The Mighty Midge

Tell people you’re moving to the west of Scotland and they will invariably warn you about the midges*, usually either before or after they warn you about the rain, and then point out that Spain has a nice warm dry climate and it’s easier to learn the language. But since moving here we have not really found the dreaded midg(i)es to be that much of a problem, maybe because we’re not in the Highlands, nor far west enough. There have been clouds of bugs, sure, but not a real biting menace.

Until, that is, I took it in my head to go and plant some bulbs on a still, dampish, mildish autumn afternoon when all the midg(i)es had settled down to their beauty sleep among the vegetation. From which I rudely awakened them and from which they rose up in a small, biting, enraged cloud to wreak their vengeance. It started with a few prickles on my head, and I went and got my hat and carried on, not thinking much of it. Twenty minutes later, with my hands, waist (damn low-rise trousers), neck, face, even my bloody eyelids, itching, I was driven in. And now I’ve woken up this morning covered in itchy bites and have been walking round Notso Bigtown’s Tescos scratching like the child you never wanted to sit next to in school.

The answer, we are told – used, apparently by the British Army – is Avon’s Skin So Soft moisturiser. I’m not sure I want to go down the whole Avon lady route (do Avon ladies even still exist? I’ve never seen one). Others suggest Coal Tar soap, eating lots of marmite or, for the desperate, one of these. Personally, I’m leaning towards the whole ‘move to Spain’ solution at the moment. But what do you do?

*or midgies, if they’re Scottish. Which raises the question: does this make the singular the ‘midgy’? Or is the concept of just one one midge so ridiculous it doesn’t arise?

18 Responses to The Mighty Midge

  1. Sam says:

    Just to let you know that Avon Ladies do indeed still exist – I get a catalogue through the door every now and then!! (although to be honest I have never actually seen her!!)

    Fortunately, being so far south, I don’t get that bothered by midges!! 😉

  2. I think that you can buy Avon products on the internet. Haven’t tried, so could be wrong – worth a Google though.

  3. john says:

    I got bit on the head twice the other day, it started itching and I put one of these antiseptic wipes on the bites and that stopped the itching fairly quick.


  4. disgruntled says:

    well, we had a frost last night, which may have seen the little terrors off…

  5. Helen says:

    I hate to admit it but my sister is an ‘Avon lady’.
    On the other question the singular of midgies is actually midgie. Midgy is an adjective – full of midges/midgies – along with the comparison forms of midgier and midgiest…

  6. Anonymous says:

    Indeed as as that great Hymn beloved of the Last Night at the Proms puts it
    “God who made you Midgie make you Midgier yet”

  7. Huttonian says:

    Sorry last comment was mine-clicked too soon!

  8. Dom says:

    Acording to the Avon advertising (what little I’ve seen of it because most of the time I record stuff and whizz through the adverts) you can either contact your Avon Representative or buy online. I don’t think you’re allowed to call them Avon Ladies any more because that’s sexist. How one goes about finding ones Avon Representative I wouldn’t know.

  9. disgruntled says:

    Helen – can she score me some skin-so-soft then? Does it work?
    Huttonian – why on earth would He want to make it Midgier? It’s midgy enough as it is…
    Dom – are there Avon Chaps as well then?

    I notice that their website is curiously coy about the alleged midge-related effects – maybe admitting your moisturiser doubles as a bug-repellant isn’t considered great marketing…

  10. R::B says:

    I can vouch for the properties of both the SSS bath oil and body mousse(please don’t ask…). Personally I think it also repels anything with olfactory glands but aparently some people like the odour.

    I think they still land on you but suffocate themselves on the oily stuff…

    Bog myrtle was apparently the old solution.

  11. R::B says:

    I appear to have omitted a space, letter and comma from the above. Please accept these tardy additions: ” ” “p” “,”.


  12. disgruntled says:

    Mmmm. Sounds like the cure is worse than the disease.

    Still trying to work out where best to put that comma

  13. Autolycus says:

    You’ve got me scratching now!

  14. Pete says:

    We still get an Avon lady – I only know as she knocked for her book the other night which surprisingly enough I hadn’t even looked at. (That’s my story and I am sticking to it) I might if it really works to stop midgies though as they’re awful.

  15. disgruntled says:

    Oh Pete, we know you were really loading up on all the make up – go on, confess…

  16. Dom says:

    The Avon advert I saw last night on the telly (watched purely in the name of research you understand) seemed to imply that if you weren’t 100% totally delighted with the product you could return it for a refund. They also affirmed that online purchases were an option should you not wish to go down the Avon Representative route for whatever reason. Now, it could be that the refund option was solely for whatever potion or unguent was being hawked by the advertisement but, it would seem there could be very little lost by going to the website, checking the veracity of the refund claim, ordering the product if it’s true and then either living in a blissful, itch free state or sending it back and demanding your money back. Simples 😉

  17. disgruntled says:

    Hmmm. Except then the Avon Lady (sorry Representative) would KNOW WHERE YOU LIVE. And her wrath would be mighty.

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