Spending a disproportionate number of hours cooped up while working in my converted shed studio is taking its toll on me. My complexion is pale, my body permanently locked in a seated position, my memory of the last time I left the house for anything resembling a social life now distant. It’s a wonder I haven’t completely lost the power of speech and reverted to grunts. “Cup of tea?” calls Mr SDS from the kitchen window. A grunt accompanied by a thumbs up signifies my positive response. By evening I’ve drunk twenty cups of tea too many and all I want to do is vegetate with Big Brother.
But that isn’t what I intended to write about tonight (in spite of the brilliant Dexter and Gina twist ;-) ). It’s just that my lack of physical contact with a variety of homosapiens may explain why I’ve developed a rather worrying degree of affection for the one living creature who shares my studio space with me.
Federica the tegenaria duellica (house spider)
Now, please bear with me - I’m going to talk about a spider, and she is quite a big one. I won’t pretend that I’d be ok with her crawling up my leg, or that I wouldn’t be freaked out if she suddenly turned up in my shoe. But Federica seems to be a creature of habit. She’s been with me for some time now (several months) and so far there haven’t been any surprises. She has a fine mesh web under my desk, about a foot from where I sit, which then stretches round and up towards the adjacent window. By day she stays in the corner under the desk, and at approximately 5pm every afternoon she comes out to the window area. She has a little look around, doesn’t do much, just checking to see if there have been any home delivery bluebottles I guess. It seems we’re both quite content in each other’s company, although any sudden movements from me sending her scuttling back to her corner – which really is the natural order of things, isn’t it, not the other way around…?
Because I see her every day and actually spend more waking time in her company at the moment than I do any other sentient being, I’ve become really fond of her. I worry that she’s not going to get enough to eat so I keep the windows open. The desk could do with a tidy up but I’m leaving things so as not to disturb her. I realised today that, quite perversely, I’m going to miss her when she’s gone.
I’m also going to be worrying in case she finds a convenient shoe to hide in.
But let’s hope she doesn’t and we can continue to spend our days peacefully, side by side, all Summer.