06 Jan 2011
in Bedraggled Mum, Fascinating Things Tags: Child, Doctor, Husband, Mommy, Saffa, South Africa, Spiders, Squidge
Seriously. Was I completely and utterly insane? Why did I allow myself to clamber onto that plane on Monday night?
When did I get all responsible?
What I should have done was what my dear friend S did. Call a friend, grab the kid, climb out the bedroom window and hide until it was too late to catch the plane.
Instead I flew with a fever, high on paracetamol and ibuprofen, with a child. Alone. 12 hours to Madrid. Two hours in Madrid. Two hours to London, Heathrow. Two hours to home by car.
I discovered a GIGANTIC hole in my leg while having a lovely bubble bath (cold as water not hot yet, but hey, at least there were bubbles).
that had red lines emanating off it and looked terrifying
So what did I do? I did what every calm, self-respecting adult in the presence of a child would do. I shrieked, grabbed my child, ran upstairs and called The Husband (who was still wafting about Africa) on Skype.
“OMG I HAVE A GIGANTIC HOLE IN MY LEG AND I AM GOING TO DIE!” I explained calmly.
“Is it a mozzie bite,” he asked in a way that can only be described as maddening.
“A MOZZIE BITE?? I NEVER SAW A MOSQUITO THAT BIG? OH MY GOD IT WAS A SPIDER AND I AM GOING TO DIE!”
“Why don’t you go to the doctor? They are still open there, you know.”
Ten minutes later….
“I have a gigantic thing on my leg and it has red lines emanating off it and I am also extremely ill. I think that they might be related, my throat is so sore I can’t swallow and I’m having hot and cold sweats!”
Then she said the first thing that made me stop and stare, “What do you think it is?”
WHY did she ask me this? If I knew what it was I would be in the chemist downing the relevant medicines already. If I knew what it was, I wouldn’t be sitting here imagining baby spiders hatching on my calf, I would be drinking tea and poking it affectionately.
What did she expect me to say?
Then the doctor poked my hole, declared that it could be (and I am NOT kidding here) “anything“(this was the second thing that made me stop and stare) and proceeded to give me antibiotics. I need to point out I was now giggling.
Then she said, “Draw a line around it and if it gets bigger in the next few days, go to A&E for IV antibiotics.”
I genuinely felt she wasn’t taking my potential limb falling off due to toxic poison from previously undiscovered spider all that seriously.
Fortunately I was lucky and today, two days later, I can swallow food again (although inability to eat has made me feel nice and skinny), the hole has stopped glaring and emanating and is nearly gone, and I am not hallucinating. Yay!
P.S. I plan to bore you to DEATH about Africa once I am entirely recovered, finished unpacking the suitcases (no, I haven’t, shut up) and slept more. Brace yourself.
19 Oct 2010
in Bedraggled Mum, Saffa Tags: Husband, Saffa, South Africa, Spiders, Squidge
The Baboon Spider of South Africa
I hate spiders. In Africa we have BIG spiders. Spiders that like to climb onto the ceiling and DROP ONTO YOUR FACE.
I am not kidding.
I have been bitten by them, harassed by them, glared at, sneered at, and terrified by these horrible things. I hate them.
Now, in Africa some of our species are not so nice. They bite you and you get sick or you die. Fine. In the UK, spiders are not so filled with vengeance and fury. Here they have gone all politically correct and just hang about bathrooms drinking pints and nodding at you as you come in the door, “Heya.”
Still, they get big. Really big.
Spiders are Out To Get Me. They are. Spiders think I am their leader and they want to be with me. They do. You could put me in a vacuum and the only spider within five million miles would find me and swing on by to say hi.
I, on the other hand, am terrified. Sit up, fall back, collapse in a heap, stand and scream terrified. Even of the small ones, yes.
In our old house I wandered into the bathroom to brush my teeth. As I reached for my toothbrush there he was. Huge, hairy, menacing. It was the Tony Soprano of Spiders. I could see him in the MIRROR. Which meant…he.was.behind.me.
I had walked past him to get to the toothbrush. I was trapped. I screamed. I screamed and screamed and leapt onto the toilet and screamed. It didn’t matter that Squidge was asleep in the room next door or that I was giving The Husband heart failure. No. I needed rescuing, NOW.
When The Husband arrived I insisted he stand in front of me like a human shield, and we sidled out of the bathroom together. There was no way I was staying in there to watch The Husband try and catch Tony. Tony would only have run to me for help. He thinks I am his friend.
I am not alone in hating these horrible, hairy, scuttly things that sort of zither up to you and DANGLE at you. Shudder.
So, every night before I go to bed I have to lift up the duvet and the pillows to check for spiders. Heaven forbid they find my new house and make little hairy visits.
01 Aug 2010
in Fascinating Things, Saffa, Slightly Insane Tags: Saffa, Spiders
It appears that exotic pets around the world have received a memo – Escape And Scare The Natives. I am finding it hilarious.
So, on Tuesday Panjo the tiger escaped from the back of his owners’ bakkie in South Africa. While on his way to the vet, Panjo broke free from his cage and went off to explore the surrounds of Pretoria. It wasn’t the fact that there was a 140kg tiger running loose that got me but rather the news coverage that surrounded it.
The radio stations in SA were all chatting about there being a tiger on the loose the same way you might discuss some tea leaves having come loose. The online coverage was hysterical. My personal favourites are this one from the BBC where they felt it necessary to point out that tigers are not native to SA. HAHAHA. And this one where they talk about him having a bottle on the sofa like a baby.
I guess I just found the fact that the owner was really worried about Panjo’s cuts and bruises very amusing. Not because I want a tiger to be hurt, no no, but because it’s a TIGER. These animals roam jungles and kill us with a pat of their paw. And we’re worried about him wandering around the bush for a few days?
The second animal that has decided to amble off into the wild is a pet boa constrictor in Essex.
What is with these people and their insane pets? A tiger I can kind of understand. I mean, tigers are cool and a pet tiger is somewhat awesome. But a pet boa constrictor? Can you even train it not to eat you?
Again, I am demonstrating my dark sense of humour by finding this entire article hysterically funny. I started giggling at, “bathroom window”, and was almost crying by, “It is possible the breeding season could have encouraged the reptile to go out hunting and it may have left the town“. I am aware of the fact that laughing about a rogue boa constrictor is A Bad Thing, but I’d like to assume he will be found, won’t have injured any Yorkshire Terriers, and will be safely home before long.
However, on a slightly more arachnaphobic note, I have often wondered whether any of those completely insane (in my opinion because I am terrified) people who collect deadly spiders have had any escapes? What would happen if someone accidently knocked over a glass case with a hairy nasty in it? What would happen if they knocked them all over? I mean, that can happen. Anything can happen.
Would these spiders get loose, breed and start a reign of terror in a country that is not prepared for toxic spiders? Would they die because the weather conditions are not ideal? I know this thought gives me the creepy crawlie terrors. I can only hope that this “accident” happens in the middle of winter so any escapees freeze to death.