Saturday, 2 July 2016
Alexandre Girault was an American entomologist who specialised in the study of chaicid wasps and later on all kinds of creepy-crawlies. He was also a great eccentric.
He once went into his hotel room in Cincinnati and discovered it was crawling with bed bugs. He left the lights on and tried to sleep across the bed without getting under the covers. Each time he woke all the bugs which were feeding on him scurried off. Afterwards he published a paper on his fascinating night!
Sadly, his wife died of T B and he sank into a state of paranoia from which he barely recovered. He died in 1941 and was buried in an unmarked grave.
But his name lives on - on our Calf House wall, where the rampant rambler rose named after him rockets up the wall and across the roof every year.
It only flowers once a year but by golly does it flower. Sadly, almost every year its flowers arrive at the same time as blustery, showery weather, and no sooner are the cheerful flowers out than they are dashed by heavy rain.
But he does have his moment of glory and for that I like to remember this rather strange man who had a sad life.