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May 05

“The ants are back Ted.”

I’ve just watched all three series (“seasons” if you are in the States) of Father Ted, a quite fantastic comedy show which aired in the UK in the mid-90s. The writers quit while they were at the top, and as it happened the title character died shortly after they stopped filming. If you have never heard of it I urge you to check it out.

Anyway, in the first episode Dougal looks through a pair of binoculars and sees a crazed army of ants and announces, “The ants are back, Ted.”

Well, the ants are back in my house too. Spookily enough just yesterday morning I was thinking I hadn’t seen any ants when sure enough, just hours later, the little bastards were back above my sink, crawling in through the back wall trying to steal our crumbs from the counter tops.

I told my wife and she said, “Oh, you love your wee battle with the ants don’t you?” And she’s right, I do. Every summer they show up, I attack them with the repellent, wipe the counters, spray water. It lasts about a week and then they give up and go raid someone else’s home. Having your house regularly invaded by insects – most a LOT bigger than ants – is one of the many delights of living in the sweltering sauna that is New Orleans in the summer.

Anyway, away from Stephen versus the Ants I’ve also been busy – planning some trips! Woo-hoo! Like buses none for ages, then four in a couple of weeks. Not four trips but four cities.

This Sunday I’m going to Santa Ana in California for the final league games of the season. A win for Chelsea and they are league champions for only the fourth time in their history. As I was going down the pub to watch the game anyway I thought I may as well try and sell some books while I’m there.

The other trip is in a couple of weeks and this time it’s international would you believe! A very fine fellow called Tim Baker up in Toronto wants me up in Canada to try and sell some copies at his record store. I’m really looking forward to it, and on the way back to New Orleans I’m going to Hartford to see Northern Ireland play Turkey and to do another signing at an Irish pub. I have a day to kill between the two and don’t know where I’ll end up yet, maybe New York or Boston.

So I’ll post details as soon as everything is confirmed with that one, but at the minute I’m getting myself sorted for four days in California this weekend. And an early start to cheer on the Blues on Sunday.

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