Wednesday, January 15, 2014



I was heading for bed a bit later than usual last night, about 11pm, and was brushing my teeth when I saw in the mirror that my husband, standing behind me, had an odd look on his face and was keeping his distance. "What?" I gurgled through a mouthful of foam. "Oh, nothing," he replied unconvincingly. He waited until I had rinsed my mouth before pointing out the huntsman spider in the corner above me.

If you haven't heard, Australia has some big spiders. This one was yet a baby, not much bigger than the palm of my hand, but fat and hairy. (Makes me think of Hagrid talking about his pet spider Aragog, so cute when he was just born, "Tiny thing, he was, about the size of a Pekinese.") But no kidding, we've had one hiking along the outside of our house that was literally the size of a serving platter. I think that was the time Tim broke a window trying to kill it with a broom.

We have an ensuite bathroom but for some reason the sink is in our actual bedroom instead. So this spider is up in the corner of our bedroom. And both Tim and I are arachnophobic. No way either of us are getting closer than the end of a broomstick. And even that is with much girding of loins and darting backwards in terror if the spider moves. And it was on the blinds, which of course just ripple if you wack them, leaving the spider unharmed but agitated, or maybe flicked off and propelled towards you as you scream in terror.

Tim was rather against using spray in our bedroom at bedtime but we couldn't see any other way. So he emptied half a can of spray on it from as close as he could make himself go and it reeled around drunkenly for about 15 minutes, sometimes in view and sometimes hidden behind the blinds, slipping and scrambling up again, it's back white with flyspray. And it as guarding the window so we couldn't get close enough to open that and let some fresh air but we couldn't take our eyes off the spider, it could go anywhere and disappear and then we would be living in fear forever! so we had to stay and endure the fumes. Finally the spider got sick enough that Tim was able to sweep it onto the floor, thump it spasmodically a few times with the broom then stomp on it with shoes put on specially for the purpose.

And we opened the window and left the room for an hour to watch half a movie before going to bed very late with the room still reeking. But at least spider-free.

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