Friday, 23 March 2012

Spiders and Dinosaurs

The Castle has been a bustle of activity recently.  Jupiter is bright in the sky, the winds have been howling and bitter for the time of year, the sun has been out, then clouded over, then out, and heavier than normal rains have caused flooding in some nearby towns - luckily the only ill effect this has had on us has been the need to cut the lawns more than usual.

There was a spider incident earlier this week – a particularly clever, powerful and wily one managed to circumvent our defences and make it’s way indoors - my wife - after the fashion of all great dictators - simply declared she wanted it ‘taken care of’, as if it was a troublesome witness in a multi-billion dollar drugs case.  She stipulated only that I wasn’t to make a mess.

Understand this: there are two ways I wage war against spiders and their kind - chemical, or violent. Sometimes both.  

Avoiding a mess was a troublesome consideration my methods were ill-equipped to accommodate.  On the plus side, if I could manage the deed when no-one was around then I could clean up and pretend that little out of the ordinary had happened before the UN inspection team arrived to ensure nothing unsanctioned was going on.

Perhaps I should have captured it, taken it outside and released it.  But then maybe it had grown to like the indoors - no chilling wind, no rain, no hawks, no other spiders to battle with over territory and webbing rights.  Then I stared into it’s beady eyes; for a moment I imagined I could see into it’s fractured mind... yes, the indoors are nice... all I need to do is to rid the place of the large mammals inhabiting it... yes…

Needless to say I was shocked and alarmed at these imagined confessions and dark hopes.  Immediate and decisive action was required to neutralise the threat.  I did what had to be done.  Bilbo would have been proud: progeny of Ungoliant defeated in a mighty, but short, struggle.

Work has been hectic, for some reason the ends of a term never wind down like the romantic image of a clockwork toy slowly losing power.  They end violently, like a supernova, a splash of frenetic energy and then gone. 

I presented at a Professional Development this week – on a variety of Literacy Tasks.  Happily I managed to squeeze in some games like Bananagrams, Backseat Drawing, My Word and the like.  I’ll blog about it in the next few days – I feel it went well, but one never knows of course – unless there is an immediate and spontaneous cry to build a colossal statue commemorating your achievements.

I also ordered a new book.  I’ve been looking at a bunch, some on the dark ages, some the crusades, some about the Normans in Italy and Sicily, Alain de Botton’s ‘Religion for Atheists’ – which looks interesting.  In the end I ran with something out of left field.  ‘Dinosaur Odyssey’ by Dr. Scott Sampson – the same Dr. Scott from the Dinosaur Train animated series.  

It looks good – I loved dinosaurs as a youngling; when summer’s passed glacially over the Castle like a haze of warmth and sunshine, when grasses seemed greener and lizards scurried to and fro in secret hurry.  Now my lad is falling in love with dinosaurs like I did, and that is helping me rediscover my fascination with them as well.  Dinosaur Odyssey covers a lot of recent palaeontology as well as a more general overview of their mighty epoch – which should make for interesting reading.  I’ll try and do a review once it has arrived and I have read it.

So a week has nearly gone again.  The turn of the universe passes silent and implacable, only the death of a spider and the bustle of work to mark its movement here at the Castle.  Hopefully I’ll manage to blog again in the next few days – I’ll give a quick description of the games I related to literacy, and our school games day is coming up as well – so I can’t miss talking about that.

Until then.



  1. was this a poisonous spider or was it just bluffing?

  2. It made up for it's lack of venom through brute size and imposing bulk.

    I sang Attercop from the kitchen, then scurried to the dining hall and bested it, enraged as it was, in single combat.