Spiders: Part 1

Phone book

I hate spiders. Loathe, detest and live in fear of finding a spider somewhere really inconvenient like in my shoe, or in my teacup. (It has happened…) I can’t bear to look at them on the television, I won’t read a book if the cover has a spider on it and I can’t even stand cartoon spiders. I can’t remember any particular traumatic incident from my childhood involving them – I just don’t like them.

Now, I believe that every living creature has its place in the Universe… just not spiders in my house. And my God, my house seems to harbour some Jurassic monsters of spiders, that make their presence particularly felt in September. Apparently, so I’ve been told, this is when all male spiders come out looking for a female. I do not appreciate my house being used as an arachnid singles bar. When I lived by myself, I always used to keep a nice, thick telephone directory handy to drop on them, but some of these spidery residents are big enough to pick it up and throw it back…

One specific incident made me change my spider exterminating ways. I was in my front room, minding my own business, when a spider, not too bad, about raisin sized, emerged from under the sofa. I leapt to my feet, grabbed the trusty book and loomed menacingly over the spider, book poised to crunch it out of existence when it stopped. It may have looked up at me, but I swear, it cowered as if it knew what I was going to do. Yes, I dropped the book. It was one of those horrible moments where the action is already taking place and you are just seconds too late to avert it.

I killed the spider. I felt absolutely awful. Really awful and guilty. I shed a tear because it was only doing its spidery thing and what right did I have to kill it?

Since then, I haven’t killed any more. Its obvious fear of me made me pause and rethink. I carried that guilt with me for a long time so I hope to redress the balance a little by commemorating the spider in this way…

I have hidden, terrified, in the bath as one squeezed itself under the door and cornered me while I was cleaning my teeth. I have placed large bowls over the hairy legged beasts that have cantered through my kitchen, carefully labelled: ‘SPIDER!!’ to await later removal to the bottom of the garden. But I haven’t killed any more.

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Contact Lens JEWELLERY? – Are you kidding me?

Oh. My. God. My son has just shown me the vilest picture I have ever seen… nothing pornographic or bloody, he’s not that sort of person, but seeing this picture just made my skin crawl and my stomach churn.

He gets a news feed type thing from the internet on his phone, and as an ex-contact lens wearer, I suppose he thought I’d be interested. The picture showed a pretty girl, in profile, so you could see the curve of her eyeball. Draped over the edge of her eyelashes was a string of little pearl beads that was clearly attached to the contact lens she was wearing. What if she forgot and rubbed her eye? What if a fly flew in her eye and got meshed in the beads? What if she went out in the wind? How are you going to see with a string of beads flapping against your eyeball?

Now, I’m all for contact lenses. I think they’re a great invention, and having had to wear glasses since I was about five (“Specky Four Eyes”, “Swot” and so on and so forth) as soon as I was old enough, I invested in contact lenses. All at once, the world seemed so much brighter, I could wear sunglasses and look cool (very important when you’re 18 and in a nightclub) and I could actually see to apply my eye makeup!

Then there’s the downside. You have to take contact lenses out. Not an easy task when it’s three in the morning, you have over-indulged in alcohol and you’re hunched over a mirror clawing desperately at your eyeball trying to get the rotten thing out.

Then you drop them. Don’t even bother trying to find them while you’re still drunk. (Should I mention insurance at this point?) It happens when you haven’t touched alcohol in years – I was at my mother’s once, absent mindedly rubbing my eye, when yes, a lens popped out and fell on the floor. My mother’s dog, alerted by my despairing shriek came to help and accidentally got it stuck on her tongue and swallowed it. No-one was happy that day. (“Your bloody contact lens had better not poison my dog!”) My cats have also displayed unwanted and unwarranted interest in them – whilst cleaning them, I laid one on the edge of the sink only to see the cat carefully posting it down the plughole.

So I gave up. (It was quite fun, when the kids were younger: “Look Mummy’s taking her eyeball out, do you want to hold it?” and laughing while they ran away screaming.) I returned to the comfort of glasses, low maintenance and now surprisingly almost a fashion accessory. Perhaps I’ll hang a string of beads off them.

First Blog?

Well. Here we are then. My first-ever blog post. (Awkward silence descends, like a blanket over a dinner party when someone mentions something wholly inappropriate like ‘cancer’ or ‘divorce’.)

My son has very kindly set this up for me, seeing as I am no particular whizz at these sorts of ‘techie’ things and now I find I have nothing to say. The whole of cyberspace stretches in front of me, like a barren alien desert just waiting for me to sow seeds of wit, humour and philosophy and wait for them to blossom…

Self-doubt is setting in. Why did I ever think a passing couple of people might be interested in what I have to say, or at the very least find it amusing. I suppose writing is like pulling out part of your insides for people to inspect: “Eww, look at the state of her lungs” and “Ooh, are intestines supposed to be that colour?” But these are thoughts that I am putting out for your viewing…

In a way, for me, this is a form of catharsis (CBT anyone?) and a way of letting out all the random stuff that rattles round in my head like a woodlouse in a cup and making it nice and orderly. I can be quite obsessive…

My son’s friend and mentor gave him the opportunity and incentive to write and when I enquired as to whether I could perhaps pen a few humble lines, my son’s mentor replied “Of course.” With those two simple words I felt like shackles had been lifted from my mind. Thank you for that.

My head stuff, wandering around out there in cyberspace. Cool.