Now that the weather has taken a bit of a turn for the cold and wet I’ve found that little beasties have a tendency to move into the tent.
Take the little white crab-like spider for instance. He’d been with me a couple of days having survived being packed up in the wet tent, stuffed into Hubert, dragged however many miles along the South Ayrshire roads only to be rediscovered at the resurrection of the tent.
He’s beautiful – walking sideways at times and, when challenged with the point of a pen, lifts his front legs up – possibly in defence, but more likely to make himself look bigger.
When chased around the tent – even when I explained that releasing him into the wild was for the best and that he was bloody lucky he didn’t get squashed in transit – he resorted to his next line of defence – he rolls up into a little ball so it’s nearly impossible to pick him up…nearly…he’s probably making his way back into the tent as I write this.
Then there was the little black jumping spider. She was beautiful too, but really ought not to be living under my roly up mattress thing. I could tell she was a she because she had a tiny disc of eggs that she’d fastened to her back to ensure the safety of this next generation.
I ushered her out too, making sure I didn’t harm her or her brood to be…I got her into the external bit of the tent and gave the material she was standing on a little ping to encourage her on her way.
Imagine my devastation when the little disc of eggs fell off her back. She made off into the undergrowth without looking back leaving me to become the surrogate father to… Well, no, actually, I set them free too…with another ping…
I’m quite nice really.
Their behaviours, though beautiful, charming and fascinating are innate. They do what they do without a second thought.
Which brings me to Sarah and Noel. I was powering (trundling) along the A77 on my way to Cairnryan – hospitality had dried up a little and I was finding that man cannot live by Irn Bru alone.
Scratch that – man can live by Irn Bru alone – it’s just that…well, who wants orange innards?
As I walked I heard a voice – I’d been a bit transfixed with the traffic and had missed this smiling man.
Noel has such a big and welcoming smile, it’s almost too big for his head.
I told him about the ramble and he invited me into his home with the promise of a cup of tea. On the way in I admired his army truck which just a huge campervan.
No I didn’t take a picture – yes, I’m an idiot.
I wandered to be met with Sarah, his partners, warm smile. In no time I was eating eggy bread while she made a packed lunch for me.
We shared some stories – their friends came to visit – it was a moment of delightfulness that I’ve wrapped up in a little box to take out to look at on rainy days.
They’re expecting their first child, a girl, in 6 weeks and 3 days (Sarah, please correct me if my memory has failed me) and seeing their excitement added just a bit of giddiness to my day.
I didn’t ask them why they’d invited a complete stranger into their home…or why they fed him, made home feel incredibly welcome and gave him the friendliest of hugs on his way out.
It was in their makeup – their genes – it was innate hospitality, it came without a second thought.
That’s what this is all about.
Walk a mile