Tuesday 29 March 2011

'Fruit Punch'

Etched Lampwork Glass Beads
These orange beads have been encased in dusky rose and decorated with indigo stringerwork.  They've been etched to a soft velvety finish.  They're currently for sale over on the Freshly Baked Beads page of my website.

Sunday 27 March 2011

Like Hotcakes

Cherry Cupcake Bead
I've just added a few of these sweet cherry cupcake beads to my Freshly Baked Beads page.

They're £10.00 each but you'd best be quick as I doubt they'll hang around for long .....

Friday 25 March 2011

Packing Up

Packing up beads in the sunshine
Beads, that is.  Outside in the spring sunshine.  How nice has the weather been this week?

I can't stop.  I know I owe you a lengthy blog post but right now I have to mop the kitchen floor and then I'll be heading shedward.  I'll try and write some words over the weekend.  

Until then, enjoy the sunshine!

Tuesday 22 March 2011

'Blueberry & Mango'

Lampwork Glass Beads
These bright and cheery beads sold last night.  Rich mango yellow-orange encased in sparkling clear and decorated with indigo polka dots.

Monday 21 March 2011

Springtime, New Beads & Thanks

Lampwork Glass Beads
Spring is officially here!  To get you in the mood for all things fresh, new and pretty I've made these delicate 'Springtime' beads.  They're made in palest green and a gorgeous peachy pink.  These beads and more will be for sale on the Freshly Baked Beads page of my website at 8.30pm (UK time) tonight.

I'd just like to say a massive thank you to everybody who bought my Beads For Japan and to those who kindly made extra donations.  Together we've raised £150.00 for the British Red Cross Japan Tsunami Appeal.  I'm very pleased with that. Well done us! 

Have a marvellous Monday!

Saturday 19 March 2011

Beads For Japan: Sale Three

Here are the final beads that I'm selling for the Japan Tsunami Appeal.

My Beads For Japan sales work on a first come, first served basis.  One hundred percent of the proceeds will go to the British Red Cross Japan Tsunami Appeal.  Once I have made the payment to the fund I will add a screenshot of the payment confirmation to this post.

Payment will need to be made by PayPal.

Please email me with your choice of bead/s and I will get back to you to let you know if they're yours and to arrange payment by PayPal.

Beads For Japan: Sale Three

SOLD Thank you, Rebecca
Lampwork Glass Beads
Five green beads encased in dusky lilac and decorated with white stringerwork and a raised flower.  They've been etched to a soft velvety finish.  The beads measure 13mm diameter and they have 2mm diameter bead holes.

Price : £20.00 including worldwide postage.

'Lemon Meringue Cupcake'
SOLD Thank you, Laura
Glass Cupcake Bead
A cute cupcake with a light brown base, white icing and pale yellow sprinkles.  The bead is 16mm tall and has a 2mm diameter bead hole. 

Price : £10.00 including worldwide postage.

Many thanks

EDIT: I've just made the last payment to the Japan Tsunami Appeal. Jackie, who bought a cupcake in the first Beads For Japan sale, gave me an extra £20.00 to add to the Beads For Japan fund.  That's just super duper lovely!  So the final donation is £50.00.

Thursday 17 March 2011

Just to say .....

..... I haven't forgotten the third lot of Beads For Japan.  I will be putting them up for sale here on my blog on Saturday.

Tuesday 15 March 2011

Beads For Japan: Sale Two

Here is the second lot of beads that I'm selling to raise money for the Japan Tsunami Appeal.

My Beads For Japan sales work on a first come, first served basis.  One hundred percent of the proceeds will go to the British Red Cross Japan Tsunami Appeal.  Once I have made the payment to the fund I will add a screenshot of the payment confirmation to this post.

Payment will need to be made by PayPal.

Please email me with your choice of bead/s and I will get back to you to let you know if they're yours and to arrange payment by PayPal.

