18th June 2018

I have had a difficult time with the sit~spot recently because I have had a bad reaction to the insects there. Yesterday, I woke up with a swollen eye and spent the day feeling very ill because I had a total of 19 mosquito and horse fly bites all over me, the worst being on my knees, arms and face but I also had them on my scalp, back and legs.

They were from half an hour sitting in my new spot, the day before. It is strange that I have not been affected too much by insect bites in the last few years, although when I first moved to the Alps, I had a swelling on my knee from a horse fly bite that was so bad it had infected my joint and I was unable to walk for a week. It seems that this year however, I am going to be at risk again. I put it down to changes in my diet, as I have been recently trying to rid myself of a parasite infection (picked up from China) and I think this must have changed my body chemistry and I know that mosquitoes and horse flies are attracted to the (bad) smell of our bodies.

My recent Kamana lesson has been about the South Shield, which details the idea of commitment and focus and I know that this insect episode has given me a prime reason to give up my sit~spot practice. Sitting in that place and getting bitten again just seems too much to bear right now but I know that the South Shield has taught me that I must persevere if I am going to get anything out of this practice.

After doing a little bit of research into Anopheles plumbeus –  a variety of mosquito found here in France, I walked back to the sit~spot this morning to check out the insects and yes, they were still there (I only got one horse fly bite on my leg). However, there were certain areas out in the open that did not have mosquitoes or horse flies. I found out that mosquitoes cannot fly if the wind speed is anything above 1 m.p.h. so I realised that I could position myself on a small hill next to the river, a short way from my original spot, which is out in the meadow and next to my friend’s beehives. Believe it or not, I am not allergic to bee stings, having kept bees myself in the past and being stung quite regularly by them, without having a single reaction. In this new position, the horse flies will still be a problem but I have found them to be a problem everywhere; mostly along shaded paths, so I figure that if I keep in the sun as much as I can, at least I will have a chance of seeing them land on me, where I can easily get rid of them. I will cover up and find a natural insect repellent and carry on – for I really have to carry on.

At least I now have another two species to add to my ‘hazards’ journal list.