Archives for the month of: October, 2012

It’s that time of year where all things creepy and scary suddenly become trendy and acceptable. Cinemas fill up with rubbish horror films, full of loud noises and flashy images designed to make you jump out of your seat due to pure reflex. Small children tour the local neighbourhood, knocking on doors and demanding sweets. Women dress up either as something zombiefied or witchified, or something with the prefix “sexy”. All those things are wrong. That’s not real terror. That’s a couple of days or nights of gentrified scaryness in order to get the heart beating faster so you can turn to your loved ones to hold a hand or hide your eyes, and then laugh as you realise that actually everything’s alright.

Everything’s not alright. There are spiders.

Once Halloween’s over and you’re all looking up at the fireworks, down at the frost and ahead to the Christmas presents, my eyes are still scanning around for scurrying evil.

Which brings us to this photo. You can enjoy the frighteningly sharp footed freak in a seasonal mood. Recoil in shock and revulsion, then peek back with a smile on your face that it’s far away beyond the screen. For me it’s here, somewhere, everywhere, forevermore.

Scaryness: 7. This one wasn’t large, but is quite pointy. Maybe I’m becoming desensitised by this project, or it’s just the season for it. If I’d seen this a couple of months ago my head would’ve exploded through fear.

 

What’s for lunch, spidey? Errr,  a strangely angular thing, by the looks of it. I’m presuming this is lunch, though I really have no idea. Maybe it’s a spider briefcase, and its off to work. At foot-level under one of my kitchen units I could see our mysterious friend here holding a blob. Even when I got down to take the pictures, nothing become any clearer. The lack of colour and general drabness of this photo comes from the lack of light in my kitchen, meaning the camera has to strain a bit to get a proper shot, and that usually means draining the colour and making things go all blurry. A bit of a steady hand, or clever resting position can get rid of the blur, but I can’t yet work out how to re-colourise it.
So, detectives, what do you think is in the parcel? I’d have normally just said a fly, but doesn’t it look like there are some strangely sharp corners on there? Does spider-wrapping really get better neat right angles than me attempting to cover Christmas presents?

Scaryness: 5. Not huge, but not tiny. not head-height, which is good, but ankle-height gives it the power to run up my leg which is never nice. I think a couple of months ago I’d have given this beast a 6 or a 7, so maybe this whole blog thing is working. Or maybe that’s the problem. Perhaps that tiny package is actually a bomb? Are they lulling me into a false sense of security? I have nothing to fear from them, they want me to think. I’l let them cover my walls in webs while they run up and down, planting tiny explosives in every corner. Then, once their fly supply is dried up, Kaboom! Everything collapses into rubble, leaving them with a nice, err, pile of rubble to string webs across. And eat my corpse.

Sometimes it’s not what you show, but what you hide. That’s the motto of the cautious flasher, and it also applies to the photos of this hairy hades. This one shows the towel terror at it’s worst I think.

So there you are, just stepped out of the shower, dripping wet and cold in the morning air, and all you want to do is get a towel and get yourself warm and dry. But no! Because here comes a berk with a camera to take your picture. Apologies spidey, but it’s not your towel, it’s mine, and I don’t think I said you could borrow it. If you’d have asked, I’d have still said no (and then booked in with a psychiatrist), but you didn’t, so get out of it!

Eventually it scuttled off somewhere to dry in peace and quiet. Hopefully it got some Veet for its legs as well. Or is it called Immac now? I forget which is the new name. it’s probably Veet because that’s stupider and companies love stupid. Starburst? Ptcha!

Scaryness: 6. It’s not huge, but it is hiding within my towel, which is worrying me. I live in fear of spiders hibernating in my shoes. One having a snooze on my towel is just a step along the path to a footwear-based winter spider bunker.

 

What’s the quickest way to a man’s heart? His aorta, of course. But the quickest way into his bed? How about across the ceiling then down the wall. That’s what this pesky little pervantula was attempting. Don’t you understand? No means No!

I’ve been attempting a decent life of symbiosis with my spidery pals over the last few weeks. They go about their business, I go about mine, and we generally try to leave each other alone. But I’m afraid I cannot have this brazen attack on my inner sanctum. This spider, as pretty as it is, was not wanted in my boudoir, so I did as anyone does with an unwanted caller in the night: I scooped it up and threw it out the window. They’re light, so can survive the fall, right? I think that’s how it works.

Scaryness: 7. It’s small, and the colours and patterns are actually quite interesting, but it’s location and intention right next to my bed are more than worrying. Let’s face it, ladies, as hot as you may think Robin Williams is, if you were to wake up and find him clung to your bedroom wall, his furry face looking down at you in the night, I think you’d be pretty darn scared too.

 

I don’t like to anthropomorphise these spindly wall-crawlers, and I know their lives have different social patterns to our own, yet I still can’t help myself feel a little heartbroken every time I walk past the landing at the top of the stairs.

Looking back to September 24th, and you can see the lovely couple that once was. For the last week to ten days the photo above is the only sight in that corner. I don’t know where the other one went, but it did. Now all’s left are the decaying strands of web and memories of flies gone by. The one who’s left doesn’t move much from the corner. Too sad, too soon.