Beads For Japan: Sale Two

'Purquoise Spotties'
SOLD Thanks, Kanina.
Lampwork Glass Beads
Five turquoise beads encased in crystal clear and decorated with purple spots.  The beads measure 13mm diameter and they have 2mm diameter bead holes.

Price : £20.00 including worldwide postage.

'Cherry Cupcake'
SOLD  Thanks, Fi.
Glass Cupcake Bead
A cute cupcake with a light brown base, white icing and a shiny, deep red cherry.  The bead is 17mm tall and has a 2mm diameter bead hole. 

Price : £10.00 including worldwide postage.

I will be holding one more Beads For Japan sale so if you don't manage to get any beads this time there will be another chance.

Thank you

EDIT: I've just made tonight's payment to the Japan Tsunami Appeal. Kanina kindly added an extra £10.00 to her donation.  Also, when I sold the Springtime Shimmer beads on my website last night, Claire, the lovely lady who bought them, paid double and asked me to add the extra to the Beads For Japan fund.  How brilliant!  So tonight's donation is £60.00.

Monday 14 March 2011

Beads For Japan: Sale One

Lampwork Glass Cupcake Beads For Japan

These three beads are now all sold.  Stay tuned for more .....

Following on from my previous post, here are the first lot of beads that I'm selling to raise money for the Japan Tsunami Appeal.

My Beads For Japan sales work on a first come, first served basis.  One hundred percent of the proceeds will go to the British Red Cross Japan Tsunami Appeal.  Once I have made the payment to the fund I will add a screenshot of the payment confirmation to this post.

Payment will need to be made by PayPal.

Please email me with your choice of bead/s and I will get back to you to let you know if they're yours and to arrange payment by PayPal.

Beads For Japan: Sale One

These cupcake beads are about 16mm tall and have 2mm diameter bead holes.

Each one costs £10.00 including worldwide postage.

Please email me with your choice of cream icing, white icing or pink icing.

Cream Icing : SOLD Thank you, Tina.
White Icing : SOLD Thank you, Jackie.
Pink Icing : SOLD Thank you, Caroline.

I will be holding two more Beads For Japan sales so if you don't manage to get any beads this time there will be another couple of chances.

Many thanks

EDIT: I've just made the payment of £40.00 to the Japan Tsunami Appeal. Lovely Tina wanted to pay double for her cupcake bead.  How wonderful is that?  The confirmation of the donation is pictured below :

Beads For Japan

Photograph from Kyodo/Reuters
Right now it's near on impossible to watch the news and not feel totally helpless.  The shocking footage from Japan has made me cry on more than one occasion.  What really got me yesterday were the pictures of the little children in their wellies being carried onto vans and boats.  Their tiny faces looked so bewildered and frightened.

Photograph from Kyodo/Reuters
You just can't imagine what the Japanese people are going through.

It's horrific.

I was sat making beads yesterday, listening to the radio and I just felt awful.  There I was going about my normal everyday routine while these horrendous things are happening in Japan.

I'll tell you what, though - it's at times like this that you see the really ugly side of some people.  I felt physically sick when I read on Twitter that some people (nobody I follow, I hasten to add) seem to think that the Japanese earthquake and tsunami is some kind of karmic payback for Pearl Harbor.  Who the bloody hell thinks such a thing and then shares their disgusting, ignorant thoughts with the rest of the internet?  Such vile, spiteful people must surely be deranged?  Or stupid.  It makes me livid.

But of course, that's just a tiny handful of sick morons.  The vast majority of humankind want to help Japan and its people in whatever way they can. The British Red Cross have been in Japan since Friday with their medical teams and support staff and they've set up the Japan Tsunami Appeal.

So after I'd finished making my 'normal' beads yesterday I spent an extra hour in the shed and decided that I would sell whatever beads I made in that time and give one hundred percent of the proceeds to the Red Cross appeal.

I will do the same today and tomorrow.

