Monday 18 December 2017

Getting the creeps from the crawlies

with Yvonne Joye

I NEED to share something about the months of September and October that I really don't like. It's not the return to the repetitive routine, nor is it the longer nights and its not even seeing the Christmas baubles nestling next to the Halloween pumpkins on the shop shelves. In actual fact,

quite like that. No, the thing that rattles me most about these autumnal months is the return of the spiders.

It is an annual coming quite unique to this time of year commencing when September breaks the promise of an Indian summer and when October displays its resolve to be officially re-branded a winter month. Whatever switch goes on in the world or whatever way the earth tilts, it is in these two months that the spiders come to town and they do so completely uninvited. Frankly, I find it curious and peculiar that they would choose a home where their appearance is greeted at every junction by wild abandoned shrieks, the intensity of which has the ability to rock the very foundations of the house.

I wasn't always like this around spiders and though I have never been a mad fan, I wasn't necessarily a maniac in their presence. I trace the seeds of this madness back to my first ever babysitting job at the tender age of 13. Sitting there surfing channels we didn't have back home, I was in my element. That is until a spider the size of King Kong darted across the floor. I very nearly died of the fright. Instinctively I jumped up to squash him but seeing as he was big enough to make eye contact with me, I was more than a little daunted by the challenge. What if I didn't manage to kill him – would he strangle me with all those legs or worse still, manage to claw himself onto my foot, claiming his territory up my leg. I retreated and therein was my mistake forever more. I handed full control to a spider and he has been calling the shots ever since.

This abusive relationship continued well into married life and our first marital home – a pretty little garden flat. Well that's what it looked like from the outside. Inside it was a chamber of torture overrun with spiders that did not respect the September/October rule – no, these buggers were in for the long haul and stayed all year round.

With a young husband carving a future career, he travelled a lot so for that first year, it was just me and them. An intruder of the human variety would have been welcomed with open arms and a grand arrangement could have been struck whereby he could take everything of value on the sole condition that he kill the spiders on the way out.

You see, I think why I like the baubles and the pumpkins so much is that they hearald a new time and I know that I can soon put September, October and my multi-legged furry 'friends' behind me. Until next year.

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