My dear mama always says of me “you do one job and make half a dozen others”. You might think this a little harsh, but it is generally true.
Last week I noticed an uninvited colony of greenfly on one of our roses. You may think this means that we have many specimens, we have two. Fifty per cent aphid rate. I halfheartedly squished a few, but realising the extent of the infestation, and having a gap in my oh so busy itinerary, I decided to make a garlic spray to zap the little blighters. So I crushed some cloves in a Kilner jar, poured over boiling water and set it aside to seep.
After a pint of piña colada and a snooze in the hammock I returned to examine my alchemy. How bizarre, it seems to have turned blue! Well that is a turn up for the books.
Just as any Totally Modern Minnie would do, I checked out this strange phenomenon in the well thumbed pages of the Encyclopedia Google. And what did I discover? The sulphur in the garlic reacts with copper in the water, creating a greenish blue hue. Wonderful, except …… do we really want copper in our drinking water?
So I messaged our water company and spoke to a very nice Water Quality Scientist called Adam. His customer relation skills were outstanding. His powers of humouring exemplary. No giggling when I told him about the aphids, no chortling at the garlic solution, no guffawing when I mentioned “blue”. I thought it best to keep the piña colada to myself. He admitted it was the first time he had had a call like this, but said that on occasion people call to tell of water running blue from the taps. I felt like a lightweight. Apparently copper can be present in relatively large quantities in our domestic supplies without ill effect. My mind was set to rest.
As a reward for his kindness, I left him with a top tip, telling him how to treat his greenfly problem if ever he should get one. He did his best, but still managed to sound distinctly underwhelmed. It was all I had to give.