Hi there, what you guys up to? Me? Oh nothing much, just hanging around. Hey, you’ve not got any flies on you have you? Someone told me I could score some out here, but I’ve been here an hour and the place is dry. I really need some flies, man. Like, really. It’s been a couple of days now and I’m starting to get the shakes. Yeah, I know I should cut down and I will. I will. Hey, don’t you think it’s suddenly much colder? You not cold? I’ve got this furry coat on and I’m freezing. I shouldn’t be out here, man.
You sure you’ve not seen any flies round here? You got any on you? You’ve got some haven’t you? Where are they? You holding out on me? Crash us a fly, go on. go on. go on. go on. Oh ok you’ve not. Fine, don’t be like that, I was only asking.
You know somewhere better for flies? You not into them anymore? What? You used to be all about the flies. You got me onto them back in the day. What you on now then? Moths? yeah, I’ve tried them a few times, bit too wingy for me. Beetles? Wow, that’s hardcore, man. Nah, I’m not touching that stuff. I’ll stick to flies for now thanks. If I can ever find any in this town.
Hey, if this block’s empty, what are you doing here? Just passing through? You know, you guys look kinda suspicious you know. You’re not undercover are you? You know it’s illegal for you to say you’re not undercover if you are actually undercover. You could go to jail. I’m helping you here.You look undercover. No? Well, if you’re not can you beat it. I’ll see you around. I think you’re scaring off the flies out here, looking all undercover and stuff.
Scaryness: 4 Just hanging around. Why you asking? You sure you’re not undercover?
In our post-nuclear wasteland, the only survivors will be the cockroaches. We’re taught this myth from a young age to make us feel insignificant. To make us feel helpless. To make us pliable to the demands of the cockroaches, as if befriending them could somehow ensure their help if we were to find our lucky selves still awake after the mushroom clouds have cleared. The cockroaches will help no-one. The roach lobby lies.
So who will survive the longest in a nuclear winter?
The fat. The slow. The lazy. The alone.
The ones who stay put. The ones with less need. The ones who already have the energy stored in their bodies. They don’t have to go out to battle the looters on the way to the supermarket. They’re not out there burning off calories by trying to source a new, fresh supply of water for their family. The queues of corpses at the petrol station are of people with somewhere to go. The skinny cockroaches get eaten by the bigger cockroaches.
You want to survive? Get fat. Get slow. Spin an inpenetrable web around yourself.
You want to live? That’s another story.
Scaryness: 10. It only looks like a 3 today, but lurking deeper lies a 10.
That cushion’s too big, isn’t it? Or is it too small? Or the wrong shape. Just throw it over there and get it out the way.
No. Now my back hurts a bit. Get that cushion back here again.
Sometimes no matter how hard you try you just can’t get comfortable. This spider knows how you feel. It started off with a nice patch of wall by the front door. Plenty of sunshine, good supply of flies and room to hang a number of webs. But the cold drafts were too much, so time for a move.
Next, upstairs to the bathroom wall. Another nice large expanse of web potential here. Also a bit warmer, so a much better place to hang around and clip your toenails. But no, perhaps the humidity of the daily shower got too much and yet again the bags were packed and the maps got out for another trip.
Finally, somewhere quite nice. A warm room with normal humidity and not many drafts. Quite a large wall, although sharing with a couple of friendly neighbours. Maybe this will be the place. One problem, it’s in my bedroom, and you’ve decided to live only a couple of feet from my head. I’m sure you’re lovely and everything, but I’ve called the council and they’re getting you evicted. Sorry.
Scaryness: 7. One of these horrid looking things with a fat body and stubby little legs. I could tolerate it from a distance, but when you wake up facing something which looks like this, you know something’s gone wrong with your life.
It’s been a bit barren, creature-related, these last few weeks. There are a few still scurrying about, tending to webs and worrying about what type of decomposing insect to serve for Christmas lunch. But they’re all out favourites that have already been photographed and adored by the masses. I’m only really interested in fresh talent, and I’ve got a few things planned to stick up here, so hopefully semi-normal service will be resumed next year.
But for now, here’s a festive looking spider for you. Well, not the spider itself, but the red/green patterned thing it’s crawling about on. I’d not seen this type of spider before, or since, with it’s fat body placed directly in the centre of it’s equally proportioned legs. It looks a bit like a mechanical spider from a terrible film, but shrunk and made flesh. Perhaps if you look clodely there’s a tiny Kenneth Branagh or Kevin Kline perched atop it, twirling their moustache as they wrestle with the controls.
Scaryness: 4. It looks a bit odd, like a child’s drawing of a spider. But that’s not as scary as a real-life version of a child’s drawing of a man would be, nor as scary as a child’s drawn car would be to drive. The festive background helps to give a jolly feel to it as well. As it’s the season to be jolly, pull up a chair and have a slice of turkey, spidey. But leave the roast potatoes for me. They’re mine. Piss-taking bastard.
It’s been a full week since I last updated here. Not because the spiders have been hiding, but rather it took a while to get this corner of my house looking just shabby enough to appear in a photo. If all you can see are cracks in plaster and a slightly shoddy wooden windowframe, then I invite you to take a second look (as if you were looking at Henry’s cat). What’s that dark shape in the corner? The one which looks a bit like a miniature octopus wrapped in cotton wool. That’s a spider, that is!
It’s not overly warm, or overly cold here, and I suppose that leaves the spiders in a bit of a quandry. Do they go about their usual summery/autumnal ways, making webs, looking for lady-spiders, throwing frisbees in the park? Or should they get ready for winter, fatten up and put on the wooly jumpers? Well, this particular spider has found a middle-ground. For a few weeks now it’s been spinning it’s web up every night, then taking it down again during the day and sleeping in the corner, all wrapped up in it’s own little hammock. This spider used to leave it’s web up all the time during the summer, lurking in it, looking out the window and generally larking around. But now the days are a bit shorter it can’t be arsed half the time, so just goes to sleep. I know how it feels.
Scaryness: 2. It was already quite harmless, but now wrapped up in a little duvet of its own making its even less evil.
Not too long ago someone told me that they quite liked looking at my spiders, but what really caught their attention in my photos was the state of my house. I laughed this off, but secretly I squirmed with shame. I’ve not been living here too long, and all the scuffing and scratching and flakey paintwork really can’t be blamed on me. That’s what I tell myself everytime I take a photo and see the tattyness of the background.
Take this shot, for example. All I could see was the eight-legged shuttlebus in the foreground when I set my camera on the ground. But then when scrolling through the images after moving them to my laptop my eye is drawn to the fluff, the scratches, the scuffs and marks which make this photo look so much scarier.
But, I’m sorry to tell you, its all a fake. All this is pure construction added to the each indoor photo to make my flat look more decrepit, to give it that extra creepy haunted-house feeling. In reality I live in a white marble palace kept spotless at all times by a crack team of dedicated, beautiful ladies and gentlemen with cleaning products, feather dusters and OCD. Every photograph I take looks far too sterile, like they’re stock photos taken in a zoo or science lab. To make them appear like a normal, nay, shabby house I have to put each frame through a filter, using an app called Instagrim. It makes my shiny home look like a shithole. I think you’ll agree that it’s working quite well.
Which brings me to the kitchen. I emptied the bin, moved it out from the corner and watched this fella look up at me, wondering where his roof had gone. With a nice flat surface to put the camera on, I thought I’d go for a profile view.
Scaryness: 5. It’s not too large, but is quite fat. Which makes it a bit scarier. But only a 4, I think. I’ve added an extra scaryness point for the angle my skirting board juts up away from the floor. Who the hell put that in? Have they not heard of a spirit level?
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.