I was going to have a shower when I got up, but wanted to speak to Mum first. She doesn’t approve of people wandering the house in dressing-gowns, even when ill or tired, so I reached for yesterday’s clothes, which were draped on a chair. The chocolate brown skirt went on without a hitch, but when I picked up the bubblegum-pink T-shirt, I glimpsed a black washing label inside. Moving quickly, I was about to pull the top over my head, but thought “wait half a sec… this garment doesn’t HAVE any black labels.”
While I hesitated, the label detached itself from the seam and scuttled furrily towards my hand.
“Eugh!” I said in shock, and threw the top into a corner of the room. I immediately felt guilty, and picked it up again, and out crawled a large brown hunting spider — not at all poisonous or unknown to the Scottish home, but it’s the type that marches defiantly across the sitting room carpet in broad lamplight, only to be chewed up and spat out by the cats. These spiders also know how to play possum, but cats are incorrigibly curious and chew them up anyway.
You know, there are countries where I don’t think I’d last very long. I’d pull on a boot without looking, and get clobbered by a funnel web spider. When I was little and we were living abroad, I would potter barefoot around the garden — and the worst that ever happened was stepping on the odd wicked thorn or being nibbled by ants of various sizes. Oh, and a bee, but that was indoors! I suppose most spiders and snakes had the sense to avoid me, even if I wasn’t looking out for them.