The Daily Telegraph (Sydney) - Home - - FRONT PAGE - With ed­i­tor Robyn Wil­lis robyn.wil­lis@news.com.au

Un­ex­pected guest ap­pear­ances

At this time of year it’s not so un­usual for un­ex­pected guests to drop by. But not all of them are wel­come. One of the less charm­ing as­pects of liv­ing in an old house is the num­ber of un­in­vited vis­i­tors we have, es­pe­cially of the six or eight-legged va­ri­ety.

I was re­cently watch­ing a bit of late night telly af­ter ev­ery­one else had gone to bed. The vol­ume was low and I’d left just one light on when I saw a bit of move­ment from the cor­ner of my eye.

Sure enough, a hunts­man was play­ing a game of red light/green light, run­ning a short dis­tance across the liv­ing room wall and then freez­ing on the spot so as not to be seen.

I know, for some, this is like a night­mare come to life but in truth it’s not an un­usual oc­cur­rence in my house, es­pe­cially in sum­mer.

Small gaps be­tween the floor­boards and skirt­ing boards, old vents and win­dow frames that don’t seal en­tirely prop­erly all of­fer easy en­try points for spi­ders and in­sects.

Re­ally, hunts­man spi­ders are the least of our prob­lems.

Our rather un­usual but beau­ti­ful win­dows that open in­ward and out­wards si­mul­ta­ne­ously have made fly­screens out of the ques­tion.

Apart from the oc­ca­sional blowfly, it’s not a prob­lem dur­ing the day. At night, how­ever, all it takes is one mozzie to dis­rupt an oth­er­wise peace­ful sleep.

As for the hunts­man spi­der, we both did our best to ig­nore each other.

I went to bed, happy enough that the spi­der was not in my room, and the hunts­man pre­sum­ably found its way out­side through one of the nooks or cran­nies in the house. No harm, no foul.

This is our last is­sue for the year. Thanks to all our read­ers for your con­tin­ued sup­port.

We’ll be back from Jan­uary 7 next year to share more sto­ries with you.

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