Gecko chamber

Sharks have been sighted off the coast of the provinces of Malaga and Granada during the past couple of weeks, presumably using their keen sense of smell or taste or hearing or something in order to detect from afar a distinct lack of the detritus normally so prevalent in areas where humans are present.

They're not alone. Around the globe, Mother Nature has been busying herself reclaiming lost ground since we scurried away to batten down the hatches, with sea lions being spotted on pavements, deer - somewhat paradoxically - using zebra crossings and, rather magnificently, a load of mountain goats bowling down the high street in Llandudno, presumably looking for beach balls and cagoules and stuff. Maybe some sticks of rock too, if Llandudno has them (probably difficult to fit that many letters in).

Anyway, this is all well and good but I saw a gecko for the first time ever in my flat the other day - moved like lightning; me, I mean, not the gecko. It gave me the fright of my life, leaping out from behind the toothpaste like that.

How, then, was I to get rid of the pesky blighter? A quick Googleification wasn't much help except for saying something about them not liking eggs or garlic, ignoring the possibility that it might be an Italian gecko. No, some lateral thinking was required.

A bloke in a pub told me once (this was the equivalent of Google in the olden days) that geckos eat mosquitos, so I reasoned that if I could banish the teeny flies which had, in recent weeks, become ever more daring, not to mention numerous, the small lizardy thing, unable to sate his hunger, would toddle off forthwith to bother the neighbours.

The next day, I bought a couple of those plug-in things that get rid of the mozzas and - lo and behold! - it worked. I locked Gordon - that was his name by now - in the bathroom with a plug-in and left the window open with a 'JUICY MOSQUITOS THATAWAY!' sign and an arrow pointing out into the wide blue yonder. Within ten hours, Gordon had packed his bags and left in search of his fortune and probably a tidier flat.

I owe that little chap a huge debt of gratitude. For one thing, I'm sleeping more soundly now without that cheeky crack formation dive bombing mosquito squad serenading me nightly, plus he's enabled me to write an entire newspaper column without using a certain word that begins with 'v' and ends in 'irus'.

Godspeed, Gordon.