If you go down to the woods today (Rushmere, Bedfordshire), you’re sure of a big surprise…
Some lovely person, – I’d really like to know who, so I can add them to my ‘Circles of Hell’ List, – must have thought it would be a really jolly jape, to put a huge wooden/metal spider at the side of one of the tracks running through our local woodland park.
Admittedly it has been there for some time – I know because one of my darling daughters, deliberately made me walk that way a couple of months ago – (yes that’s the sort of family I have), but until this morning, I’d managed to avoid going that way on my solitary morning stroll with the dog.
For anyone whose blood doesn’t freeze in their veins when they see even a small spider, this sculpture is probably nothing to worry about, but for those of us who harbour a totally irrational, but nevertheless, petrifying fear of the eight legged beasties, it is an unpleasant shock, when you come upon it unexpectedly, (well it’s a big enough upset even when you brace yourself for it in my opinion).
I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t afraid of spiders. As a child, I must have driven my poor parents mad. The worse thing would be seeing a spider on the bedroom wall beside the bed, in the middle of the night. If Dad didn’t manage to catch it, I’d have to leave the room, while the whole bed was stripped and remade, to convince me that it hadn’t fallen onto the sheets.
When my children were small, I tried incredibly hard to control my instinctive scream response, and succeeded to some extent. Neither daughter seems to be traumatized by spiders and the eldest is even capable of catching them. This is as big a success as I can claim for not having passed on a silly fear.
Where did it all start for me? I’ve tried many times to reach back into memories and find the source of my fear, but the best I can do, is having seen a film on TV, in which there were giant spiders living in the basement of a country house – I wish I knew what that film was. It was in black and white, set in England – I think – although it was so long ago, I wonder if I’m confusing it with an Ealing Comedy.
But the damage has been done and so I shall take special care not to go the way of the spider, next time I walk the dog in the woods.