Thursday, 16 February 2017

I Never Thought I would Do This


See the above sorry-looking object?  Yes, this was once a perfectly good pair of tights. It has been languishing in my cupboard, unworn, together with about 10 others of its kind for about the last 8 years - not a single ladder or snag in it.  I don't wear this kind of thin denier (remember 15/20 denier from the sixties?)  any more or any other kind for that matter. It's socks all the way. I do fondly remember how my best friend and I used to sit in class at HIgh School and try to make ladders ascend in our tights as wide as we could between knee and crutch (at one stage we even had suspender belts still).  Any fault from the knee down would be pounced upon by eagle-eyed teachers or prefects.  So why did I cut off the legs? I badly needed to tie up some of my climbing plants in the back yard so I did the unthinkable - steeled myself and cut the legs off into strips. Perfect. I couldn't quite bring myself to throw away the top bit: maybe we'll have a cold winter and I will need to keep my stomach warm. Passion killer or not.

Thursday, 2 February 2017

Two Spiders Named Derek

Has Derek repaired his web with a white cotton zig-zag stitch?

Like most people, I have a horror of being in close proximity to a spider, but when it has set up shop in my flower bed, there are issues.  Recently, I watched one of my favourite shows, "Shed and Buried", starring the Brit, Henry Cole and his buddy Sam Lovegrove.  This is also one of my husband's favorite TV shows: essentially it involves these two funny British motor-bike fanatics digging around in people's sheds to discover, buy and sell basically anything old that has a motor. I love the laid-back repartee between the two guys although the objects they rave over I understand nothing about except that they are old and may turn a profit. One day, they bought something that had a resident spider. Although I live in South Africa, I find that the common British house/garden  spiders are very scary - big, black, scurrying and threatening. (Ours are much smaller but more lethal.)  Of such a one was Henry also scared. Hilariously, he donned a motor bike helmet and gloves and armed with a garden-vac, he cautiously blasted it out of its home to land safely on his lawn. He had christened it "Derek", a fairly nerdish name, which, I feel, gave him the courage to plan his attack. Similarly, I named my spider, "Derek" and immediately found him to be less threatening.  I don't object to him per se, understanding that the average spider consumes about 2000 bugs a year,  however, I can't get around his web to pull out the weeds behind my petunias.  Thus, we have achieved an uneasy truce: my weeds continue to thrive and Derek sticks to his guns and won't move. I gave up trying to identify him until I finally realised my husband had given me a book on "Insects", (duh!).  After correct research, I think I have discovered him to be a harmless "Rain spider",  which sounds kinda peaceful, don't you think?