Friday, 8 August 2014

Careful what you wish for

The seemingly endless parade of hot sticky days has been taking its toll. The lack of sleep, poor appetite, and heat-induced irritability have combined to make me pine for a bit of coolness; a bit of rain to take the edge off the oppressive humidity that weighs me down in these conditions.
Obviously mother nature got fed up of my constant bitching about it all and decided today to give us about a year's worth of rain in the space of two hours. To say the journey home from work was interesting would be a serious understatement.
With my usual routes appearing to be at a standstill I took one of the back roads in the hope that the traffic, even if slow, would at least be moving.
What I didn't reckon on was the havoc caused by such a biblical downpour. The roads were quite literally like rivers in places, needing first gear and slow progress to prevent pushing a bow wave ahead. More than once I was caught out and the water piled up over the bonnet and windscreen making me paranoid that the air intake might ingest a slug of water, bringing the engine to a sudden halt leaving me stranded to await the imminent arrival of Noah, looking smug.
Luckily the old girl kept pushing on despite the clutch getting wet and juddering, and the ever-present danger of suddenly finding myself afloat, which would be bad news because whoever bought the car new neglected to have the optional outboard motor fitted. Hope the cat survived the sudden cooling whenever it got immersed because I really don't fancy the bill for a new one of those.
Arriving home after seventy minutes of nightmare driving through pounding rain and flood water, with manhole covers being pushed up by the water pressure in the drains and spewing torrents of god-knows-what back to the surface to mingle with the rest of the rainwater that had nowhere to go, I finally breathed a sigh of relief.
Should have been off to do the grocery shopping, but there was no way I was going out again if I didn't have to, so it was a quick walk to the local Chinese for a good old-fashioned MSG-laden blowout with the added bonus of successfully function-testing the wellies.

With the belly satisfied, I can now sit back and ponder the best way to approach my main job for this weekend - for tomorrow I'm going hunting. Unfortunately this expedition doesn't involve going very far, and there's no need for any sort of firearm because on this occasion my target is the annual influx of arachnids.
We back on to farmland, and every time the harvest is gathered, the entire spider population of the field makes it's way to my house in the mistaken assumption they'll be safer there than taking their chances in a straight-up fight with a Claas Lexion 600 combine.
Apart from cats I actually like most animals. I'm just as happy cuddling a rabbit as I am converting one into a nice casserole, I find meerkats adorable, and I even felt sorry for the two muntjacs (looked like mother and baby) who were driven from their hideout in the field of rapeseed when it was being harvested, and ran off in separate directions. Wonder if they found each other again.........?
I do however draw the line at certain bugs. I can cope with them if they're in their own bit of the world, but when they decide they want to invade my little patch then it's all-out warfare.
Few things freak me out more than the sight of one of those big hairy black spiders scuttling across the floor when I'm sitting there cringing at some poor unfortunate on the telly getting the 'Embarrassing Bodies' doctors to look at their disfigured intimate bits that really should have had medical attention a long time ago. I'm getting better though, because whereas I used to waste time looking for a suitably weighty book to drop onto the intruder, now I just splat it with my hand and worry about cleaning up the gunk once I'm sure it's not going to get up again.
The only good thing about these things is that they're generally easy to spot, but the same cannot be said for the ones that come out at night and run around the house with the specific intention of creating as many cobwebs as possible for me to walk through when I get up for a piss at 3AM.
These buggers are this weekend's targets. It's a search-and-destroy mission on the scale of one of those Tom Cruise films where he runs around and dangles from the ceiling a lot. Although my effort will involve less machine guns and C4 explosives, and rather more Henry vacuum cleaners, feather dusters and a great deal of furniture moving, the spirit will be very much the same.
Brace yourself, spiders. The Terminator is coming.

A Claas act no doubt, but it's the sign of impending invasion...