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Transient Flies


From the Resident’s Quill.

Our residents are a talented bunch – among the sportsmen, the quilters, the woodworkers, the photographers and the poets are talented writers. Over the next few weeks we will be sharing some of our resident’s stories.

By Judith Montgomerie, Centro village.

When you have a picnic or travel long distances in a car, do you ever wonder what happens to the flies that hitch a ride when you leave to drive home?

Travelling between Perth and Adelaide recently, this subject often entered my thoughts. There they are, Mr and Mrs Fly and all their little flies, enjoying our company at a lunch stop between Cocklebiddy and Balladonia.   Then suddenly we humans decide to leave, taking with us half the fly neighbourhood.   They hide in our hair, in our eyes, up our noses, but mostly they like to ride on our backs, so when we jump back into the car and slam the doors, they are trapped. I usually wave the map around the car and line them all up on my side window, then I open it wide and send them on their way.

Now, by this time we are ten kilometres down the road.   If they are strong enough to survive the map and being sucked out of the window at a 110 kilometres an hour, they are now tumbling in space not knowing which was is up, and not knowing where the hell they are. Nothing is familiar and they know no-one. Do they have a built-in homing device like cats or birds that fly home to Siberia, or do they set up home in a new neighbourhood and live happily ever after? How far can they fly, anyway? Maybe they follow the road in the direction from which we have just come, and look for the familiar blue “P” on the side of the road and just hang around the picnic table until another car pulls in and they repeat the performance in reverse.   But what if these people don’t realise they are on board and don’t let them out at their place and take them too far?

If they do fall down behind the dashboard or somewhere and end up in Perth or Adelaide, how are they, a country-bumpkin fly, going to integrate with city-slicker flies? They may not even speak the same dialect, and have to attend fly language classes in the evenings.   Imagine a Balladonian fly being off-loaded at Cottesloe Beach. He’d be completely out of his comfort zone;  the sea breeze would knock him for a six to start with and the air would have an unfamiliar salty taste. Even if he did have access to a fly internet cafe or mobile phone, his family don’t get reception out the back of Balladonia, so they’d be worried sick, not knowing whether he was dead or alive.

You can read more stories from our residents in the latest edition of Thrive magazine here