Spider-Nan to the rescue

Ready-made web... excellent. Picture:BB

Ready-made web... excellent. Picture:BB - Credit: Archant

Consider this article well and truly webbed

'You ought to get that checked out for Lyme disease, mum,' said my medically qualified daughter... qualified, that is to make random diagnoses, often supported by hypochondriacs' websites such as 'Whathaveyougot.com' and 'It'ssureto-besomethingserious.com'.

I surveyed my thigh. After a week, what I thought was a mosquito bite just above my left knee had grown to a great itchy patch of sandpaper-textured scarlet with an outlying crop of red dots. A sort of epidermal galaxy created not by a big bang but, rather, a small fang.

I shouldn't have looked up Lyme Disease. For a start, it can be caused by a tick and ticks are the stuff of nightmares. They look a bit like tiny spiders and they burrow into your skin and bite you. I am not going to go into detail because it makes my flesh crawl. And itch.

Anyway, I went to see the doctor who said she didn't think I had anything sinister but referred me for a precautionary blood test. So I took myself off to the clinic where a helpful, handwritten notice at one end of a corridor stated: 'BLOOD'. I had clearly stumbled upon the local vampires' food bank.


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After the blood-letting, the nurse inspected my leg. 'That looks like a spider bite,' she said. Her two colleagues had a look and concurred.

Now, I am wondering if this spider, which bit me at a location not far from the nuclear power plant at Sizewell, could have become genetically modified and, in biting me, transmitted its mutated venom into my bloodstream, turning me into (drum roll) Spider-Nan.

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But I shall not be a crime-fighting superhero, I shall leave that to the good-looking youngsters and their mild-mannered alter egos. I will use my powers only for good, naturally. Those that need their upstairs outside window panes cleaning need no longer fret, Spider Nan will scurry up the brickwork with the Windolene, using her special sticky ooze to adhere to the walls (ooze removal £10 extra).

I shall of course be offering a number of web services although, living in East Anglia as I do, I shall not be swinging from skyscraper to skyscraper. Possibly from M&S to Debenhams via Boots (for itch-relief cream).

First, however, you must prepare yourself for Spider-Nan in all-over red-and-blue Lycra with a full-head hood with no hole for the mouth. This presumably means, I won't be able to talk... if my husband is reading this he can put the bunting back in the garage because, hopefully, by now, my bite site will have receded, all pretensions to superhero status will have abated and the deranged ramblings of a woman who hasn't slept much due to her itchy leg will have ended.

Last Wednesday, we spent a day in London; the last big holiday outing of the season. We went to the National Theatre's wardrobe near to look at Tudor costumes (advance warning: upcoming Tudor play). My husband modelled a few outfits...photographic evidence by appointment only, while I didn't try on any of the women's costumes. This was largely because they were all far too small for me.

It was a fairly warm day, though blustery, and we decided to eat outside at a Covent Garden restaurant. First the rocket lettuce in my starter blew away and then I lost some of the lambs lettuce from my main course. What's a girl to do? There was nothing for it but to order the heaviest possible dessert.

We had earlier booked tickets for that evening's performance of An American in Paris. Using the Ladies at the theatre proved a challenge. The small cubicle with it's over-sized bin and toilet tissue dispenser was clearly designed for the same women who fitted into the Tudor costumes. It was physically impossible to wear my handbag and enter. I had to haul it in after me. Getting out again was even more mortifying as there was the usual huge queue of women waiting to go and I had to contort myself in front of an audience. After that, I couldn't face my customary interval ice-cream.

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