The Beads For Japan will be sold here, on my blog, on a first come, first served basis.  I will accept payment by PayPal only and as soon as I have made the payment to the Red Cross I will post a screenshot of the payment confirmation here on my blog.  I know that you wouldn't think that I would pull an Arthur-Fowler-And-The-Christmas-Club-Money style scam but I want this to be done correctly.

I'll be posting the first three Beads For Japan here very shortly so please do stay tuned.

Thank you,

Sunday 13 March 2011

New Beads

Lampwork Glass Cupcake Bead Set
This is just a quick note to tell you that this cupcake bead set will be for sale, along with a few other sets, on the Freshly Baked Beads page of my website tonight at 8.00pm (UK time).

Saturday 12 March 2011

Meridian Ariel

Luke & Threepio pin badge by Meridian Ariel
Have I told you how much I love Twitter?  Have I?

Oh right.  I have.

But I really really like it and the people who are part of it.  One of those people is Apryl Lowe who is also known as Meridian Ariel.  Apryl makes all sorts of groovy things including these marvellous pin badges :

Pin badges by Meridian Ariel

They're made with images from the pages of an old Star Wars annual so how could I resist them?  I thought I was going to love the Lando one best but no, the winner is the Luke and Threepio one that's at the top of this post.

Apryl sent me a sweet little Jayne-from-Firefly-inspired 'Cunning Hat' badge too.  Shiny.

But Apryl does way more than badges. She also makes the sweetest 'Little Monster' dolls like this one :

The Ghost Boy
Photograph by Merdidan Ariel
His name is Merle The Ghost Boy and, like all of Apryl's dolls, he comes with his own little story.  Merle is a typography nut and he can't stand Papyrus and Comic Sans.  That makes him brilliant in my book.  Merle is currently looking for a home, bless him.  And his buttony eyes. 

All of Apryl's dolls, badges, drawings, jewellery and other assorted goodies come packaged in the most wonderful way accompanied by sweet typewritten notes.  You can click here to visit the Meridian Ariel Etsy shop to see more of Apryl's work and she also blogs here.

I'm off to the shed now.  I've got glass to melt and beads to make.

Happy Saturday!

Wednesday 9 March 2011

Quick note about ordering beads

I'm going to have a little break from the bead orders for a while.  I need to complete the ones I have and then I'm going to have myself a little stint of making-the-beads-I-want-to-make beads.  It's not that I don't appreciate your orders - I really really do but I just need a little breather.  I also need a little bit of time to try out new ideas and designs.

If you'd like to order beads - and yes, do please order away - you'll need to do so by Friday 11th March and I will get them made as soon as I can.
The Beads To Order page won't be going away for good.  It will return in a couple of months.  

Thanks, everybody!

The Tale Of The Wedding Physalis

The Fruit Within
Photograph by Twoshoes3 on Flickr
Last week's Graze box contained a punnet of 'Italian Stallion'.  It wasn't half as exotic as it sounds.  It was a mix of green raisins, blueberries, cranberries and dried physalis.  I ferreted through the tray and removed all the physalis before adding the rest of the fruit to my bowl of Special K.  I just can't eat physalis, you see.  Not because I think they're disgusting or because they repulse me (mind you, they don't look very pretty in dried form) but because my late Great Auntie Jean choked on one at a wedding. Before I tell The Tale Of The Wedding Physalis I'll just point out that she's not late Great Auntie Jean because of the physalis incident.  Jean died a few years back due to general old age.

