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.

So, finally Mr Spider, we have you on camera.

This beastie, hiding in the dark, is one of the first horrors that I saw after moving in here. I’ve seen it most days since I’ve been here, but as it lives outside my kitchen window and only comes out to play after the sun has gone down it’s been a tad tricky to get a decent photo. Must be shy.

Scaryness: 6. If you squint, this one looks a bit like a skull. Which is worrying. And the huge bod also has quite an eek factor, but it’s home is on the other side of my kitchen window, and I don’t have to see it during the daylight hours, so that helps bring the rating down a bit. If it moves inside for the winter, I may have to move out.

A final visit back to a happier, sunnier, drier time when we could all waltz around our gardens without the aid of a snorkel.

This insanely proportioned guy has felt a twinge in the ol’ tripwire, and has wandered out of it’s hidey hole to have a look.  What yummy insect could have possibly landed in it’s trap today, it’s wings struggling and legs already wrapping themselves round in sticky knots as they try to fight their way loose? Oh, it was just some berk with a camera.

It was an accident though. I was trying to get a photo if it in it’s hiding position, when something else triggered the spider to come a’running. If you’ve read any of the previous entries by now, you should know that I’m far too much of a wimp to actually provoke a spider into action just for the sake of a photo. If one’s there, I’ll snap it, but I’m not getting any closer than I have to in order to take a picture. Modern photographic equipment doesn’t need the photographer to have quite the same proximity to one’s subject as it used to in days gone by. For example, when I took this photo I was stood in a narrow public highway in the French countryside, totally within the public interest.

Scaryness: 5. It’s not very big, but the odd proportions of huge body and tiny legs make it look like a steroid-pumped bodybuilder. Hit the thigh-pressing machines, scuttlebutt!

One of these two have starred on this blog before. Or at least, I think so. I don’t tag them, so I can’t track their movements. But I suspect that one of them used to live above the stairway. Possibly the one on the left.

But as the cliche goes, Boy meets Girl. Boy stares into Girl’s dozen eyes and sees himself reflected back in them. Boy falls in love with Girl. Suddenly the stairway ceiling just isn’t large enough. So they packed up their dead flies and moved across to the ceiling above the hallway. Much more room here to stretch their legs. All 16 of them.

And so now they lurk there all day, never straying too far away from each other. It’s actually quite touching. For cold-blooded evil freak-creatures these two are quite cute together. When I was taking this photo they just hung around there, gently prodding each other for five minutes. Sounds like a third date to me.

Scaryness rating: 6. Despite being closer to my head than the previous location above the stairway, I’m somehow finding these two less scary than I thought I would. Whenever I see them together, in my head I hear Sade’s Ordinary Love.
Of course, if they were to have spiderbabies which get in my hair, I shall murder them all.

Gerrorf my wall!

It was inevitable. With so many spiders in so few rooms a couple of different species would eventually meet, and maybe not get on so well. Why can’t we all be friends? Ebony and Ivory, together in perfect harmony, side by side on the piano keyboard, why Lord can’t we be?

Because we hate each other, that’s why.

These two spiders really don’t get on very well. Across wandered the smaller thicker one, not realising that this was the domain of the lankier one. Something was going to occur. It was going to be even more exciting than the mythical spiderslug fighting.

It wasn’t.

The long thin one stood it’s ground, poked a leg out at the advancing chubby one. I was expecting the smaller one to overpower the larger, to rush it and bite it and ping it off the wall. Instead the large one just fended it off from a distance, like a rangey boxer keeping the opponant too far away to do any damage.

And that was it. The fatter one just gave up and walked off. If you look at the photo closely, you can see the thin one waving a fist at the defeated.

Scaryness: 6. A combined moderate scaryness there, as they were both high up on the wall, not causing me too much bother.  But while neither were overly shit-your-pants-ish on their own, the two together and with the threat of violence in the air, I backed off a bit.