I was sitting on the sofa when, suddenly, as if on well oiled castors, the biggest spider I have ever seen shot into view and then stopped, abruptly.

There are people who find spiders delightful and I admit, in the right place they are fascinating.

But the sitting room feels like the wrong place and I was startled.

Usually at times like this I resort to a tumbler and a sheet of paper. You simply advance on the spider, cover it quickly with the glass and slide the paper underneath. Then taking care not to dislodge the paper you can easily relocate the prisoner outside.

But when I returned from the kitchen suitably equipped, the spider has been alerted. It was hiding -somewhere.

Inching towards the spot where I had last seen it I climbed on to an arm chair and cautiously moved the basket where I keep old magazines.

Aha! The spider was there, stock still and watchful, it’s two front legs pushed forwards, looking like a highway man with loaded pistols. I felt that it’s eyes were gleaming.

Lowering the tumbler I realised that the tried and tested method was going to be useless, Spider Turpin being wider than the diameter of the tumbler which was seven centimetres in all.

I went back to the kitchen and returned with a large tea cup only to find that again the spider had beaten a hasty retreat and despite a thorough search with all the lights on, it stayed hidden.
Later that night I opened the kitchen window and a large moth hurtled in and flew straight up my sleeve and then out through the neck of my jumper!

What on earth was going on!

When I sat down to finish writing I felt another insect crawling on my neck! I worked out that this traveller had dropped on to me as I brushed past a shrub in the garden on my way to the recycling box.

The next morning  as I was opening the front door I noticed a sad, ragged looking shrivelled assortment of legs on the mat- it looked for all the world like Spider Turpin. A sad ending.

But no! In the kitchen, filling the kettle what should I find beneath a small pile of washing up but a large, very much alive,  Turpinish spider which I successfully helped outside.

Which leads me to conclude that there are possibly many of these spiders in my house!

I read in the paper later that at this time of year male spiders come indoors searching for females but that leads me to wonder: what are the females doing inside in the first place? Are they hiding from the males? Or do the spiders agree to meet indoors on certain Autumn days? Do the females live outside at all?

And once they have mated, where do they go?


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