A friend recently described me as "fearless", and while that is a total exaggeration I like to think of myself as down to earth and resilient. I live alone, I have faced some real upheaval and turmoil in my life and more than once been in a situation of real physical danger... so it's more than a little annoying that I can still be reduced to a quivering wreck by a very specific type of creepy crawly. I was just lucky that the bl**dy thing decided to leap into my line of vision on a deserted country road instead of in the middle of rush hour traffic where my blind panic and illogical behaviour could have caused a serious accident.
So this is a big heartfelt thank you to the really nice unknown guy who temporarily abandoned his bicycle ride with his young son to help a rather distressed and embarrassed me on the side of the road today. Yes, he laughed himself silly at the fact that I had been evicted from my own car by the sudden appearance of a large spider bungy jumping unexpectedly from the sun visor directly into my face, but he also took the time to do a quite detailed inspection of the abandoned vehicle for the bright orange eight legged villain and assure me that it was safe for me to get back in.
No, I didn't get to see any evidence of the creature's demise but he assured me it was dead and I decided to believe him, because otherwise I would still be there, legs shaking, on that grass verge in the middle of nowhere. I suppose that says something positive about my efforts in recent years to get control over my stupidly OTT fear of spiders. Something, but not enough. I drove away, still feeling a little panicky, but determined to try and concentrate on the road. I felt ridiculously proud of myself for getting back in the car, even though the image of it falling into my line of vision so suddenly kept creeping back into my mind, all the way to my destination. That image flashed back again a few hours later when I came to drive home. It was dark by then and it was a little harder to ignore the many spider concealing shadows inside the vehicle and keep my mind on the moonlit road ahead. I did it though and felt relieved to get back into the flat.
Now I just need to go and inspect the bedding for wandering critters before I go to sleep... so much for fearless!