Life up a Creek

creekThis is a different style of creative writing, hopefully reminiscent of Gerald Durrell (whose books I admired as a child).

As some of you may know, we have recently moved houses. The new place is wonderful, with a large backyard that has a creek running through it. You can see it in the background in the attached picture, providing a charming background to our Sunday afternoon tea.

Work also has been very busy in the past few weeks. Yesterday was hectic in particular, but at least at the end of a long day, I could lie down on the bed and reflect contentedly on my life, without having to worry about leeches falling on my face.


Yes, today there were two fat leeches crawling about on our bedroom ceiling, right over our pillows.

The first time we saw a leech was the night after we moved in. Even though it was on the wrong side of the fly-screen (i.e. on the inside), we just attributed it to the house standing empty for a few weeks.

Not so much today, with them above our heads. Seems like the poor darlings are afraid of the rainstorm, and whenever it rains heavily they seek shelter in our bed.

The cats don’t get that privilege, so we don’t see why the leeches should either.


The above incident was actually a few weeks ago. The third incident involving a leech was again during a rainstorm, when one was found crawling up the side of our bed.

You’ll be happy to know it has been safely relocated down the toilet.

Turns out the bastards can crawl back up, so repeated flushing is recommended to avoid nasty surprises in the early morning.


By now we have settled into a routine, whereby if it rains our bedroom gets scanned for anything that doesn’t belong between the sheets. One would have thought we would have gotten used to this by  now.

One would be wrong.

The forth incident involved a leech falling out of my pants when I shook them.


I did what one would expect a grown man would do in those circumstances. I performed a little dance of horror, cried for my mummy, demanded from the wife we move to an apartment 50 floors up, and generally disposed of the critter down the toilet.

With extra flushes, of course.

I didn’t see a leech bite on my leg, so continued on my merry evening. It was only later that I found out where it had bit me. It was ONE INCH away from being the most unwanted blow-job in history.

One reason why it took me so long to find the bite, is that it was on the right side of, err, my inner thigh — yet the leech fell out of my my left trouser leg…

An interesting fact about leeches, which you may have not known. Their bite contains hirudin, which is an anticoagulant. It ensures the free flow of blood while the leech feeds, but it also means the would will continue to bleed after it has departed.

To stop the bleeding, we put in a gauze pad held with tape. It wasn’t enough pressure, so the bleeding continued. Also, I never plan on getting a Brazilian in my life.

To prevent me from sitting around holding my jewels, we had to put on a new gauze pad and apply pressure bandages. As my wife was tightening them to my thigh, she couldn’t stop giggling and commenting about how this is not what she had ever imagined Fifty Shades turning out.

At least I now have the story to compete with Bear Grylls when breaking the ice at parties.

If you enjoyed this little bit of writing, you might want to check out Felix’s adventures. I can only promise that neither the short stories nor Murder In Absentia contains leeches — something that will be rectified as soon as possible. (They do contain Garum, but that’s a whole different kettle of fish).

In the mean time, and while working on the next full-length Felix mystery, I am experimenting with selling signed copies of Murder In Absentia and canvas prints of the cover art (I’ve had a few requests for the original illustration). While a “shop” section is not yet up, please just contact me if you’re interested! It could make up any shortfall in recent presents season 😉

*** UPDATE! *** The Swag Store is now live!


  1. Absolutely Brilliant! Enjoyed every word! Would love to see more of your descriptions of Life with Leeches etc!,😁


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