A century and more ago, there were no school canteens – at least not in little village schools like this one in Montrol-Sénard. Pupils brought their hot lunches from home and kept them warm on the stove in the middle of the classroom.
Apologies to Cee, who I know doesn’t really like creepy-crawlies, but just this once I wanted to plead her indulgence.
This evil-looking b*****d is a hornet (‘frelon’ in French) and you don’t mess with them. Their sting is extremely painful and toxic and they are psychopathic about using it.
Swat one and they release a pheromone that summons the swarm. Do that outdoors and you’d better get inside and close the doors and windows pretty sharpish, because their mates will be round looking for revenge. Swat one indoors – well, just stay there.
At this time of year they are dying off (how sad; never mind) and this specimen was crawling on our doorframe one morning, barely alive and about to breathe its last. I wouldn’t have got so close with my smartphone otherwise.