>> Tuesday, 29 January 2008
So here I sit, in our cubby-hole office, tapping away, throwing Smarties down my neck (and feeling slightly queasy as a result, blast my mother-in-law for bringing them for the boys, did she really for one moment think they would actually get passed on?) surrounded by... by... I can hardly bring myself to say it.... spiders.
I hate spiders.
Ever since I was a child, I loathed them. There's something about the way they scuttle about, dropping down silently from the ceiling to sit glaring malevolently at you from corners that really freaks me out.
Don't get me wrong - I'm not phobic. I'm able to make use of a glass and sheet of paper with the best of them. Always assuming the offending creature is on a smooth surface of course - carpets are just a nightmare, I end up with decapitations, amputations, and spider legs all over the shop.
And I'm not a spider murderer. Well, not any more. The days of telephone directories being dropped from a great height - and then dropped repeatedly if the little bugger was on guard, until the deed was done - are long gone. Now I just capture them in a glass and take them out of the flat, up the stairs, across the road and drop them into the garden square where I trust they will find a new and happier home. And if they don't, well, it's too far for them to come back. That's not excessive behaviour. Is it?
My mother used to despair of me. I grew up in a very old house in the middle of the countryside surrounded on 3 sides by a garden. It was arachna-tastic in that house. She spent much of the time racing up stairs coming to rescue me from the wretched creatures as I perched on a bed / chair / the edge of the bath screaming blue murder. But, as time passed, I grew up a bit. And learnt to deal with them.
But when I sit here tapping away and make the mistake of looking up - I wish I hadn't. For some reason this tiny room is what the spiders of South Kensington see as a highly desirable residence. They make every effort to come in here, setting up home in the book shelves and over the spotlights, so wherever I look is covered by fine mesh of cob-webs, rather like that scene in the first Indiana Jones film when he - oh, I can't bear to write about it.
And it's not like I don't fight back. I move them. I dust. I even - when I'm feeling particularly ruthless - hoover the shelves, wall, door and ceiling. And occasionally, the floor. Then we have a spider-free zone for about 2 days before they all come back in with their suitcases and mulitple pairs of shoes. Why? It's not even as if there are any flies in here.
I digress. This post was actually meant to be about my chasing Boy #2 round the viewing gallery during Boy #1's swimming lesson at Chelsea Leisure Centre this afternoon.
Imagine a charmingly reconditioned 1920's style swimming pool with a 3 tier bench viewing platform suspended 20 feet up, with only a set of railings that are set just a little too far apart for comfort between you and the drop, and you'll have the right picture.
Now imagine a cheeky 2 year old seeing just how far his mother is capable of being pushed without cracking. His opening move was the old 'orange peel dropped from 20ft into the pool' gambit. Well, it wasn't, not quite, but only because I clearly have more kung-fu reflexes than I realised. After a pause to lull me into a false sense of security, he decided to race along behind the benches to see if he could beat mama to the next gap - and a clear run down to those worrying railings. And then, when he had me stranded on the other side of the pool, he tried simply heading off for the exit in the hope someone would open the door and it would just be Boy #2 and 20 concrete steps.
And all of this in 27 deg C heat. Which meant I was rather more flustered than I would have liked to be whilst chatting to Boy #1's extremely good looking swimming coach after his lesson. There's just something about those wetsuits...
In any case, I was a little snappy on the way home.
But not so snappy that I have forgotten I still have an award and a tag to pass out. So, firstly, here is the 'Best Blogging Buddies' Award.
As Mya (who was kind enough to give this one to me in the first place) said, it is 'quite nauseatingly kitsch' - but very cute for all that. I would like to pass this one on to Iota at Not Wrong, Just Different, even though she's not blogging right now (not blogging, that is, in the same way that I'm not eating chocolate), and to Tracey at cRaZy tRaCe for being brave beyond the call of duty in cycling long distances and throwing herself down canyons with only a lolly-stick for buoyancy. Or something. And that's not to say that there aren't loads more people who don't equally qualify, but I will get bored with putting the links for their sites on this post. So if you want it, just take it.
Secondly, I need to delight a couple of people with the tag Reluctant Memsahib passed my way a week or so ago. You remember, you need to let us know what, in the last week, you have:
- watched on tv
- listened to
- and surfed
I hope your selection is more edifying than mine, Expat Mum and Beta Mum... Enjoy!