We arrived at the cottage on Thursday evening just as night was falling and three full days ahead of us to do whatever we chose. At this time of year, mellow fruitfulness and all that, my first duty on arrival is to perform the bath check. This consists of turning on the light and checking the off-white bath for spiders; a task I am not at all bothered by, although I did once have to catch and set fourteen of the little lovelies free outside.
On this occasion there were only five and four of them were deceased, dead, and no longer with us. The remaining spider seemed in fine fettle and very much alive, rearing up on his back legs as if to say ‘come on then if you think you’re hard enough!’ Obviously I was. No spider, not even this gladiator with four kills to his name (I assumed), was ever going to get the better of me.
Now usually I pick them up in my cupped hands and transport to the back door and freedom. There have been times I’ve taken two or three at a time, jiggling my hands up and down in an attempt to stop them tickling me. Not this time though. This time I got a beer glass and a piece of paper – this was one huge spider.
It didn’t take long before he was safely inside my pint pot. I have to say that he didn’t seem pleased, so I quickly and carefully slipped a pound inside the glass for scale and took a couple of pictures. Then, after nervously retrieving my pound, I set him free by dropping him into the dark over the stable door knowing that (like Arnie) he’ll be back. Well, they don't call them house spiders for nothing.
Later that same evening we found another spider almost as big in the living room and again I had to fetch my beer glass. I must be losing my touch. Not Luna though who seemed to enjoy playing with her through the glass of my Old Speckled Hen pint pot.