Archive for South Uist

Sand Gnats. Evidence, perhaps not of God but certainly the Devil.

Posted in USA Tour 2008 with tags , , , on March 15, 2008 by craigherbertson

Mosquitoes or Midges. Evidence, perhaps not of God but certainly the Devil.

Many Scotsmen came to Savannah. Life must have been very different for them except in one respect. The local sand gnat is the only thing that comes close to approaching the terror induced, like stories of the bogeyman to children: The terror of the midge.

For a creature not much bigger than a pinhead, the midge’s sheer contribution to the volume of humanity’s suffering would exceed a couple of eternities in Dante’s inferno. In small Scottish pubs, large muscular men will stare darkly at their pints and shake their heads before embarking on harrowing descriptions of ‘the night they camped out and found a hole in the tent’ or ‘The time I walked shirtless by the burn.’

As one American remarked ‘come prepared to do battle’

Once, on the isle of South Uist, I asked a local man if the islanders had an effective remedy for midges. He replied. ‘Yes, we stay indoors’. Savannah is the only place where I would consider applying the same remedy