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Creepy-crawlies January 9, 2006

Posted by BiB in Uncategorized.

I’m due to set off on a fairly exotic adventure in a week’s time so just to make sure I work myself up into a frenzy before getting on a 6-year flight on my own, I’ve started, in good time, to think about things to needlessly worry about. This process was set in motion by an old and loyal friend. Our very own Berlin Spinne. No, not a Teuton band doing snappy cover versions such as, “I’ll be arbeiting my Weg zurück zu dir, Schatz.” No, our house pet, the spider that has lived in our tiny bathroom (without a bath) for a good few months. I’m beginning to worry for his – dunno why I’ve decided he’s a man. He just looks like a bit of a Jens – welfare. Because there seems to be nothing at all in the way of spider-fodder to eat in our bathroom. I have occasionally worried if he’s hanging dead, but then he’s mysteriously in another corner the next time I come in to check on him. (Unless the Russian is sparing my feelings and is carefully removing the dead spider every few hours and gluing him in a new position.) But perhaps spiders don’t need much in the way of sustenance. Can they go for months without a single entomic morsel? Or maybe I worry about Jens’s welfare needlessly. Perhaps there are all sorts of aphids and other micro-creatures infesting our bathroom (without the bath) and Jens is having a slap-up binge every day. But then he does look a bit thin – as daddy-long-legs-like as arachnid, really – and he’s too depressed, I’m guessing, to have even bothered spinning himself a web. All very worrying. But at least he’s warm.

Anyway, Jens the spider got me worrying about spiders. Now a putatively hungry, homely, thin, lanky spider like Jens couldn’t scare anyone. But I am about to set off to the southern hemisphere. No, not to terrifying Australia. But mysterious-on-the-danger-front New Zealand. Is New Zealand hiding its fatally dangerous light under a bushel? I know those Aussies love to boast about their crocs and lethal spiders and all sorts of other charmless members of the animal kingdom. But what about New Zealand? Is it all just flightless birds and Merino sheep? Or am I going to get stung, bitten or pecked to death by some unknown (to me) creature? I think my sister-in-law-to-be did once say something about one fatal strain of spider – obviously only the most distant of relations to Jens, who wouldn’t hurt a fly (but would, of course, eat one) – but they were very rare (or killed 80% of New Zealanders a year. Can’t remember which).

Still, a couple of weeks of winter sun AND getting to see the water go down the plughole the other way are surely worth the risk…


1. Anonymous - January 10, 2006

No need to worry about venomous creatures in kiwi-land – they only have the katipo spider and it’s rare and on the beach. No snakes, nothing.
It’s the poor kiwis who come over here to Oz who worry.

Where are you going in NZ? It’s a big country and magnificent for bushwalking or tramping as they call it. Much better than those adventure sports is plain nature seen with a rucksack – and there’s no snakes and few spiders to worry about.


2. BiB - January 11, 2006

Well, the base will be Auckland, and, what with wedding duties and all, I don’t know how much free time I’ll get. But everyone in the world I know raves about NZ, of course, so I hope I’ll get to have a bit of a tramp somewhere.

3. Arachnid chat « BiB - November 21, 2006

[…] Jens, our house spider, has my sympathy in ever greater quantities the more I think about him. A very public-spirited, but anonymous – blog-wise – Jon in Australia has given me encouraging news on the NZ-fauna front. There are no snakes there and only one spider which is pretty rare. […]

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