At eight o’clock the street lights start to glow red and we’re closing the curtains and turning the lights on.
Early in the morning when we take Dusty out, the cars around here have that dewy coat so often seen on late August and September mornings. For me this can only mean one thing.
The invasion begins.
You know the invasion I’m talking about. The eight legged one.
Almost every morning I have to call for someone to come and de-spiderify the bath. Usually it’s those middle sized ones and sometimes a cellar spider. I don’t mind cellar spiders as they tend to stay put – I have one called Samantha living in the corner right next to my bed - but I wouldn’t want to pick one up.
The first of the big beasts appeared the other evening while I was watching telly. I’m not sure if it was the vibration from eight pounding feet I noticed first or the sight of it at the periphery of my vision in the glow from the TV.
By the time the light had been put on so we could see the enormity of it, it had gone under the telly stand. I swear it had to duck to get under there and probably had to lift the stand slightly with one of its mighty legs as it looked over one of its shoulders and barked out an evil laugh.
I watched the rest of Casualty with one eye on the floor, but the spider never reappeared. It’s still in there somewhere. Lurking. Usually we (I use the word “we” loosely – I only do it with medium to small ones) put a pint glass over the spider, slide a piece of thin card under and take it to the garden. I think a pint glass would have been too small – might have risked catching a leg or three and so it would have called for a small Pyrex bowl. But it’s still about, probably growing by the day. I daresay it will announce its presence one day by moving a sofa out of its way.
The next morning I went for my shower. I shook my dressing gown – I’ve been caught out like that before – and checked the bath and floor. It was only after I’d had my shower that I saw the large rusty coloured heap on the floor between me and the door. “It’s a leaf,” I thought as I peered closer (no glasses). It wasn’t a leaf. I managed to leap over it, grab my dressing gown and run for help.
There has been speculation that it was in the towel I dried myself with. Another theory is that it was in the towel I throw on the floor to stand on. It wriggled in the cupped hands of my rescuer as it was removed outside. And he said it was even bigger than the one in the front room.
A spider will eat about 2000 bugs a year I’m told. They’re more scared of us than we are of them they say. They are our friends. I have no beef with the spider and I don’t mind them sharing my home as long as they stay away from me. That’s not to say I’m not going to refresh my supply of conkers around the place.
I thought it was the conkers that were keeping them away, but with hindsight it was probably Harley and Dusty, mighty hunters as was. They’re not interested now. A spider could walk over Dusty’s paw and he’d just watch it.
This morning I walked in here in bare feet to switch the computer on – I always have bare feet at home – and I stood on something that felt like a spider and it stuck to my foot. You probably heard me screaming. Yes I know it would have been worse for the spider if I’d trodden on it, but logic has no place where phobias are concerned.
Dusty is always bringing things in from the garden, mostly stones and small twigs. It was a small twig I had stuck to my foot. Just a small twig.
And don’t even get me started on Crane Flies which, as far as my phobia is concerned, are flying spiders.
I'm scared of mozzies because of the reaction I have to their bites, but it isn't anything like my all consuming fear of spiders.
Anyone else out there dread this time of year - and the arrival of the big spiders?