Thursday 15 September 2011

Spiders, apples and auto-rickshaws

Afraid of spiders? I'm not. I wouldn't welcome them onto my hand, but they don't scare me. Just as well, living here. I have never lived anywhere so spidery; they are in the car, webs and all, in every corner of every room, and in mega-populations in the garden.

We transported whole neighbourhoods of them to the tip today in bags of garden waste (mostly overgrown clematis, with which I am engaged in mortal combat), but some jumped ship and now add to the growing colony in the car. Very distracting as I drive the winding lanes to find a spider dangling in front of me trying to create a web between my chin and the dashboard.

My friend Tricia from Australia is still here. On Monday we shall be joined by Shelagh from Canada. So cosmopolitan, we are!

We went to Porlock today. A very apple-y afternoon.

Some cheerful chaps were pressing juice in the community orchard. Laxton somethings; we were given a taste.

The apple store smelled lovely.

Their system is more hygienic than the old cider press, but has considerably less charm.

Next to be juiced were the Egremont Russets.

Funds are being raised to restore the old press. The princely sum of £700 is needed.

A pretty little place, Porlock, but sorely in need of the bypass that is planned, to free its narrow road from the nightmare of competing lorries and buses. We caught it at an unusually traffic-free moment.

Thatchers have their own distinctive trade mark. Here it's a ship and three ducks in a row....

It's not only the buildings that are old.

And then on to Porlock Weir.

And to Allerford, before we and the spiders turned for home, to spin our webs, walk the dogs, and cook our dinner.

Meanwhile, the Lovely Son is discovering the nightmare that is his new (old) van's internal workings - or, to be more precise, non-workings.

His girlfriend is away for three weeks, doing this.

I've spent time in India, and travelled many times in auto-rickshaws. Fun at the time, and occasionally very dangerous. You have to be young and daft, or perhaps just daft, to endeavour to make a long-distance race of it. My thought is that the LS's worries about clutch, gearbox and finding the ready money to replace both are great ways of taking his mind off the more alarming aspects of her hair-raising voyage.

Give me the winding roads and hills of West Somerset any day. With or without spiders.


dinahmow said...

Did you, by chance, meet that "annoying person" while in Porlock?

Only 700 pounds to fix that press? That sounds doable.If I was still over there I'd be happy to sub them a few bob!

And for spiders, pop over to

flwrjane said...

I'm not going to let GG read this post.

She is NOT a fan of spiders and we will never be able to visit if she finds out.


and judging by your pictures it's too beautiful a place to miss.

xo jane

Anonymous said...

The pictures are beautiful!

You seem so happy and settled in your new home and how lovely to have friends visit to share it with you.

Danielle P. said...

Gorgeous GORGEOUS photos! But where are the spiders?

the veg artist said...

I've lived in a very old house (1660), and even after every damp-proof, timber, fungus and pest treatmant known to man, the spiders lived on. Just don't start getting fond of them, or naming them! Just saying!

Rose said...

Hi Rachel i loved your post and the pictures were so beautiful, almost made me want to go in a daydream. My older daughters are spider phobic and i was told to keep conkers in the areas and places you do not want the spiders to visit. I can not really tell you if this works or that its a mind over matter thing. What a help that piece of useless information was for you!

Rose H (UK) said...

Such great pictures. You're settling in just fine by the sounds of it.
Spiders? Now the cooler weather is here we are getting the BIG 'saddlebacks' in,(big enough to sling a saddle on and ride!) Some (the lucky ones) are transported back into the garden, but I'm afraid any in the bedroom don't just make it that far. :o(

Annie said...

You need a whippet to add to your menagerie ... spiders don't stand a chance when there's a whippet about ;D

Lovely pictures, as ever :)

mountainear said...

I've only ever driven through a corner of Your part of the world - Somerset? Looks a lovely place to settle in.

Will show Alan the appley pictures - he'll be most envious.

Anonymous said...

Lovely Porlock, haven't been for a long time. You seem so much more content now that you've completed the move. How's Catkin doing?

Maggie Christie said...

Yes but the spiders this year are HUGE! I adore Porlock but haven't been since I was 16. I remember a big hill and an old air raid siren for motorists in trouble. How I envy all those apples!

Anonymous said...

I recently picked up a piece of fluff from the carpet, only to discover (as it ran up my arm) that it was a spider!! Porlock looks delightful - I now want a thatched roof complete with ducks.
I laughed at the comment suggesting comkers to keep spiders away - just the other day on tv, someone was advocating conkers to cure cramp!!

jabblog said...

Our resident daddy-long-legs spiders deal with the hairier, larger, blacker spiders by wrapping them up - quite incredible to watch!

BumbleVee said...

love the ship on the rooftop.... so, you mean to say, when a thatcher finishes his job...he actually leaves his little trademark behind on the thatch job forever?...or does he come back to fetch it for the next job? How cute..... love it....

judy in ky said...

Are you sure those places in your photos are real? I need to visit your country and see it for myself. I did drive around Western Ireland one time and had a marvelous time! I got lost on some country roads but didn't mind being lost at all. People were very kind about giving me directions. One lady even invited me in for tea.

Dartford Warbler said...

What a lovely tour around your local villages. Enjoy your time with visiting friends.

One of our neighbours has a witch on her broomstick on the top of the thatched roof!

I remember the auto rickshaws in New Delhi and I`m surprised I`m still here to tell the tale.....

zephyr said...

i had no idea thatchers were so creative!! How delightful!

i enjoy spiders, but it is disconcerting when they drop down in front of you while driving...or scamper across the windshield.

i really enjoy your blog (came via MrsM)

Elizabeth Musgrave said...

Love the apple press and want one! Do have the spiders by the bucket load. I don't mind them either.

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