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Have you heard of a New York Second? If you haven’t it’s the shortest possible measurement of time. Standardised as the time between the lights turning green and the taxi behind you beeping its horn.

I’m only asking as I’m thinking of coming up with an even shorter measurement – possibly named a ‘Flecond’. This is the time elapsed between a person starting to paint something outdoors and a winged insect committing suicide by landing in it.

I’m beginning to suspect they believe paint is some sort of doorway to fly-nirvana with the amount that have embedded themselves in it while I’ve been decorating outdoors this week.

Still, at least if they’re embedded in my paint (perhaps waiting for the day far in the future when they can be harvested and the contents of their stomachs can be used to clone people for a Jurassic Park-style wonderland of humans?) they aren’t flying around and around my light fittings.

What is it with flies and light fittings? Does the diary of the average fly go something like this?

Day one: Born

Day two: enter a house

Day three: fly around light fitting 2 million times

Day four: fly around light fitting 3 million times

Day five: drop dead in conservatory

I’ve researched this, as I am that sad, and have found no concrete reason for why they perform this bizarre aerial dance. Some say it is because of the residual heat. I don’t know, but I do know I’ve noticed it far more since moving to France.

Maybe it’s the cheese that drives them mad?

They are also a bane when I go running. I love running when it’s cold. My perfect months are October to March time. Nice and chilly.

Then along comes summer and BAM! The temperature rises, and along with the heat come the flies. I’ve read a lot about breathing through your nose when it comes to running, people say it oxygenates the blood more. I can’t do it. Ironically when asked about whether it was better to breathe through your mouth or your nose an NFL coach famously replied: ‘Stop trying to pick the fly-shit out of the pepper and JUST BREATHE!

So that’s what I keep in mind when I’m running and breathing through my mouth. I try to keep it in mind as I swallow fly after fly after fly.


Still, I prefer to swallow them, if I have the choice, because otherwise they go down the wrong hole and I end up dry heaving in the middle of the road. Nothing quite like a sudden attempt at throwing up an inhaled fly to put you off your stride and negatively impact your run time.

So yes, in case you haven’t picked up on it yet – I HATE FLIES!