Arachnid alarm

It’s just past the witching hour, and He Who Can Fix Anything nudges me awake. Seeing the kitchen light still on, I immediately think he is going to make me phone K to see where she is (he is quite paranoid about her whereabouts, thinking that anything untoward only happens in the early hours of the morning!). But no! It ‘s something far more serious. He aims the light of his cellphone at the ceiling and there, just above him, is a very large rain spider! “You’re going to have to get rid of that,” comes the instruction. Being in a position of strength here (I’m not in the slightest bit worried about a spider), I venture to suggest that we just leave it to catch whatever bugs might be about and go back to sleep. This is met with some consternation, to put it politely. “It might go into my shirt (hanging on the door) or into my pants! (hanging on the doorknob).” That might be quite fun.

So up I get and tootle off to get the kitchen ladder, scratch around in the cupboard for a jar with a wide enough mouth that the spider’s legs don’t get injured and find a piece of paper to slide between the jar and the ceiling, assuming that Operation Spider Removal goes without a hitch. With comments from the peanut gallery coming thick and fast, I ascend the little ladder to the top rung, which has no balancing device except a knee against a metal bar and of course miss the spider at the first attempt. It scuttles off and it’s back down the ladder to reposition myself for another assault on Everest. This time the jar fits snugly over the spider and I slide the paper into place and descend triumphantly from aloft. All is under control.

I go out onto the balcony and toss it into the neighbour’s bushes, then retire to the kitchen for a well-deserved cup of tea! I often wonder what this family would do if I refused to remove the moths, spiders, geckos and other inhabitants. Perhaps I’ll do that next time…

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