Tag Archives: Spiders

Monday Coffee

Hi! Come on in.  It’s sleepover night tonight and I have an array of snacks and drinks for your pleasure, or displeasure! Hope you brought your own pillow as I don’t share (it’s a thing I have about mouth breathers and dribble…eww!). Dump your stuff over there by the bookshelf and come sit down.

Whilst we wait for the rest of the crew to arrive, let me tell you an amusing tale about last night.  It was dead on half one in the morning and Henry needed to go out for his last bathroom run before bedtime.  Due to the holidays, everyone’s bedtime seems to have been extended, which in turn means a later wake-up call in the morning, so it’s not too bad.  Anyway, in my wisdom, I decided not to switch on the passage light or the light downstairs.  After all, I do this run nearly every night and I know which dark objects move and don’t move.  I did spare a thought for the funny dark spot on the floor but decided to skip over it with my bare feet and hoped whatever it was, it wouldn’t move.  It didn’t.

Henry went out and disappeared in the darkness of the garden as he usually did and I decided it would be a good idea to do the same and go for my last bathroom break.  I’m not brave enough to broach the bathroom without a light on, so with a loud click, the bulb burst into a bright sun radiating from the ceiling.  For the few seconds it took me to half close the door behind me (yes, even though no-one is awake, I still close the door! Don’t you?) and as I half turned to look behind me, I noticed a visitor on the wall next to the toilet.  It was huge, not just the average oh my God kind of big but the SH*T! RUUNNNN! kind of big.20160801_000259763_iOS

I practically flew out of the bathroom.  I have to admit I don’t recall re-opening that door, but somehow I was out in the shadowy passageway again, searching the darkness for the visitor’s friends.  My shrieks woke my second eldest who called down to find out what was the matter.  I dared not move away from the door of the bathroom, in case this guest decided to move to a more secluded place where I wouldn’t find him.  Stuttering out incoherent sentences drew my daughter out of her room and onto the landing upstairs.  I shrieked for her to call her brother.  He, of course, was fast asleep and refused to budge.  She came instead.

Once she was in place, I ran to get us both pairs of shoes – something that is vitally important when you have a guest that can run faster than you and can creep under doors!  Once we were dressed in our nightshirts and trainers, we decided on a course of action.  She ran to the kitchen cupboard and brought back all the deadliest bleach sprays we possessed.  I eyeballed her hardware and agreed that Cillit Bang could definitely do the job.  After all, the advert always bragged “BANG! And the dirt is dead!” as its catchphrase.  Now the problem was how to actually go into the narrow space and spray our guest/tormentor.  Did I mention how big he was?

20160801_000307801_iOSAt last the Hubble joined us in his slippers, boxers and t-shirt (perfect fighting-wear!) A hilarious conversation ensued with each of us suggesting close to the ridiculous on how to try and get this sucker out of the bathroom.  In the end the Hubble decided to spray the floor where said guest would hopefully try to make his leggy escape.  Then came the definitive spray that would drop him.  The first two squirts fell short and didn’t even tickle him.  The third knocked him off the wall onto the floor where he bounced up and down, jumping and running with the agility of a combat soldier out on the war field.  Screams and curses followed him as he raced for cover behind the toilet.  My cries of terror accompanied the Hubble’s squirting action which soon coated the unwanted guest in a foam of white killer bubbles.  He struggled at first, fighting through the poison, but slowly his body succumbed to the deadly toxins surrounding him.

Brave daughter decided to move forward whilst Hubble went out with a flourish since his job was done.  She blew the body of the beast, testing to see if he was still alive.  We waited with bated breath.  Nothing.  She blew again, hopping back in case he jumped.  Nothing.  Phew! The beasty was dead.  I wanted to get a stick from outside to remove him and throw him down Davey Jones’ locker. As I was about to leave my post by the door, I heard a squeal.  Said brave daughter practically mowed me down as the beasty lifted his two front legs, the longest I’ve ever seen, and waved them as though reaching out to her.  I don’t think I need to mention the expletives I might have uttered as we both fell over each other in a hasty retreat.  The few seconds felt tense as we peeped round the corner of the bathroom door to check if he had followed us out.  Instead, we saw him flip over (this was a first as I’ve never seen a spider do this) and with one last jerk of his long hairy legs, he gave up the fight and died.

For those not afraid of spiders, this must seem cruel and obscene, but I swear, this guy was huge.  I can handle small spiders…hell, I can even take out medium ones and release them back into the garden.  But there was no saving this beasty.  It was him or us and I had to choose us.  The way he jumped and leaped over the spray, in the spray, through the spray – he was a professional! My skin crawls when I think of it and it takes days for the paranoia to die down.  Every shadow that moves becomes a beasty; every bit of fluff that floats by or rolls just out of my direct line of sight becomes a guest running towards me.  I have to fight down the fear again and regain my confidence in living with the knowledge that there are hundreds of those big guys living just outside my kitchen door, waiting – waiting patiently for us to forget to close the windows; waiting for us to leave the door open past twighlight when the house stays warm and the outside gets just a bit too cool to be comfortable. That’s when they move in. That’s when they visit.


Anyway, don’t worry, the doors have been closed early tonight and I’ve only vacuumed three times in every corner of the house.  My hands have been washed over fifty times and I am sure that the interim showers (with checks before and after on the shower curtain for certain visitors) are all absolutely normal.

