A Few tales from the web!
The opening posts to this new series are in tribute to Britchy of Bitchin’ In The Kitchen due to her most recently entitled What a Dilemna and her absolute love and fondness for this charming species!
What A Dilemma – The Sequel
This is the last episode to this part of the series; our journey with Arachnids will be over, much to the joy of Britchy l feel, who has been tagged throughout the previous three episodes because of her fondness for the species.
During the years of 2009 – 2012 l had the misfortune of living full time in a caravan, and yes l said full time. It wasn’t a holiday under any circumstances; it was my full time residency. I shared my property with two dogs. One was Dora the Explorer who is sadly no longer with us and Scrappy Doodlepip who runs her mini blog here alongside mine.
Living in a forty foot long metal box has advantages and disadvantages depending upon the season you are in. In winter is was horribly and bitingly cold and in the summer months it was swelteringly and blisteringly hot! That was it, there were no limbo lands to be had, it was either cold or it wasn’t!
This particular story is the reason that when l saw Britchy’s post about her plight with a spider that it resonated with me so much that l decided to 1] start this series and 2] write about my own exploits with spiders as the kick off to the series itself.
Where l was living was in Lincolnshire, in the UK. My metal box was situated at the rear of large DIY stables, to my immediate left was a huge 90 acre field with horses, to my right dense undergrowth and behind me was a 70 acre field of assorted crop pending the farmer’s seasonal rotation.
Every year, l would experience a host of different house guests, irrelevant to the procedures l undertook to keep them out! It was in fact the summer of 2011 that l draw reference to now – The Year of the Spider!
The caravan seemed to be the perfect accommodation for all the arachnids that were living in the fields who suddenly found themselves refugees once harvesting began and they must have seen the caravan like some kind of beacon in the distance and so decided to swarm to me in droves!
Two species in particular were my biggest problems that summer, they were everywhere and whilst l welcomed the presence of small quantities that can and could tackle the pest problem, l found myself with more of an issue and that was huge nesting’s …. Everywhere!!!
Britain has a small share of spiders in consideration to other countries around the world, and the two that were plaguing me in 2011 were two of the most common notably the Giant House Spider, sometimes also known as a Cellar spider and the Harvestman, also sometimes known as the Harvest spider or the Daddy longlegs which in reality is NOT really a spider at all, although it is an arachnid. However, at times it doesn’t matter if something is a real spider or not, it just matters where it is!
Giant House Spider
The caravan was a great place for these spiders and they soon let me know just how much they loved their new surroundings.
They were always popping in, or running over the floors, or on one occasion, waking up to find a huge and l do mean a huge giant house lying on my chest looking at me, thinking heavens knows what? But looking at me and this thing was built for business and l wasn’t going to argue with it. So l just lay there for ten minutes whilst it pondered my fate! Eventually it just buggered off.
That summer they were everywhere, they dropped from the ceiling into cups of coffee or on top of the food you were eating, or they dropped when you were sitting in the Loungeroom on a chair. But all these occasions were fine, they were manageable, they were okay!
Two episodes happened that are noteworthy or cringe worthy reflective upon your take on it.
One was in the shower one morning, when a very large house spider was suddenly enjoying my shower time with me! I felt something on my head, and as you do, wiped at it thinking it was some shampoo, and then felt something fall onto my shoulder, and not thinking of it, brushed that down. But it was when l felt something crawling up my leg, that l took more note, as l looked down with my glasses off, l saw a black smudge on my knee and slowly but surely climbing. When l bent down and saw what it was l freaked – l mean who wouldn’t?
I was out of that shower quicker than the water was tumbling from the shower head itself! It was about 6” across with its leg span! In truth, it was probably the same one l had been seeing most of that summer.
But hey as, freakish as that was, it wasn’t the ultimate, oh no, there was one more episode that blew my mind apart!
One morning, l was getting ready for my shower, and had to go to the toilet for a number two. So l was sitting there completely naked, whistling as one does when there is nothing to read, and l happened to glance up at the ceiling, and l saw this thing above me, that measured perhaps 6 – 8” diameter, and l was thinking “What is that??”
When it sort of moved, or perhaps vibrated or maybe pulsated is the word, but it was alive of sorts and l could not for the life of me figure out what it was? So l did what perhaps what many would do. I wetted a piece of toilet paper and threw it up there. The first few balls totally missed, but were close, and every time a sticky wad hit the roof, the thing vibrated some more.
Finally, one hit direct centre, and then something happened … the mass parted and then dropped as one lump!!
Now maybe some of you can relate to this … but are you familiar with that time when you know something bad is about to happen, but you can’t do anything about it, you have milliseconds to respond, but you can’t because of whatever? Now for me, l was in an awkward situation as was, never mind just being naked.
But the moment l am asking the reader to think on, is this … the split second of knowing of a horror before the actual horror presents itself, and then the realisation that the horror is not just horrible but really fucking horror filled!
You know that moment?
Well that ‘moment’ fell on me, a Nano second before l realised that the growth was actually a Daddy longlegs cluster!
It hit my head first or rather my upturned face, and then slid down my body into my groin!! I have no earthly idea from that day to this how many fell on me, and in all honesty it didn’t matter l screamed like a baby, long and hard and at that point it didn’t matter at all to my circumstances , l leaped up and ran out the door, and of of the caravan, completely starker’s! Naked as the day l was born, and so freaked out was l – because they spiders were on me, l ran away from the caravan, screaming and a hollering and ran through the stable yard, and l ran past all the DIYers, and all the horses, and l ran to the bottom of the field!
I cleared that run in about 4 minutes, with the speed l was going, all the spiders had fallen off me. It was only when l was at the bottom of the field that l found that Bruno [one of the horses there at the time ] was eyeballing in a bizarre way, that l then came to remember that l was completely and utterly butt naked!
I had to make an agonising walk back to my caravan look perfectly natural to all the ladies at the stables that day. “Morning, lovely day for a quick brisk run and a slow walk back ladies! I was quite popular after that, whether l wanted to be or not!!
Anyway, thanks for reading! Next time we are going to talk about Tortoises, Goats and Platypus!