Sunday, 22 September 2013

Slug herding for beginners

Now when I moved from London to Buckinghamshire I was looking forward to seeing a bit more wildlife. To be honest though it hasn’t been quite what I expected.
My first experience of nature was an arachnid. Never all that promising.
Not only do I have an unusual assortment of chairs, I am also vertically challenged when it comes to my sleeping arrangements ie. I have been sleeping on a mattress on the floor. My gorgeous sleigh bed that fitted so beautifully in my house in North London did not fit so well when I moved to West London so was, yet again, stored in my parents loft.
Now here is an interesting thing. Attics get very hot.. perhaps something to do with the fact they are nearer the sun than the rest of the house.. who knew?
Wood and extreme heat are also not the best of friends. Suffices to say when it came to rebuilding my bedframe to move to Buckinghamshire  it had warped beyond recognition and was now more suitable for traversing white water rapids than accommodating a mattress.
Hence the reason that the mattress is now directly on the floor.
Ordinarily that wouldn’t be a problem. Saves on hoovering under the bed and if inebriated falling out of bed is not a painful experience.
However it does mean that you are also near to wildlife.
In the first fortnight I had no TV so wiled away the hours by listening to audio books. I have a good selection as I listen to them a lot while working. But on the fateful night of this story I had decided to listen to one in bed. My small stereo was lit up as it played and out of the corner of my eye I saw the light blink.  Strange. It was almost as if something had passed in front of it. But as my cat was not with me I thought nothing more of it. A trick of the light. I was perhaps tired. Then however I heard it. A faint tapping noise almost like.. a many footed creature.. Holy Macaroni!  Then I saw it. A spider the size of a sparrow.
Now the realisation hit me. I lived alone. No one else here to de-bug my house.
It is times like this I wish I had CCTV. I could have made a killing entering that video into one of those home video shows because trying to catch a whopping great spider with legs like  coat hangers and bobbly knee caps when you are not keen/scared shitless of spiders is a real challenge. 
First you have the running about with a glass and a piece of newspaper. You parry back and forth like a pair of fencers.. I chase it .. it chases me.. I run away screaming before trying to creep up on it from behind and catch it unawares again. Then you have the horror THE HORROR of it glaring at you from the inside of a jar while you rush to a window trying not to throw up only to discover it is shut and somehow you’re going to have to open it by kung fu kicking the latch without the neighbours seeing your underwear.
I can only say it was a stressful first night.
I woke slightly dishevelled and went downstairs. I slid open the patio door and walked into the conservatory to survey my small yet perfectly formed garden. Only to see *shudder* a slug, an actual bloody slug on the inside of the glass ceiling.
How the heck it managed to get in when all the windows were shut was beyond me. How to get it out again was also beyond me.
Now, letting it climb onto a piece of card seemed good at first.. But do slugs adhere to cardboard? What if it fell off and landed on me? *Bletch* The carpet was good I did not want to risk throwing up on it. What about getting two twigs and gently tweezing it off? Seemed a sound idea. I tried it.
It appears slugs are extremely sticky. It did not budge but the middle squeezed in so it looked like it had a tight belt on *double bletch and much running around screaming*. (Honestly there are definite drawbacks to a) living by yourself and b) having a room made entirely of windows that neighbours can see you running in circles screaming and waving your hands in the air through.)
Then the truth dawned on me. I would have to herd it like a sheep. Slugs are an interesting species. They seem to have no sense of direction when it comes to making a bid for freedom.
I nudged it’s bottom and it moved a bit. I nudged it again, it moved again. Progress. It was now moving down towards the door I had opened. Now here was my mistake. I took a small break here to do some more running about and screaming and when my heart rate  had returned to a more acceptable level some 10 minutes later I returned to find… it had gone. *Phew*
Shit a Brick!  It hadn’t gone it was now on the other wall *insert more screaming waving of arms and running about* How on earth? It had bypassed the open door completely. So in order not to be outwitted I began my slug herding again.
It is a painfully slow business. Forty minutes of slug herding later it was gone and I was slug free.
There is I am sure a very good moral to this story, but the only one I can think of, is I have discovered that to add to my previous neurosis I am now scared of slugs, oh yeah, and wildlife is not always what it seems.

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