Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Spider Time

This is the time of year I dread, the time of year when I have to creep steadily round the garden, sweeping brush in hand, ready to cut swathes through the cobwebs that overnight, drape themselves decorously across paths from one bush to the other, or from the greenhouse to the willow tree by the pond, or from the shed to the plum tree thus preventing access to the compost heap. In the early morning sunlight you can’t see them, so the brush has to go before me, I’m afraid. I really don’t like to hurt anything that moves and sincerely hope the spiders soon find alternative accommodation.

If they stay out of my way, I can just about cope with spiders in the garden although weeding the heather patch is a nightmare as I have to make sure I’m fully covered incase a spider should run up my leg or something. I have trousers, tucked into socks and then wellies, gloves on my hands, hat on my head but still I feel uneasy. If they come into my patch- the house that is - then that is quite a different story. I have a ‘spider catcher’ handy (a children’s plastic bug pot going cheap in Woolies) and if I really want to frighten myself I look through the little magnifying spot on the lid when I’ve caught one - Eeek!!! Well, I’m usually quite good at catching them and putting them outside but some spiders are, I’m afraid, too large to even contemplate going anywhere near.

I remember when we first moved over to this part of the country we rented accommodation for about eighteen months in a village close to Market Drayton. The property was surrounded by very large fir trees and this seemed (it may have been my lurid imagination) to encourage spiders. We used to get huge ones in the house, especially in the bathroom which, you have to agree is, along with the bedroom, the worst place for large spiders to run loose because here you are more likely to be walking around barefoot. I saw one once, when I was in the bath, run across the floor – I swear I could hear the patter of its feet – and it was heading straight for my slippers. Now, because of the spider, and given that we have cats, the mouse problem, I wear flip flops around the house thus giving the varmints no place to hide.

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