Like many other Sydney-siders, I’ve spent a lot of time in, on and around the ocean and yet somehow I’ve managed to escape the scorching embrace of the belligerent bluebottle. Seeing colonies of them impotently washed up on the beach and hearing the bewildered cries of an unlucky child is all part of an ordinary day of frivolity by the sea.
Personally, my sensitivity to bluebottles comes not from being stung by one, but from a terror-inducing announcement on Colloroy beach one summer after a little girl had swallowed one and was rushed to hospital. Beach closed, end of frolic.
While we seem to be at their mercy, we should try not to take it too personally – they go where they must, navigated by the chance whims of tide and wind.