anyone get the urge to sponsor me you can find the details, including photos of last year's event, here.


  1. When everything is coming your way, you are in the wrong lane.............................................

  2. Blue screens aren't necessarily the death of a computer. If you have the original Windows disc you can stick it in and try a repair.

    For backing up I'd recommend an external hard drive and a program like Norton Ghost. I've got two USB drives, one solely for Ghosting the computer drive and the other for putting things on. I think of the second as the computer equivalent of a box room.

  3. J - but hopefully not as messy as MY box room :o)Thank you for that, I shall look into getting myself a friendly ghost.

  4. Donna, what a story! I keep some photos on line at Webshots, I have some that are in public albums for anyone, and some that are in private albums for those I invite. None have ever gotten lost or had anything happen. I keep my photos here backed up onto a zip drive every month or so, and so only lose a month or so if this box crashes...which it has. So that's my input, and grrrrrr about losing what you've lost. :-( I learned the hard way to back up things but sometimes forget, so I am empathizing madly here. Bobbie

  5. My photos are too plentiful to make the journey to Mac cyber storage, but from the nice man in the Guardian IT, before they got rid of it, I've understood that you store photos in four places, just to be safe. So, computer, external hard drive, cyberspace and maybe a nice disc or two.

    Get to work now. And you ARE backing up onto an external hard drive, aren't you? Even I do that.

  6. Bobbie - thanks for the Webshots tip and the empathy :o)

    Bookwitch - FOUR places? Good grief! External hard drive? Errrrrr, no... but I am going to get one, I promise!

  7. Donna, you had me giggling like an eejit with your story. Loved it.

    Oh, and this is me off out to buy an external hard drive.

  8. Please do, both of you. I get a percentage.

  9. Michael - glad you enjoyed it. And me too :o)

    Bookwitch - a percentage of my hard drive? What, 1GB?

  10. Hilarious! :D
    I love how the damn thing keeps getting bigger.

    But I wonder what was on TV. "Zorba the Greek"? :P

  11. Nicolai - it DID get bigger and bigger!