Because you can't have depths without surfaces.
Linda Grant, thinking about clothes, books and other matters.

Tuesday, 6 May 2008

I am not having a nice time

I went to bed on Sunday night with most of the cupboards cleared out, but with considerable mess all over the place. I woke up on Monday morning with viral flu, the symptoms of which I will draw a veil over, but required several trips to the bathroom.

An email from a friend arrives this morning:

I saw on your blog that you have moths - lots of sympathy, we had them SO badly year before last... they munched loads of my jumpers, and C's, and the silk linings of M's suits, and hung out in the carpets and the piano felts too....

I know you will have had loads of advice but anyway, we found that what worked for us - other than a big clearout, lots of drycleaning (and stashing clothes in rotation in the freezer), was to get a company called Terminex to come in twice, and they sprayed the flat from top to bottom, esp curtains, carpets, sofas, but also the insides of wardrobes and chests of drawers, under beds, etc etc, with really strong insecticide (they wear masks, it's not the kind of stuff you would handle yourself). We had to go out for a few hours each time for them to do the work, but it really did work - the moths haven't come back as far as we can see.
I am sleeping, and talking to a friend on the phone who is going to the dinner with the Queen on board HMS Invincible (a work thing) about the definitiuon of cocktail. I say it's knee length, the Palace says ankle-length. So in lieu of any fashiony posts you can discuss that.


Judith in Umbria said...

This is just miserable for you. The note you quote is probably right, but I am so allergic to the fumes I have never been able to go so far. I am seasonally infested here in Italy and have caught them laying their eggs at times. Here is what worked for me that didn't kill me.
I bought those vacuum bags used for storage. I loaded CLEAN woolens, silks and cashmeres, carefully folded into them. I added moth killing cubes. I used my vacuum cleaner to suck out the air. Because my Italian house is short on storage, these lived under beds until November. ZERO damages.

Once the valuables were out of the cupboards I scrubbed them thoroughly-- myself because it's the only way you can be sure it's done exactly as you want-- making sure to get every crack and sliver. I tossed in several herbal anti-moth packets that don't smell too strongly.

I have put various recommended herbs under Oriental carpets that were being nibbled because rug cleaners simply don't like to come and get big rugs here, but since they get vacuumed a lot, eggs don't usually hatch on carpets.

Toby Wollin said...

Oh, Linda - you seem to be in a "if it doesn't rain, it pours" period. Take care of yourself; viral flu is just nasty stuff. Drink plenty so that you don't get dehydrated. As for cocktail - I've seen events here where that word seems to mean everything from short to long plus backless and everything in between(no Crocs, however), but then again, where I live, we have so few opportunities to dress up that people just go a little bit crazy when the chance arrives.

enc said...

Please accept my deepest sympathies regarding your moth infestation, and your illness.

I'm so sorry! I hope you get well soon, and that the moths DON'T.

greying pixie said...

I remember in the 1960s watching my Italian mother get ready to go out to functions with my father and she definitely always wore short for cocktail parties. One dress I recall was a shell pink silk knee length sheath with a chiffon flared coat over with pink, blue and green ostrich feathers around hem. I would give anything to have that dress now!

Hope you feel better soon Linda.

lagatta said...

Oh Linda, I'm so sorry you have flu on top of the moths crap.

Alas I'm not in London, so I can't take over a thermos of the proverbial chicken soup, if you wish adorned with some fresh ginger (settles the stomach).

Here we have a very strong medicinal yoghourt that really helps with such upsets, but you probably have the equivalent at a natural foods shop. Get your inner Hitler or Stalin to force a friend to go on that mission.

I agree that cocktail dresses are more or less knee-length (depending on fashion), not floor-length, though of course your friend has to follow Royal protocol.

metscan said...

Earlier I mentioned about a hole in my cashmere knit. There has been a LOT of writing about moths lately. I´m not sure I have a moth problem, but atleast all this discussion motivated me to go through my closets once again. Luckily we have very little storage room in our house. I regularly go through my stuff and only save the essentials. Does the humid climate you have in UK favor moths, or is it the plentiful use of rugs,drapes and the tradition of stocking and saving everything?