The wedding in question was my Uncle Jim's, over a decade ago.  He and his wife had a big do at a hotel in Oxfordshire.  After the ceremony we all trooped into a huge room for the wedding breakfast.  That's a misleading weddingy term, isn't it?  If I was to have a wedding breakfast I would make sure it was a proper lavish fry up with hash browns, tomato ketchup and countless platters of bacon sandwiches too.  How good would that be? Anyway, where was I?  Oh yes, wedding breakfast.  We all took our places at the big round tables.  On ours was myself, Mum, Dad, Sally, Auntie Dorothy, Great Uncle John and Great Auntie Jean.  Auntie Jean had suffered a major stroke a few years before and because of this she was in a wheelchair. She couldn't speak without the aid of a machine - it was like a super-advanced Speak & Spell - but she only used this every now and again.  Her husband, John, was wonderful with her.  He cared for her and understood her and although she couldn't join in with conversations we would include her and she would sit there listening, nodding and smiling.  Because of the stroke she could only eat food that was soft or had been liquidised so when it came to dessert that day she had ice cream in place of the chocolate cakey thing that we'd all eaten. We were on the coffee and after dinner mints when the waiter brought Jean's ice cream along, just as the speeches had started.  The bowl contained three scoops of ice cream topped with a physalis for decoration.

The room was hushed and we listened to the speeches, tittering along in all the right places when all of a sudden Auntie Jean started making terrible coughing noises.  She'd been eating her ice cream quite happily but none of us had thought to remove the physalis from her bowl and she'd eaten it.  Whole.  Complete with its stalk and crispy dried leaves.

She'd gone an awfully funny colour and the coughing turned into wheezing and rasping and she had a really frightened look on her face.  The best man carried on with his speech.  Sally and I looked at each other and then we stared at Mum with wide-eyed "Mum! Do something!" faces.  She alerted Uncle John (who was quite deaf) and he jumped up and started shouting, "Jean!  What have you done?!  What have you eaten?" and he began whacking her on the back.  The best man carried on regaling the guests with funny stories about Uncle Jim that I wish I could have listened to but we had a right drama happening at our table.  Auntie Jean's choking noises got worse and Mum joined in with helping Uncle John.  He walked behind Jean and wrapped his arms around her torso and he started performing the Heimlich Maneuver shouting "Spit it OUT, Jean!  Spit the bloody thing OUT!".

And thankfully Jean did.

All of a sudden the physalis shout out of her face, flew across the table and landed on the plate of after dinner mints where it rolled around the rim of the plate like some kind of spit-covered orange ball on a chocolate mint roulette table and it finally came to rest amid the Bendicks.

Red 19
Photograph by greendrz on Flickr
Uncle John wiped Auntie Jean's mouth, told her off quite sternly and everybody sat back down and continued listening to the speeches.  I say ten out of ten to the best man for carrying on throughout the whole Auntie Jean kerfuffle.

Auntie Jean resumed her ice cream eating.

Mum and Dad looked harassed but relieved.

Uncle John was muttering under his breath.

Auntie Dorothy seemed totally oblivious to the whole brouhaha.

Sally and I were silently giggling.

Nobody touched the plate of after dinner mints.

The Tale Of The Wedding Physalis is one of those things that was really quite alarming and dramatic at the time.  I'd only ever seen the Heimlich Maneuver performed on Casualty before. But now the story has become one of those "Do you remember when ... ?" family anecdotes that gets recounted every couple of years.  Both Sally and I now refer to physalis as 'Auntie Jeans' as in, "The pudding was posh.  It had an Auntie Jean on top and everything!"

So that's why I don't eat physalis.  I can't say I was mad about them anyway.  I've always thought they're a bit nothingy.

I don't think Great Auntie Jean thought much of them either.

Now if you'll excuse me, I'm heading over to Graze to click the 'bin' button on the Auntie Jeans .....

Monday 7 March 2011

Busy Bee

Bee on a crocus
It has been such a beautiful spring day here.  It was quite crisp and chilly but the sun shone and it made me feel all smiley.  I sat in the garden with a cup of tea at lunchtime and I saw this big bee buzzing around the crocuses.  He was caked in pollen and I was only able to take one photograph before he flew off.

Purple Crocus

My first purple crocus bloomed today.  Its petals are kind of crinkly and wrinkly (I don't know if that's how it's supposed to be) and it is such a fantastic colour.