So, ready for our sleepover?  I thought, for our movie tonight we could watch Arachnophobia! Just kidding!

Whoop! I hear the doorbell.  Check the snacks and drinks for me, will you, whilst I let the others in.  It’s going to be a great night!

Monday Coffee

Wow!  What a busy night.  Thanks for coming to join me at home.  We have had a hectic schedule with prospective buyers breezing in and out for the past couple of hours.  Needless to say, I was like a mini-Hitler, threatening my children in case they mis-behaved or messed the house in between viewings.

As a reward, I shared a Youtube video with them just before bedtime.  It’s a lovely, informative video about things I fear most…a spider.  I stumbled upon the link whilst looking at houses (don’t ask me how!) and couldn’t stop watching.  The following video might make some of you want to jump and hide behind the sofa, so I shall hold your tea cup whilst you watch it.  Help yourself to a biscuit and click on the link below.

Would you like your teacup back or do you need something stronger after that?  My favourite line is, “Hi baby, did you crawl on my face?”


Well, as you can imagine, my children were very impressed with my vidIMG_2713eo choice and decided to make bedtime interesting.  Hugs and kisses were given and as I tucked them in, my youngest whispered, “I’ve left you a surprise under your pillow!”  Now, in my house, if someone says that to you, check your pillow with very tentative hands!  Can you guess what was hidden under my pillow? This lovely plastic scorpion.  Thanks kids!

Thank goodness all the excitement is over.  We would have been searching the sofa for more ‘suprises’ if they weren’t fast asleep after a very long day.  By the way, check the bottom of your teacup for a surprise.  *grin*

Apart from the shenanigans of cleaning, screaming, cleaning and prepping the house, I’ve been busy editing my friend Lance’s new novel debuting on the 28th of January on Amazon.  Knitting Can Walk is a fascinating story about a young man’s adventures in Hong Kong and the most incredible achievement of his life.  The stories have a hint of truth to them as Lance delves into his past for inspiration, embellishing stories to add humour and fantastic adventures for his main character Callum.  Due to a lack of time, the editing might not be completed to our expected high standards, but we are working hard and fast to get the job done.  No pressure.

My book, The Iron Pendulum is going to be debuting soon and I hope to have chosen my beta readers from my Hot Shots mailing list.  It’s rather exciting to have people from all walks of life signing up and I am looking forward to unveiling some lovely freebies for the children’s books later on in the year.  In the meantime, more editing and of course preparing a decent cover is a main priority.  Has the year only begun, because it feels as if half of it has flown by with all that is happening.

Carol, my illustrator, comes up with an inspiration phrase, quote or mantra every year and earlier today, we were discussing what it should be for this year.  After sharing our ambitions for the year and manic schedules, she came up with the new mantra for this year…slow down in order to visualise and speed up. We are so busy rushing around, we forget to slow down to see the big picture.  Sometimes slowing down helps us find faster solutions to our problems/objectives.  I liked it and thought I would share it with you.

Right, fancy another cup?  I’ll boil the kettle again.






What Lies Beneath!

It has been a busy blustery Monday. The perfect weather to tackle DIY projects in the garden. Fixing the patio for example. I came up with the idea of using wooden pallets as a base for our patio a few years ago when we decided to raise the seating area outside our dining room. It was fast to assemble, Eco-friendly and economical as I managed to source the pallets from local builders. The downside – they don’t last as long as properly treated wood and have to be replaced every two to three years.

That was my job today. Removing the concrete slabs and piling them to one side so that I could check the solidity of each pallet. Now the job would be much easier if I were a wee bit stronger and didn’t have a fear of turning over each slab. For in the darkness, waiting with a thousand eyes, lurked my greatest fear…eight legged hairy, scary spiders! Big ones, small ones, fat, skinny, long and round. You name it, they looked it!

Using my shovel, I gently lifted a slab, hoping nothing bigger than my hand would run out. Of course, as I’m told every time in freak out, they apparently fear me and that’s why they run. Yeah right! The way I saw it they ran towards me, not away. It was a toss up between letting the slab fall and hoping my sandal clad feet would move out of the way on time, or balancing the shovel and aiming accurately! Shamefully, I did the latter and removed over twenty large, fast moving beasties. The smaller ones were easily shooed away, probably counting the days until they were big enough to exact revenge.

Naturally I had to investigate the wide variety of creepy crawlies we seem to have attracted under the patio. Thick webs cast aside, I noted the hedgehog nests in the corner snuggled up safe and sound. Snails sailed on slimy trails in abundance. My daughter would have been screaming if she had seen those. Fish moths, earwigs and ants circulating each slab pulled out. I made sure not to disturb those (big nasty) spiders that had nested further down, nor the rest of the crawlies. The hedgehogs are our resident pets who love the cat food freely provided and safe haven to raise their cute little babies. We look forward to seeing them every year and name the new arrivals with glorious names such as Mike, Basil, Spike and anything else that fits!

The patio has unfortunately been left in a torrid state. Until I find replacement pallets, the critters have been served their eviction orders and will have hopefully move away soon. Till then, the concrete slabs will remain piled in one corner of the garden – probably gathering a brethren of their own for me to find when I move them. And I will have the awful view of what lies beneath the patio slabs! Shudder!