Makes me wonder, wonder why life’s such a heartbreaker.

Scaryness: 2. It’s the same semi-scary large thing from before, but now I’ve projected my humanity all over it (easy now) I’m just feeling sorry. If I could, I’d bring it down from the ceiling and give a huge hug. But I’d crush it, and that wouldn’t be very helpful. If it were the same size as me I’d give it a hug. Or run away screaming. Yes, actually, I’d probably run away screaming.

Ooh, you’re a weird looking creature! But enough about you, let’s take a closer look at this lovely spider instead. It took a few days before I got a good look at this little recluse (because it was hiding from me, not because it’s actually a Recluse Spider, which is a truly evil looking thing in America. Seriously, Americans, how do you guys live over there? If it were me I’d have flamethrowered the entire continent by now, just to be sure). The neat little web appeared across a side window last week, but no owner was to be seen. One morning a couple of days later as I opened the curtains this tiny terror rushed into the corner of the windowsill.

I got my camera and returned to apprehend the miscreant (a few days later, but let’s not spoil the narrative here), only to find it back out in the centre of it’s web, eying up a yummy fly which was lurking nearby. My house has so many spiders. Why are there also so many flies? Or maybe that’s why there are so many spiders here, because of the rich source of flies which appears to be somewhere within this flat. Hmm, maybe I should stop leaving the rotting pig carcasses out on the sideboard after the pagan ritual every second sunday of the month. Anyway, I was only getting a profile view from this ‘ere spiddy which isn’t very photogenic as it just looks like a blob on a twig. I un-zoomed the camera and moved it closer to try to get some more detail on the body in the dark, and the darn blighter span itself round to face me. I was watching in my viewfinder, and it looked like that annoying hamster thing from youtube, but with the added spider factor of imminent leaping-on, biting and death.

I should probably see a hypnotist to try to wipe the childhood viewing of Arachnophobia from my memory. I still check under the toilet when I go. It moves when you move your hand, John Goodman, it moves when you move your hand!

Sorry. So it didn’t leap on me and kill me. It just looked a bit more scary, with all legs in view. A day later the fly was gone, and there was a strangely large white blob tucked away in the corner of the windowpane. That could’ve been me.
Scaryness: 4. Tis but a small thing. But sometimes they can be the worst, as proved by it’s speedy reactions when my camera got a bit too close for comfort. It’s keeping the fly population down, which is nice, but if it continues to lurk menacingly just behind my curtains, it might be forced to pack it’s bags!

Another murky night-stalker here. I’m talking about the spider. Along the bottom of this shot is the telephone wire leading from the top of my roof out to the pole on the street. Above it is the spider who lives on a web strung between the bottom of the gutter and the top of my window. It’s been there for almost as long as the one outside the kitchen, and as you can see they have a pretty similar shape and size to them. While it’s true I’ve never seen the two together at the same time, if this were one single foul Octodemon who switches webs everytime I go upstairs and downstairs it’d have the quickest legs in all the land.

Don’t forget the location either. Notice how the spider nation prefer windows and doorframes for their homes. Why is this important? Because it’s our only means of escape. First they block off the exits, then they strike, leaving us helpless and with nowhere to go but dead. This new photo is important evidence that their species is learning. Not only is it teaming up with it’s brother (or sister. I’m not good at sexing spiders, more’s the pity) downstairs in blocking off the windows, but this culprit has gone a step further: It’s trying to bring down my phone line. By hanging enough dead flies and insects on it’s larder under the wire it’s hoping that I’ll not only be unable to crawl out of my stinking apartment, but I’ll also have no way of contacting the outside world to tell them of my predicament.

Shit.

The internet uses the phone line.

They can read my blog.

They’re intercepting my messages. They know I’m writing this.

I’ve been rumbled.

Scaryness: 6 for the spider itself. It’s freaky looking, and medium sized, yet outside my window, so not overly harming me. But a massive 10 for what this spider stands for. Be warned, people.

My flat isn’t without locations to live, for a spider. There are numerous darkened corners and cupboards to lurk in, and amazingly, not all of them are occupied. But despite the existing accomodation, the discerning spider looks for somewhere new, exciting to hang itself. So when I placed a tall thin cardboard box against the wall by the front door a couple of weeks ago, I wasn’t merely tidying up the living room, I was laying the foundations.

It was only a few days later that I spotted this dangling hell-fiend making itself comfortable in the space between the box and the wall. It was a few days more till I got this photo. When I first got close enough to try to get the picture it was sat, smugly on the wall. Then as it noticed my encroachment it jumped into action. Well, it sort of fell sideways into action as it let go of the wall and swung down onto it’s web, seemingly looking straight at me.

While I’d have loved to have got a better shot than this, the murky nature of the space behind the box is the very thing which attracts the spider in the first place. As I’ve said before, I’m not about to go messing in their domain just to get a better shot. Not even if I unwittingly created that domain in the first place.

Scaryness: 6. Yes, this is yet another one of those medium sized long legged creatures, but this one is down at, hmm, about shoulder-height. It might be behind a box most of the time, but I know it’s there, watching, just waiting to pounce once I finally get so bored I actually cut the cardboard up and put it in the recycling bin.