Tag: Balloons

What if we all have our own versions of heaven and hell?

This is the weird thought I had just now, while eating some orange Viennetta.

This is utterly yummy squared

This, divine chocolate orange delight, would exist in my heaven. This thought made me wonder what else would be in my heaven. I came up with the following list of things:

  • Velvet furnishings
  • Cheese
  • Red wine (Ian Botham red wine or red wine from the Middle East)
  • Chocolate orange (in many incarnations, not just Viennetta)
  • The sea
  • Christmas
  • A hula hoop
  • An endless supply of art materials
  • Books

I decided, at this point, that we all perhaps have our own versions of heaven. My heaven may not be yours. In fact, my heaven could be your hell. My brother, for example, hates velvet. I don’t expect him to visit me in heaven  too often.

So, as easy as it is  to come up with my heaven, it is to conjure my hell. This is what I expect to find, should I be banished down under for that time when I accidentally poked a monkey at Dudley Zoo with a biro:

  • Balloons
  • Fireworks
  • Vomit
  • Cat diarrhoea
  • Naughty boys from Walton High School circa 1983-5
  • Party poppers
  • People who like to pull down the bits of skin below their eyes to show their eyeballs
  • Intolerant people
  • Sprouts

Eugh!

Let’s hope that St Peter lets me go upwards. I have been fairly good, most of my life, except the odd transgression related to West Midlands animal attractions, so here’s hoping.

 

 

Why do spiders seem to prefer old houses?

For the last year now, I have been living in a house in the country. I haven’t been living here alone. I’m not referring to my fellow humans. I’m not even referring to the four-legged furry creature who seems to want to hang around with us, especially when she’s hungry. I’m not even talking about the rabbits, mice, shrews and squirrels we see in the garden. Nor am I referring to the odd duck or pheasant. I’m talking about creatures with more than four legs, mainly, those with eight legs. The spiders.

The furry thing lives here and is rubbish at spider pest control

I have never before lived somewhere so beset by spiders. They are everywhere. There isn’t just the odd one in each room. There are tens of them in each room. There are big ones, and little ones, but mostly big ones. And they weave their homes all over the ceiling, the beams, between pieces of furniture, and sometimes against things that get moved quite often such as the box of cat food or a can of deodorant in the bathroom. They work quickly. If you stand still for long enough, they will weave their home using you as a post. These spiders are mostly big. There aren’t many tiny scurrying ones. They are mostly the sort that have legs that go up before they go down.

One of our many house guests

My weird thought is: do these creatures naturally like old houses? Or is it because the house is in the countryside? Is it the presence of beams that attracts them – natural building blocks for their webs? Or do they, on some level, just enjoy making an old house appear spooky? It is an old house, a 17th-century farmhouse I believe, so it needs to look spooky. It comes with the image.

I’ve lived in old houses before though, in towns and in the country. I’ve also lived in modern houses. But this is definitely the most spidery house I’ve ever lived in.

The beautiful knitting of spiders

I don’t mind the spiders. Is it strange that they don’t scare me, not even remotely? If I had a phobia, I could not live here. My equivalent would be living in a house with balloons on the walls in every room. I couldn’t live in that house. So I understand why someone with a phobia of spiders would struggle to live here.

I could not live in this house

Every so often, I go around with my trusty hand-held dyson or a feather duster to ‘de-cobweb’ the house. However, I really don’t enjoy this. I read Chalotte’s Webb as a child and I still feel as if I am destroying homes and hours of work, as well as destroying objects of beauty. Not only that, the spiders help keep the fly population at bay here and we are as beset with flies as we are with spiders having lots of cattle and water buffalo nearby. So by my destroying the cobwebs just in order to make the house look ‘tidy’ and ‘clean’ I am destroying the delicate balance of its natural eco-system and causing myself to be more annoyed by flies? I only do it for appearances sake and to stop the children moaning about the creepy crawlies. I don’t mind the floaty, spooky netting that hangs above me as I sleep. I like it. But, I do it anyway. I don’t move the spiders themselves. I guess they just keep building new homes after I’ve left with my dyson.

Examples of dinner, saved for later

Perhaps our next house should be a new build and I wouldn’t then have the guilt. I’m not sure I can do that though. I am too much in love with old houses, spooky or not. I think I want to live with my eight-legged friends. They keep me company.

What I fear more than ballons

I have quite a few phobias, probably more than the average person.

I am scared of (to differing degrees) the following: balloons, fireworks, party poppers, worms, vomit, belly buttons and not being able to find a toilet if I need one.

I have sweaty palms downloading this image

I have sweaty palms downloading this image

However, this week I realised that there is something I am scared of much more than any of the things in that list: boredom. I am really scared of being bored.

Aghhh run away!

Aghhh run away!

The last nine months (since about September) have been the busiest few months of my life. I’ve had two major work projects going on at the same time and my final art course project started in November and is due to finish in May. An evening hasn’t passed without me having some work to catch up on, or a blog entry to write, some art to research to do or some more work to catch up on. I feel as if I haven’t sat down for longer than five minutes in nine months.

My brain when I am busy

My brain when I am busy

I have a to-do list of all those filddly jobs that never get done: book cat in for her MOT, ring dentist to check they have the correct phone number for me, sew on Cubs badges, sort through pile of letters, check bank account, do invoices, read a book for half an hour without distraction.

If you don't book me in for my MOT soon I'll, I'll drink toilet water

If you don’t book me in for my MOT soon I’ll, I’ll drink toilet water

However, the work load and the college demands are due to ease after May 19th. May 19th has loomed as this golden date of freedom for me since November. I’ve had to to people: ‘I can do that, but only after May 19th’, ‘I’ll be free, after May 19th’. Now we are two weeks away from the golden date of May 19th, I’ve started to feel a bit jittery.

I’m due to start another college course in October, I also have a video to make in June and July for the History Makers project, I still have a fair amount of work to do, I’ll still be helping out at my sons’ school with various art projects, yet I fear boredom will get me before October. I fear not being busy all the time. I fear not having the need to run everywhere. I fear not having my brain whizzing with thoughts all the time. If it is not whizzing with work thoughts and art thoughts, what will it think about? That is too scary to contemplate.

So I need a few balls to replace those that will drop. I know that I shouldn’t find new balls. I should enjoy the time to have fewer balls.  But how? I don’t know.

Three balls are enough

Three balls are enough