My bedroom has been a mess of late. When I say “of late” I mean for the last ten or fifteen years. In that time, my amazing daughter Liv has grown to be a formidable young woman: she recently turned seventeen. She doesn’t take any prisoners, and she informed me recently that we were going to tidy my bedroom together.
“It’ll be so great!” she said, “I’ll bring my speaker and we can listen to tunes and – oh, I can’t wait!”
The day arrived. It was horrible: Liv was more of a cheerleader than anything else, but you need those – and we listened to tunes. The bedroom is considerably tidier than it was yesterday morning, and all of a sudden I have a chair that I haven’t really seen for many years. When the place was clean and tidy. Liv sat on the chair.
“What’s this, Mum?” she asked.
Our house is post-and-beam, American style. Heavy oak posts form the frame, and they are a light gold colour (very lovely). In this oak post between the two windows, which you can see in the above sketch, Liv spotted a tiny hole. Fragments of leaves were sticking out.
“I don’t want to know,” I said. “It’s something nature-y. I am sick of nature colonising my own bedroom” (a mouse had recently stolen my earphones when they had fallen off the bedside table in the night – I heard them being rolled away).
Liv spotted another hole on the next face of the post, to make an entry and exit point. It wasn’t bored by a creature – a branch had once grown there, but the knotty bark had crumbled away over time. There was a hair pin on the floor, and I used it to poke out the leaves, trying not to let my stomach turn. But the leaves were perfectly dry and it wasn’t too gross.
“An insect made its nest here,” I said, and went back to whatever else I was doing.
“Mum,” said Liv, “look. I felt you needed a little colour in your room.”
She had threaded a piece of light green nylon rope through the hole to make sure it was completely clean (see above sketch on the right).
“Oh look,” she said, “there’s a buttercup in there too!”
We found it adorable, if not necessarily a feature I would have chosen for my room. I told my husband Marcel what we had found. He refused to believe it was made by an insect.
“It was a child who did it,” he said.
“First of all,” I said, “I would know if a child had done that, and anyway they haven’t been that kind of age for about thirteen years. The leaves were pretty fresh – and there was a buttercup.” Liv expleined that there was a slight coccon of dry silver silk where the insect had masticated the leaves.
He still wasn’t having any of it, and said the same child had probably glued the leaves together with its own spit. My conclusion: sometimes grown men just can’t handle extreme cuteness in nature. It’s not the first time I have noticed this.
Now I wonder what insect made its nest there? A bee? A wasp?
Either way…I don’t want any more insect tenants in my bedroom, and no mnore electronics thieves either. Now that it’s all a bit tidier, I am hoping that’s it…for a while anyway.
I was listening to Danny Gregory on Nishant Jain’s podcast last night. Danny reminded me that I love drawing for its own sake. And that’s why I made this sketch, that’s why I enjoyed drawing the wood grain, that’s why I didn’t care at all about whether this sketch was good, bad or indifferent. It’s just something to share with you, something I enjoyed doing.
That’s all that matters.