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Fighting a losing battle with aliens.

JUST when you thought it was safe to go back in the kharzi...

Having spent some considerable time sloshing paint and other noxious liquids on walls and ceilings, installing new light fittings and generally upgrading the family pile from the horrendous seventies decorative nightmare we inherited, you would have thought that uncovering several spider colonies that established themselves behind the now scrapped curtain pelmets, Levy towers would be arachnid free.

The pristine white walls and ceilings and the lack of drapes and curtains in our now lighter, and seemingly larger living room, allow the observer to spot any and every foreign body that has the temerity to show its face.

I was brought back to reality by a muffled scream, putting down my book I found her indoors pointing up to the ceiling in the visitor toilet. Hanging from the new paintwork was the biggest house spider I have ever seen, with a spread of legs some four inches across and a body the size of an old shilling piece. This escapee from Harry Potter's forbidden forest was going to take some shifting.

The old tried and tested wine glass and beer mat strategy will not work here, more drastic measures will be needed. She suggested whacking it with my slipper...what! And stain the new paint job?! It was down to a soup bowl and a large cardboard sheet, and into the garden it went, job done.

"Night time in the city of New Orleans, Illinois central, Monday morning rail..."

"Tony! There's a spider in the living room!" Again I am shook out of my vision of steam trains in America and a story of a rail trip to the heart of Dixie. I turn down the volume and Willie Nelson fades into the background, and once more dear friends into the breach, another eight-legged nasty wonderfully illuminated by our new lights on the pristine white living room ceiling.

Question: where are they coming from? After a year of painting, decorating, new this, replaced that, we thought we had shifted the many and various lifeforms that infest the average family home. Am I still expected to do battle with flying, creeping, slithering and flapping aliens that regard this bit of England as fair game? "Fifteen coachers, 15 restless riders, three conductors, 25 sacks of mail..."

I settle down and continue my rail journey through middle America with Willie Nelson, safe in the knowledge that whatever fate throws at me, like Humphrey Bogart in Casablanca, we will always have spiders.

Tony Levy, Wednesfield

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Publication:Birmingham Mail (England)
Date:Aug 5, 2017
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