Thursday 20 September 2012

Autumn commeth

Two in your face indicators of autumn arriving here in Llysyfran. 

One is the large amount of leaf litter we suddenly start seeing.  We are surrounded by trees and for a few weeks now they have started to shed their leaves.  In a few more weeks it will be an almost full time job trying to clear them up daily. 

The other and most unwelcome (especially as they seem to congregate in the bedroom, and on my side of the room too) are spiders.  Very large ones.  I can't quite believe we get so many, one of the drawbacks I suppose of being in the countryside.  They stand out somewhat on the stark cream walls (the walls used to be a dark purple when we moved in).

Largest spiders in the UK – Tegenaria gigantea
One night last week I saw one come scurrying out from behind the wardrobe.  Once I'd screamed and got that one scooped up and put firmly outside another appeared from the same hiding place - and after only about ten minutes respite.  Then I found a third on the wall opposite.  I was really freaked and hardly slept at all. 

Monday this week I saw yet another appear from behind my wardrobe, I took a deep breath and pulled it forward and let's just say they were having a party. I've now CLOSED my window on the same wall very firmly shut.  I'm thinking of caulking it. 

I have an evening routine now, I switch the main light on and inspect all the walls.  Then I move the wardrobe on my side of the bed to check behind it for unwanted lodgers.  That's all my nerves can take. I reason that if there are any behind J's wardrobe he'll fight them off before they get to me.

Apparently in the autumn months a range of species which would normally stay outdoors do start to find their way into houses. Most will remain outdoors, but as they are quite audacious some will by chance end up in the house.  That is why they suddenly seem to materialise from nowhere.  Before closing the window I had also tried to deter them from coming in by placing conkers at every possible entry point. But this obviously wasn't working. I'm even tempted to try one of those plug in spider repellent gadgets - despite the mixed reviews.

The wayward spiders are almost always mature males who’ve set off in search of their Juliet.  As they are more mobile, they are more likely to be spotted. And being spotted they are.  I took the above photograph with shaking hands, and I believe it's the Tegenaria gigantea but I just can't look at any more pictures to identify - I'll be having nightmares tonight.

I know they do a lot of good, but that knowledge does not trump my irrational fear of the big spiders (I can live with the small ones).  Can't they find their fun somewhere else but my side of the bedroom for heaven's sake.

Wednesday 5 September 2012

Noisy Neighbours & First Day

I'd thought I'd heard rustling down in the valley - but had ignored it.

The following day I heard it again and peered over our new gate, to find a little band of bullocks investigating their new found freedom. 

Him Next Door and J spent the evening herding them back to their field, whilst the neighbour made good the escape route they'd created in the fence.

The bullocks made quite a mess of our path down to the bottom of the valley, but Her and Him Next Door have been trying to rectify that... it'll take time. 

You can just see our open gate at the top.
A momentous event has happened today too. My baby has gone to secondary school - her first day. It's been an intense six week holiday; busy, active, a balancing act. Now we can get back to the routine of a new school day.  She leaves home early to catch the bus at 7:40am and won't be home 'till 4ish.  We offered to cut down her travelling time by dropping her off at our nearest village, but she wants to go under her own steam on the bus.  The school itself is in Crymych, some 13.5 single track, bendy miles away.

She was so excited this morning, eager to go.  It's great the time they spend now to establish a connection with their secondary school and some of the staff well before the big day itself, orientation days really.  It must make the first day so much less intimidating for them (a far cry from when I went to secondary school - which I know was last century).  What's worrying me the most is the 1 to 1.5 hours homework promised a night.  How will we fit it in with all her after school activities?  And its very important to leave time for a bit of fun too.

Ready for big school.
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