|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?