The guinea pigs were enjoying the weather too.  Here's Lisa on the grass :

Guinea piglet mowing the grass

She's hiding behind the pig igloo - pigloo, if you will - which is a much better hiding place than the one she found yesterday.  For a horrid few minutes I thought she was lost.  Chris and I were searching all over the place for her and we eventually discovered her wedged between two bin bags behind the wheelie bins.

I hope the weather was nice for you today too?

Saturday 5 March 2011

World Book Night

World Book Night
Normally I'm pretty sceptical when an email arrives and it tells me that I've won something like the jackpot in the Djibouti Lottery or that I've been selected as a beneficiary of a wealthy Mongolian prince's will.

So it was a thoroughly nice surprise when I received an email on Thursday evening telling me that I had been selected for an actual real-life thing that is actually real.  As part of World Book Night, the marvellous Mary Kent at Nemea Designs is kindly giving me a copy of Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell.  (No, not Peep Show David Mitchell.)

'Cloud Atlas' by David Mitchell

Twenty-five titles were selected for World Book Night and tonight forty thousand copies of each are being given away by twenty thousand 'givers'. That's one million books and I feel pretty privileged to be one of the million people who have been chosen to receive special numbered editions.  Each book that is given away contains a ten digit number so that its journey can be tracked.  When I've read the book I'll give it to somebody else so it can continue on its way.  The next reader can then register the book on the World Book Night website and its little adventure will be charted for all to see. Isn't that just lovely?

Tonight BBC2 have a whole evening of World Book Night programmes starting at 7.30pm.

I'd like to say a big thank you to Mary for choosing me to be a recipient of Cloud Atlas.  I look forward to reading it and I shall let you all know what I think of it when I've done so.

Friday 4 March 2011

Twitter switched the sunshine back on

Last night and this morning I was in a bad mood.  It was like someone had switched off the sunshine and sent dark storm clouds and some persistent drizzle to come and hang around above my head.  I've had a naggingly dull headache for a few days now and that's annoying but there are other things that were contributing to my general mardiness.

One of the main factors is March, or as I like to call it, 'The Month Of Mummiversaries'.  As I told you a few weeks back, my Mum died five years ago this month. March was also her birthday month.  It normally also contains Mothering Sunday, although that's in April this year.  Now, I don't turn the calendar over on the first day of March and say, "Right, that's it!  Time for moping and misery!" but there is something about it that gets me down.  I guess I subconsciously associate the time of year - the weather, the flowers, the general Marchness of March - with not-so-nice things.  I wish I didn't feel this way and I try to be jolly but that kind of makes it worse because deep down I know there is a reason why I'm overcompensating with the jolly and I always end up upset.

Like this morning.

I was really snappy with Chris last night.  And the television.  And the internet.  I ended up stomping off to bed in a strop.  (Poor Chris - If I were him I wouldn't put up with me!) I woke up this morning and was still in a huge grump and because of this Chris went off to work in a grump too. This made me feel bad and I cried.  I cried big massive bawling sobs and I must have sounded like a wounded animal.  It was an  Oscar-worthy display of emotion, even if I do say so myself.

I made a cup of tea and fetched my laptop and I told Twitter I was upset and I received a flood of wonderful soothing tweets.  The Twitterfolk made me smile, laugh and a couple gave me the kick up the backside that I needed.  They really cheered me up and it was like all the storm clouds dissolved and Twitter had switched the sunshine back on.

My iPhone bing-binged and I had a lovely text from Chris's Mum.  She reads my tweets, you see, and she'd seen that I was having a crazy moment and she told me to call her.  I did and we had a lovely long chat which made me feel even brighter.  (I'm really pleased that Chris's Mum is so fab and that she isn't one of those terrible mother-in-law types.)

I then texted Chris and apologised for my ratty behaviour.

