Friday, July 29, 2011


I've always had a wee bit of a problem with mosquitoes - they're probably one of the only things I am allergic to. Unlike when I am stung by a midge or wasp, mosquitoes always leave me with large weeping sores that ooze yellow pus while the rest of my family simply suffer small, red, itchy swellings.
I lived in France in my 20s and kept it all more or less under control with those little sweet-smelling pellets you plugged into sockets. You could always hear the wee buggers buzzing loudly when they were in the room anyway so they weren't too hard to avoid. So over more than twenty summers in France, I probably had half a dozen really bad bites, no more.
I also spent a summer in Italy as a uni student and vaguely remembered their mosquitoes to be the same.
But I am beginning to wonder now if they are two separate species. I've been in Tuscany now for just over a week and my arms, leg and neck are full of what look like small volcanoes. The swelling is not unlike a small doughnut the size of a 1p piece, rising to a summit that weeps the yellow poison once again. The skin is tight and as hard as a rock and each will take at least another week to ease. The problem is that these little beasties are almost silent - either that or I am becoming hard of hearing in my old age. I can't tell when they are in the room or even on me and when I have caught sight of them, they are only half the size of the ones I know from the East and South of France.
Are Tuscan zanzare different from French moustiques?
Whatever is going on, I definitely seem to be more allergic to the little Italians than the French bugs and that's not ideal given their stealth approach. Also given where my in-laws live, it looks like I am going to have to come up with an airtight holiday suit! :-(

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