Life: Spiders, Smoke & Seasonal Change

It was by chance that I walked into a scene from Arachnophobia when I went to watch Brighton v Someone in my local. My three “blind’ friends had caused a right kerfuffle when one of them spotted a spider HIGH up on the wall. Blind friend number one had the poor barman on a stool trying to eliminate the spider, which had caused petrified blind friend number two to seek refuge in the garden. Blind friend number three, was directing the scene from the comfort of his chair. I don’t have 20/20 vision myself, but even I could see that it wasn’t a man-eating spider at all, but a bit of fluff, most probably left over from Halloween, blue tacked to the wall.

Spider season is upon us. The time of year that turns perfectly rational, lucid people into fear-filled humans made of jelly. A time of year when spiders seek refuge in the warmth and comfort of our homes as the temperature outside drops. If I were a spider I would most definitely want to come inside, share a sofa and watch Great British Bake Off, or pop to a comfy pub for a decent roast. I’m not sure though, that I would want to climb up someone’s plughole and into their bath.

Spider season is the time of year when social media is awash with pictures of “have you seen how big my spider is?” “I may have done a Tough Mudder, a triathlon and 1000 push-ups a day for charity, but that’s nothing compared to the size of the spider that joined me in the shower this morning.” #hardasnails.

Spider season is of course also a sign that summer is melding into autumn. No longer will we be able to draw a comparison between the funeral pyres of the Ganges and the beaches of Brighton and Hove, due to the biblical amount of smoke produced by the total and utter overuse of cheap disposable BBQ’s. We will soon once again be able to venture down to the beach without the need to wear a decommissioned WWII gas mask to block out the fumes of burnt sausages and the suffocating smell of copious amounts of warm Rosé. Dogs and bikes will once again be allowed to roam freely on this hallowed ground as the tourists leave and the nights draw in.

I’m always sad to say ‘adios’ to summer, but I do love the change of the seasons. Every year I love the idea of going blackberry picking to make a crumble. And EVERY YEAR I leave it too late and the best places in Brighton to forage these succulent beauties have been totally ravaged of their bounty by the time I get there. And so every year my first crumble of the season is made from fruit courtesy of Tesco Express, however, it still tastes delicious, doesn’t require BBQ-ing and definitely doesn’t contain spiders.

This article also appeared in The Huffington Post and the Brighton and Hove Independent

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