My knees are scratched to high heaven where a confused dog tried to give comfort to the zombified madwoman going nuts in the middle of the night… claws and bare knees are not the best of combinations.
That I had managed to get to sleep last night was probably down to sheer fatigue…the past few weeks have been somewhat busy, if largely wonderful. So to be woken at three in the morning seemed a tad unfair. I’d had a bit of an accident a couple of days ago…the resulting bruises run the length of the thigh and are the kind of purple that should not be seen on living flesh. That was bad enough and had been making getting comfortable enough to sleep fairly awkward… but last night I doubt if anything could have kept me awake.
It had been a lovely day, meeting up with my American friends once more as they drove through Oxfordshire towards their final weekend in the UK. A third friend had joined them and the chance to say a brief hello with hugs could not be missed… especially as it meant another couple of hours shared with all and the chance to say a proper farewell to three people I love very dearly.
So I had driven out to meet them… but I had not, apparently, driven alone.
There is a spider in my car that is trying to kill me.
This is no exaggeration. It had first made its presence felt as I drove at some speed back from the north the other day. It had taken up residence on my bare arm and sat there looking at me.
I looked back. I had never seen one like that before. Sort of yellow, tightly built and sharp… not very big, no more than a centimetre across. It reminded me of a seaside crab somehow. I wondered briefly if it was really a British spider or had hitched a ride over from the US as a stowaway in a suitcase. Either way, it wasn’t staying on my arm.
It is not that I dislike spiders, they are fascinating creatures, but there is a limit to how intimate I want to get with one, especially when I am driving. I opened the window with the intention of brushing it off… but it leaped to the relative safety of the footwell and disappeared.
I have seen it several times since then, exploring the dashboard, just out of reach as I have been driving to and from work, but thought little more about it, until today.
I arrived at my destination yesterday afternoon and noticed that my foot was covered in blood. This seemed a bit odd as I had showered just before going out and knew I hadn’t done anything to cut myself. I cleaned it up and thought no more about it. By the time I got home, it was bleeding again in several places. I supposed I must have caught it on something, cleaned it up again and forgot about it.
Till three o’clock this morning, when the itching woke me.
By half past, I was up, swallowing antihistamines.The offending appendage is slathered in whatever I could find to try to numb the damned thing and wearing an ice pack to take the swelling down. Four obvious holes have been bitten through the flesh and the foot, which has had more than its fair share of problems lately, is once again scarlet and swollen, though at least this time I have a fair idea why.
The dog, confused by the dark hour but convinced that as I was up it was time for breakfast, walk and ball, has been insistently trying to drag me from the chair… and at four o’clock we heard the first bird break the night silence.
When the rest of the village awakens, me and the vacuum are going on a spider hunt …