Monday, 6 August 2007

Lunar landing pod spiders

As promised by the BBC weather forecast, we woke up to a cobalt blue sky on Saturday. There's no shade in our garden till around 4pm, so I recently bought a set of garden furniture so I could write outdoors without so much glare bouncing off the laptop screen that I was blinded. Last time I opened up the parasol there was a little spider skeleton in it, so - being a complete arachnophobe - I thought I'd better check before I spread it open over my head.

Inside it were three of the biggest f*cking spiders I have ever seen. One of them had little pads on the end of his legs, like some kind of NASA landing craft. I shrieked and chucked the parasol onto the lawn, at which point the laundry-laden washing line snapped. Holding the end of it up so our clothes didn't get wiped all over the patio, I yelled for the lovely boyfriend. The poor thing was Cuprinol-ing the reverse side of the garden fence (such a picture of domestic bliss I'm painting here), and came running round to help. We sorted out the laundry, then I hid in the living room and watched through the patio doors whilst the brave lad (in a large pair of gardening gloves) deported the giant spiders out of the parasol and onto the lawn. The third spider turned out to be a skeleton/shed skin thing.

I was left with many questions. Were the two spiders lovers, or family? Do spiders happily co-exist in each other's territory, or are there turf wars? What had prompted the spiders to leave their little den in the corner of the garage, near the garage door where the flies come in, and travel up into my parasol? Did they think they were going on holiday? Were they hoping they could fulfil their evil spider destinies by dive bombing me while I sat under the parasol that I thought would protect me (at least from the sun)? Had the lovely boyfriend found all of them, or was there one that had mastered the art of camouflage, and was sitting there still, white and blue striped, lurking?

I sat down to do some writing, jumping out of my skin every time a thunderbug tickled my skin, or a dandelion fluff ball brushed my arm, shooting wary glances up at the parasol every few minutes.

It was a productive weekend though - got about 8,000 words done, which brings my total to 50,000, or round about half of a pretty standard-length novel. Only another 50,000 to go!

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