As I wandered down to the shed I saw that my first crocuses had appeared.  Also, the sun was shining so I grabbed my camera and took the photograph that's up at the top of this post.  The first snowdrop is still going and he looks even prettier than he did last week :


Chris arrived home at lunchtime and brought with him cappuccinos, almond croissants, a bunch of roses and a big cuddle. I know.  How wonderful is he?!

So my day started out badly today but it has got better and better.  Thank you, kind people - both the real ones and the ones who live in my computer * - for making me smile today.  You're all ace.

* I have stolen this phrase from the lovely Apryl at Meridian Ariel.

Wednesday 2 March 2011

The Tale Of The Boobspider

Warning : This post contains spiders and scenes of nudity which some readers may find disturbing.

I have long believed that any television show, movie or book that contains spiders should carry a warning.  It bothers me when you're sat there watching something like The One Show * and all of a sudden your television screen is filled with footage of a gigantic arachnid.  Of course it's not really gigantic but today's gimassive televisions make even the smallest of house spiders look like Shelob.

* Maybe The One Show was a bad example.  I mean, you never know what you're going to get with that fruit machine of a programme.  One minute you've got Gyles Brandreth wittering on about philately and the next you've got Phil Tuffnell having a go at burlesque dancing while a bemused Hollywood A-lister wearing a perturbed and slightly manic look on their face sits next to whoever they've dragged in to present the show. Yes, The One Show is like televisual potpourri.

But I digress.  I do seriously think you should be told if something contains spiders.  Long term readers know that I have a proper full-on fear of the eight-legged creatures but now I'm going to tell you why.  Why am I telling you why?  Well, because a lot of you seem to like my anecdotal, lengthy blog posts and some of you have asked for more of these (how bizarre!) so I am giving the people what they want.  That's why.

So, dear reader, fetch yourself a cup of tea, coffee or beverage of your choice, pull up a chair and I shall begin .....

I've always had that "Oh no! It's a spider!" attitude to spiders.  Most people do, don't they?  (Especially female people.  That's a fact.  I read it on the internet.)  But I can remember a time when I wouldn't break out into a cold sweat, have trouble catching my breath and generally behave like an absolute nutjob in the presence of a spider.  Once, when I was in my late teens, I was babysitting a friend's child and I can remember playing Sonic The Hedgehog on their Sega Mega Drive while the child slept soundly upstairs and a rather large spider sat on the floor near me.  It kind of bothered me that it was there but not enough to have a total freakout about it.  If there was a spider on the floor next to me now I would be out of here like a shot, screaming like an idiot, flailing my arms about and  slapping myself.  I do that.  I slap myself when I see a spider.  I slap my head, my face, my arms and any other parts of me that are within slappable reach.  I also wring my hands and cross my legs and now I shall tell you why.

For my twenty-first birthday my family and I went to Center Parcs.  There was me, Mum, Dad, my two sisters, my boyfriend and my sister's best friend, Jon.  We had a big villa and we were there for fun, cycling, swimming, the 'Jardin Des Sports' and a thoroughly ace time.  (I know most people have a huge party for their twenty-first birthday and they get really drunk but I don't really like parties and I hardly ever drink.  Yes, I am a square and I always have been.)  Our villa was in the midst of a pine forest.  I had no idea at the time that spiders love pine trees. They can't get enough of them.

We were a couple of days into the holiday and one morning I got up and went into the bathroom to do my morning ablutions.  I switched the shower on and while that was warming up I set about brushing my teeth, washing my face and shaving my moustache.  (Yes really.  I am a brunette, after all, and I know I'm not the only brunette lady in the world who takes a Gillette Venus to her upper lip.)  I was only wearing a dressing gown at the time and I felt a tickling sensation on my left thigh.  I thought it was the ribbon inside the dressing gown (the inner ribbons that you're supposed to tie up so that if the outer tie fails you don't inadvertently give the postman a flash of your ladybits when you answer the door to him in the morning but that nobody ever actually does do up) brushing against my leg so I ignored it and continued with my de-Freddie-Mercury-ing.  I realised something wasn't quite right when I felt the tickle again, this time on the left of my stomach. I froze.  My heart started to beat faster and my breathing became more rapid as I felt the tickle move up towards and across my chest.  It was a bit like that scene in Dr. No where you see the shape of a tarantula move underneath Connery's bed sheet.

