Saturday, 31 July 2010


“God in his wisdom invented the fly,
And then forgot to tell us why.”

                                   Ogden Nash

“Flies, strangely enough, were considered good luck charms..... It was also lucky to see a fly in a home at Christmas. Why? Because, it was reasoned, flies are killed off by cold weather, and so any that are still alive in midwinter must be exceptionally lucky ones. The hope was that some of this fly luck would rub off.”
“These folk beliefs embrace not all biological flies but just a few familiar ones, notably the ubiquitous housefly.”
(Peter Marren)

My mother was quite content to let one or two flies live out the winter in the living room. If there was just one it was known as Josephine. If two they were Joseph and Josephine. They would circle around the ceiling and land on the big glass lampshade. Quite whether she thought they were lucky or was simply being kind to them I’m not sure.

These are fly footprints on a steamed up car window - photo taken many years ago on transparency film.


  1. I guess one fly (or two) in the winter may serve to remind us of warmer and sunnier days... Good pictures, even if I'm not particularly fond of flies! :)

  2. I think that I would have liked your Mum, my friend. And I do like that photo of it's tracks...cute.

  3. Incredible photography.

    My home in our current NZ winter is home to umpty-something spiders of all sorts of types and sizes (none have poisonous bites). I haven't a clue what they are surviving on fodder-wise!

  4. Joseph and Josephine :-) I wonder why I never knew that.

    Our house is currently plagued by flies. I'm trying to learn to like the big ones by photographing them and seeing how interesting they are, but the little ones that come to the garden for the compost and the pond are difficult to get on with. Maybe I should try naming them.

  5. interested in the bit about the rocket. Remember it well in my youth, I'm now down in Plymouth. Jist of this post is does anyone know what eventually happened to Waterworth's the grocer's. A bit of in memorium for my grandad who was related to them?


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