• Charli


‘Ok Ladies and stretching over for a minute and a half, here we go…AAARGH’, that was the sound that greeted our ears as Lucy, our Callanetics coach spotted a spider crawling towards her. It wasn’t huge, but it you hate spiders, you hate spiders. And Lucy hates spiders. She literally leapt into the air.

The class halted for a few moments until one brave soul lifted Lucy’s bag and the spider scuttled under a closed bookshelf which is full of pre-school books for the children who use the village hall as a nursery during the day. Then I spied the spider heading towards the stacks of red chairs at the end of the hall, seeking peace and quiet from our chatter and the accompanying music.

Of course this sparked the need to share our own experiences with spiders and other long-legged or bug eyed, flying or crawling insects and arachnids.

One of my most memorable experiences was becoming aware of a very large beast, with a body the size of a small plum and big thick black legs, crawling up my arm. I was wearing a dark grey cardigan at the time and so hadn’t been conscious until a slight movement caught my eye. My natural instinct was to scream, but L and T who were 5 and 2 respectively and their little friends were in the room, playing contentedly at one end so I kept as calm as I could and hastily removed the cardigan, creeping towards the open patio doors where i was able to shake the spider off. I nearly fainted when I saw just how big it was, but relaxed as it made its way to the hedgerow. I was extremely being grateful I wasn’t wearing a jumper.

I know all the logic about spiders being afraid of us, and how they clear houses of unwanted flies and aphids, but there is something about the way they move that sends shivers down my spine, my heart racing and palms sweating.

Saying all that, I can be out in the garden, weeding, reading, relaxing and happily watch a whopping great spider move across the lawn. Perhaps seeing a spider in its own environment is reassuring and as things should be.

It also means that that spider is outside and not inside the house.

Spiders – a poem

Many eyed and many legged

many times you’ve been beheaded

thwacked and smashed and stood upon-

you aim to catch a fly to chew on.

Wondrous webs so silky and fine

and stronger than a washing line.

We live in fear it’s fair to say

I’ll try and be brave – maybe, one day.

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