Friday, July 22, 2005

tooth/claw interface

My dressing gown smells all smoky, which is weird, since I don't smoke. I suspect somebody has been creeping into my bedroom in the thirty minutes a day I don't spend in there, and doing Noel Coward impressions. When I find them, there'll be hell to pay.

Off to London this weekend, and doing so with the quiet, understated bravery that has become the hallmark of this web journal, and I suspect the real reason for its worldwide syndication and subsequent auctioning of film rights*. Apologies to the eight million people who live in London and don't make a fuss about it.

So before I go, a quick round-up of the Natural World as it occurs within a five metre radius of my flat:

1. My sunflower plants (three) have all been eaten by slugs.

2. BASTARDS!

3. My tomato plants are doing very well, and are providing me with one very small, but beautifully-formed tomato per day.

4. My lemon-scented thyme plant is also doing very well, despite me ripping out great handfuls every weekend to put in the roast. Yum.

5. A large spider just hurled itself into the bath I'm running. I went back in to check on the temperature (if you're not waving through the steam, blinking back tears and coughing violently, it's not hot enough) and there he was, all curled up and floating in sad anticlockwise circles.

6. Another spider is on the window sill, watching with a look of horror on his little face. I suspect the words of the first spider were something along the lines of 'last one in's an aaaaaaaaarghohmygodhelpmeitstoohot!' I fished the body out ('don't look' I said gently to the other spider, but I suspect he couldn't help himself, also he has eight eyes, which makes it technically more difficult), and weighed the little body in my hand. It was surprisingly heavy. But then he was wet.

7. I heard high-pitched yowling and screeching earlier, and (genuinely) assumed it was my flatmate reacting to Big Brother. In fact an enormous rat had crawled out of the drain in the courtyard downstairs, and was being threatened by the semi-stray cat that gets fed by the chap downstairs. Finally Lady Marmite Patel (and no, I didn't name her) is paying her way.

If I come back on Sunday, and the entire flat has become one great Looney Tune of cats chasing rats chasing spiders chasing slugs chasing sunflowers plants, all rolling and tumbling in one great cartoon ball from which paws and spinnerets and whiskers and tendrils occasionally emerge, I wouldn't be that surprised. A bit, obviously. But not that much.

* Not rolio.

14 comments:

Kalista said...

At last, someone else who runs baths too hot! If you don't faint when you get out, it wasn't hot enough! (that could be my low blood pressure though)

The worst thing is finding slug trails leading up to your shoes, then going into said shoes, then putting your foot in to find a slug at the bottom. Um. I've got to stop leaving my shoes in the kitchen!!!

Kell said...

I'm another of the steamy beth/fainty exit club. Hubby always complains the wateer's too hot. Perhaps he's actually related to your spider...

Kirst said...

the worst time to run a hot hot bath is when you're a bit tipsy (or completely sloshed), because you tend to be a bit desensitised and end up getting into near boiling water and being stupidly hot for the rest of the evening.

Anonymous said...

you touch (large wet) spiders with your bare hands?

cello said...

Didn't see you giving any sympathy to the various tragic slug stories when they appeared on the Blue Cat Forum. Now you know how upsetting it is to see your babies have the life sucked out of them. But I bear no grudges, so my deep condolences James.

Lemon thyme and roast chicken. Yum. That is one hot combo.

I think the smell of smoke is probably the spiders building themselves a little bonfire so they can dry themselves out after bath accidents. I love spiders and I don't understand what people find scary about them. They don't even bite. So thank you for trying to save them. But slugs ...pure evil.

Anonymous said...

nah, I'm with Jeff on the spiders.

tracy said...

I've not had the dead bath spider problem...instead I get kamikazi moths that dive bomb into the bath and leave a powdery trail.

Elfgirl said...

Moths are worse if you're in the shower, flying at your head and causing you to flail about madly and then fall over and bang your head on the wall so you end knocking yourself out and flooding the bathroom. A common problem I've heard...

POE said...

Spiders do bite! And jump! And attack people - they always head for me when I'm in groups. And they build their webs where they know people will be walking every day. I've been traumatised since walking through a web the same height as me when I was about 8. *shudders* 'Twas between a bush & a house but no one ever thinks to warn the children of these lurking horrors do they! Oh no, it's all 'don't touch the pretty flame', 'don't run with pinking shears', 'don't run baths too hot'...

JonnyB said...

You cannot blame the entire spider community for the actions of a few fanatics.

Steve Dix said...

NP : "Boris the spider - The Who". No, really.

Kalista said...

Ah! boris the spider! I know it well! A favourite of a friend of mine (along with 'Constipation blues', which I highly recommend)

belladona said...

Spiders do bite. It's just that most types have jaws too weak to pierce our skin, so we don't realise. Look out for wolf spiders though (large, grey, ugly), they do pierce the skin. I can date my sudden revulsion to spiders from when I was quite small and unwarily picked said wolf spider up.

Rose said...

I really should do work instead of trawling through months of highly enjoyable blog, but I just can't help myself.

That spider story has put me into the kind of giggles that usually only occur when you've been trapped in a 5'x5' room for three days with seven hours of skateboarding footage and a strange friend who suddenly decides to say "piiiieeeeees"

I'll leave now.