Wednesday, September 21, 2011

I Spy...

Oh good. Apparently the unprecedented warmth provided by climate change during the long spring, followed by a delightfully wet summer, is reason enough for all the spiders in the country to move into my flat.

When my sister first announced the news, SPIDERS! COMING IN TO THE WARMTH OF A HOUSE NEAR YOU - NOW! I could literally feel my skin crawl. I wish she hadn't told me, then I might have been able to think about something else for the last week.

I guess I'm waiting for an army of the little bastards to turn up at my door and ruin my life. But it won't be like that, will it? They'll creep and crawl in dribs and drabs - a spider in my shoe, one behind my computer. One in my bed, scurrying over my face in the night. One in the bath. They will eventually overrule the previous tenants of this flat (us) and we will have to live in a boat bobbing about in the sea where spiders can't get to us. The SAS will have to check our boat for spiders before we leave, obvs.

People laugh at Britain. We've got shit weather and we're known for moaning. We have wonky teeth and we like tea. Oh, the silly little Brits with their funny little ways! Well, we had one thing going for us, thanks very much - our spiders were harmless. Now, our climate is warm enough for foreign spiders who accidentally entered the country without a visa, on a banana, to settle, breed, and no doubt mutate to twice their size on their way to my house.

Here is a picture of our first spider of the season. Tegenaria gigantea. I'd come home from somewhere spiderless and despite my sister's warning, I wasn't at that moment thinking about spiders. I actually walked past him on the stairs without even seeing him.

Gareth got home shortly after. His spider sense was more heightened than mine.

'Jesus Christ!' he screamed. I knew what had happened instantly. Blasphemy is code for I'm staring a spider in the face. I came running. I hate spiders, but I do like to quickly assess how panicked I need to be.

It was huge. It was clinging to the carpet half way up the stairs.

Which begged the Big Question.

Was he on his way up, or down?

Down, I can handle. He'd had a poke about, found nothing of interest and was using the stairs to get out. He was so big he probably even wiped his feet on the welcome mat on his way out.

Or, he was on his way in.

After Gareth and I squealed like girls for a few moments, he grabbed a nearby poster tube and demanded that we battle this out like ninjas. 'Put your hand up that end, I'll put mine this end, we'll put the spider in the middle and whoever he runs towards has to get rid of him,' Gareth suggested, ever the strategist.

Even the very thought of a spider in a tube running towards my hand gave me the heebie jeebs.

So I went for the feminism tactic.

'You have to get rid of him - you're the bloke!' I said, squirming. I love this line - so useful when I don't want to do something rubbish. (Emptying the bins, carrying the bins to the bigger bin, filling the car up with petrol in the rain, phoning the bank - all things I am quite capable of but can't be bothered to do.)

'I'm bloody not,' Gareth replied.

'Right, we need to sort this out. We're getting married. Are you honestly saying this is what it's going to be like for the rest of our lives? You are not going to get rid of the spiders, ever?' I asked. Sympathy card - project into the future and make him see this is his chance to change the very dynamics of our relationship.

'Yup,' he said.

We fought a bit more, then we turned back to Spider, to see to my great dismay that he had gone.

He's either outside now, which is fine, or he's under my bed. Watching me. And considering the recent headlines, I think we can guess which way he was heading.

I know, I've written a blog about a spider before. But I really don't like them. Perhaps writing about spiders can become my niche subject. Some writers choose sports, beauty products, fashion, celebs. Not me. I could just write blog after blog about my life getting ruined by tiny insects.

So the situation as I find it, is that there is at least one massive spider in my flat, and I'm marrying a man as wuss as me. Either I trade him in for a fearless-spider-combating-warrior, or we buy one of those spider vacuums. Seeing as I can't be bothered to fill the car up with petrol in the rain, I can't see myself attempting to acquire a warrior, just so he can deal with the occasional spider invasion. Spider hoover it is.


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