I knew it was a spider and I knew it was a big spider at that.  I'd seen a couple in the villa already and they were massive.

I didn't know what to do.  I started screaming.  I threw off the dressing gown and I was stood there completely starkers with a huge - and I mean huge - hairy spider on my right boob.  I went absolutely crazy.  I couldn't touch the spider so I started slapping my boob in an attempt to knock the spider off.  (I do apologise.  I've just given you the gift of the image of me naked and slapping my boob and that is one heck of a rubbish gift.  I'm sorry.  I have no receipt so you can't take it back.)  The bugger wouldn't shift and my boob was starting to smart from all the slapping so I grabbed a flannel and whipped the spider off and onto the floor.  By now I was a naked, blubbering, screaming, hysterical wreck and I could hear my Mum pounding on the bathroom door.  I looked at my dressing gown in a heap on the floor and decided I couldn't put it back on because there might be another spider in there.  Boobspider could have brought his mates along for all I knew.  So I looked around the bathroom for a towel to cover myself up with - there was no way my Mum was seeing me in the nude.  Thing was, all the towels were hanging up drying over various radiators and chair backs all over the villa from where we'd been swimming the night before and I had stupidly forgotten to take a towel into the bathroom with me. This whole towel thing would have been an issue with or without the spider trauma.

Anyway, the only things to don were my dressing gown which was a no-no and a flannel.  A facecloth.  A square of fabric that wouldn't cover anything.  
So I opened the bathroom door to my Mum and she was greeted by a red-faced, teary-eyed  me in a contorted hunched up stance.  I was covering my boobs with my hands in that FHM front cover "Oooh, that's right, I'm hiding my nipples" style pose and my elbows were clamping the flannel in front of my lady garden.  I sobbed "Please can you get me a towel?!"  and Mum went off and came back with a big Maxwell House 'Get The Max' beach towel (that she'd got free by collecting the coupons off the coffee jars) and she wrapped me up in it and gave me a big cuddle. When I'd calmed down enough to tell her what had happened she went into the bathroom, located Boobspider, picked him up and put him outside and then she did a spider check in the bathroom for me, shook out my dressing gown and after a cup of tea I was finally calm again.

So that's what really made me hate spiders.  Fortunately, Chris is okay at handling them so whenever I get one in my shed he'll come and remove it for me.  I've had to train him.  My Dad is the best spider remover. I used to wake him up in the middle of the night with a "Dad! Spider!" and he'd be there in a flash to scoop the arachnid up in his big Dad hands and throw it out of the nearest window.  He would then perform a spider check and declare the room safe and totally spider free.  I need to teach Chris to do that last step.  It's important.  And yes, I know that devices like spider hoovers and catchers exist but I can't use them.  I literally cannot be in the same room with a spider.  It's a proper actual factual fear I have.

As much as I can't touch, look at or and handle the thought of a spider being near me I don't like it when people kill them.  They've every right to be here and squashing them is just cruel. I mean,  have you seen their webs?  Those things are beautiful works of art.  There's plenty of room for humans and spiders on this here planet.  I just don't want them near me.  

Or on my boob.

EDIT : I'm aware that this is a lengthy post with zero pictures.  I did Google for some, like a spider web or maybe that cute spider from the CBBC Spider! series of yesteryear but every time the image search loaded my laptop screen was suddenly full of spiders and I had to click the cross to clear them all away.  So I do apologise for all the words and no pretty pictures.