|Spider on my Car|
Spiders aren't very nice, but when one's been clinging to your car for a fortnight, you've got to give it some respect.
Yorkshire's best travelled spider is currently making its home in my wing mirror.
I noticed it a couple of weeks ago, bouncing around in the wind as I drove to work. By the time I arrived it had blown off, presumably bringing its eight-legged brand of terror to the insect population of a nearby village.
Only it hadn't, and wasn't. It had sought refuge from the prevailing winds in the little recess behind the wing mirror, only to re-emerge that weekend while I was driving down the M1. A quick glimpse to check the right hand lane and there it was, flapping about on a little bit of web even more perilously than last time. I have no idea how it stayed attached. I actually slowed down a bit so it could stop scrunching itself up on the oscillating strand of web and get back to the safety of the wing mirror so it didn't fall off and die on the motorway. I realise that's a bit weird. It didn't even notice, just stayed in a ball and pinged about violently. Perhaps it was enjoying itself. It was still there when I arrived in Sheffield.
"I'm not a fan of spiders. As small crawly things go, spiders are up there with wasps and... well, they're up there with wasps"I think this is the stage at which many people would remove it, but it seemed a bit cruel considering the effort it had put in. Clinging on for more than an hour at 70mph only to be unceremoniously brushed off at the end of it and forced to make a new life in Hillsborough. What if it was allergic to South Yorkshire flies? What if the air was the wrong consistency for its web to work? Too many uncertainties - I couldn't do it. Especially given the alternative involved doing nothing, which is a course of action that generally sells itself.
That was the previous weekend. The spider survived the night and the journey home, and so last weekend I took it to Newcastle. While I was spending two days in the company of nine Belfast men in their 20s for a stag do - I expect to have made a full recovery by August - it was busy making the most impressive web I have seen it manage yet. That didn't last long when I took off back down the A1, and nor, I thought, did the spider, which was nowhere to be seen. Until Monday morning, at least.
I'm not a fan of spiders. As small crawly things go, spiders are up there with wasps and... well, they're up there with wasps. Insects in general (and arachnids) struggle to worm (annelids) their way into my affections. I genuinely like bumblebees and silverfish and I have no problem at all with woodlice and ladybirds; I'm only 50/50 on butterflies, which are a bit gruesome underneath all that nice wing business; dragonflies are very strange but you only see them about once every three years, so it's quite exciting, like spotting a Kingfisher; and after that you're getting into the territory of ants and weevils. It’s rarely good news when they turn up, unless you're made of soil.
Spiders are below that. I know they eat all these other things I'm not so keen on, but I wish they didn't do it with so many eyes and legs. I'd say it was the way they move that's the worst bit, but really everything's pretty bad. The way they look. The way they work. What they do. You wouldn't like it if they were the same size as you, and that's enough to make me suspicious. I know you can say the same about cats, but at least big cats have the decency to be easy on the eye while they're munching your arm off.
So I wouldn't say I like the spider on my wing mirror. Like is a strong word. But this thing withstands a fair bit of punishment and sticks around despite having every opportunity to get off. Maybe it enjoys travelling. More likely it just thinks the weather gets a bit crazy twice a day. I'm beginning to suspect Robert the Bruce was onto something, either way.