Not that you'll believe how big it was, you never do, not even when there was a bit in Column 8 last week about a driver waving down another re the large huntsman roof surfing on their car. I suspect your mere common or garden house spiders can't be seen from a distance in moving traffic, nor do they have such a reputation for, er, um, fiestiness that they require a fair amount of hulloing and waving not to mention beeping and flashing of headlights to warn of impending spider encounters (and it is an urban myth, the statistic for car crashes involving huntsmen spiders?).
Not that I bothered flailing this morning as it was dark, 4.45am and I was too asleep to manage anything than a minor squeal. If it had been hanging over the bathroom door like some sort of trophy it would have been an entirely different story. Mind you, I did tell the Peanut Gallery, which I'm in seconds thought about: lusty hunstman spider + broom + far corner + cupboard of old family porcelain + Peanut Gallery....it doesn't bear thinking about. Especially after the kitchen incident last week (I'll spare you PG's blushes but lets just say it was Jamie Oliver meets Jackass).
I also have a cold, which ties into the not being up for a good flail, and not doing much yesterday also, and all because it rained. Yeah, I know rain was forecast but they always forecast it on watering day and as the day dawned bright and sunny I was out there doing the laundry and the gardening. Sure, it got a bit cloudy, but that never means anything. Then all of a sudden: Bang! Whoosh! Down it came with a crack of thunder and there's me running about like a scalded cat trying to fetch in the washing and put away the gardening tools. So I got soaked. Clean through soaked, and it was cold, wintery rain. I changed, when I should have had a hot shower as well, and by the time lunch and ironing was done I was all cold and miserable and retired for the evening. I'd intended to get on the net, but the rolling storms put paid to that.
I did however get to watch a bit of the Brideshead repeat, and then I was in the mood to watch more Nicholas Grace, but I also wanted to watch Robin Hood. How on earth could I do both? So I watched some Robin of Sherwood. Oh, that hit the spot. It stands up really well, story wise and production value wise, really, really well, though some of the acting is a bit ropey, the Clannad gets on one's nerves after a while and the Tory bashing bemusingly quaint (all the Normans were Tories in RoS, hence posh head boy Sir Guy). But it still works. It's still fun to watch, and thanks to Keef, Nicholas now seems to put in a subtle and nuanced performance as the Sheriff, which is not something I thought I'd ever say about his performance. I was also going to say far less camp, too, but then I got up to the bath scenes (plural) in Alan A Dale, and, well. Yes. Indeed. Smirk.
Then it was straight, if that's the word, into Robin Hood, and it was kind of weird, to go from one to the other, especially as this was the Queen Mum episode which wasn't a million miles from your average Robin of Sherwood story, and they segued so well it was unnerving. Actually, for all the Not Robin Of Sherwood posturing of series one of RH, they certainly seem to have raided the RoS vaults this series, though, as always, never taking the bits I really, really liked (much liked RTD's Dr Who. Sure it's Dr Who but my doctor was all creepy Wicker Man stuff, not endless running up and down corridors and screaming females - that's the bits of Dr Who I didn't like).
Anyway, amusing to compare and contrast Robins and kinda sad that it's only now, and for a couple of hours, that I could indulge myself in doing so. I'm pleased thet they've remembered Robin's trickster elements, but dismayed, much like Marian and John that Robin forgets the mission statement of feeding the poor to mess with politics, again. Sure, they're related, but Robin is supposed to be a grassroots kinda guy. More soup kitchen and less Bono/G8 meetings. Imho, of course.
RoS has the superior Marian, all Pre-Raphaelite and spunky, but without being shrill, and, to be honest, somewhat callously two-faced in RH. Interesting, the rest of the teams. RoS, of course, introduced the now mandatory saracen, but passed on Allan, where Robin Hood passed on Tuck. TPTB said it was because they didn't want to get preachy and if Tuck was going to be introducing the boys to their personal saviour every week we're well shot of him, but that's not really Tuck. As far as I understand it, Tuck's more of a lazy failed monk (not the most disciplined of fellows) with a bit of a Lutheran bent re the corruption of the Church. But in these secular times we probably only need Robin to rail against State (but I'm not so sure one can so easily seperate church and state in the show, considering the religious war that plays a large part of the background to the series, I was bemused at the way the church were all bureaucratic high Anglicans in ROS).
Ray Winstone's Scarlet is superior, but not cuter, and Much is a halfwit in both (sigh). At least this time around Much occupies the more traditional role of fool, but still. Even I feel the need to slap him at times.
As for the actual episode last night, can you say comedy filler episode before the big finale? It had no real point at all, but never mind. Boys and trees both pretty.
Lewis. Saturday night was Lewis night. Alas, it revolved too heavily around Morse and Wagnerian opera, and to be honest, the whole opera thing was one of my bugbears with Morse, so imagine how pleased I was to see the Wagner padding out a rather thin tale of belated revenge in this Hathaway lite episode. In fact the only really lovely we had was Hathaway's eyebrows nearly shooting off the top of his head and pinging around the room for a bit when Lewis revealed a too thorough knowledge of Wagner (and here we all thought Lewis was off in happy doughnut land when Morse used to bang on - it must have sunk in through osmosis). Oh yeah, and the bit at the end where Hathaway removes the Wagner CD and replaces it with one of his own choosing (out with the old, in with the new?) and they settle on the couch together. Okay, that bit was a classic, but my gosh there were some hard yards to get there.
Much like sitting through Inspector Lynley (and Burn Gorman!) to get at the Richard Armitage scenes (not too keen on the checked shirt but he did a nice line in mostly dead at the end). That, also, was a bit of a slog to get to the whodunnit that I'd guessed very early on.
The only other thing I watched on Saturday was The Saint. Oh, happy day. I'd missed the beginning with the ever helpful caption and fourth wall piercing intro and the accents were so dire at first I thought they were in Ireland, but no, they were in Scotland. By the loch. Oh ys, it was the Loch Ness Monster episode. Score! We laughed and pointed at the styrofoam sets and the grove of plastic Xmas trees (alas Inverness is so developed these days that there are McMansions all about the loch now, so glad I saw it ten years ago when it still had atmosphere) and giggled when a shadowy blighter hurled squeaky styrofoam rocks off the ruins at Simon (straight to the Hot Fuzz place, I'm afraid). Poor Simon's eyebrows were working overtime but it was an actual Charteris story, so there you go.
We also chuckled at the whole "could you not just get a divorce"-ness of the plot. Oh yes, it all makes sense - no, wait, it's needlessly complicated.
The rest of Saturday I spent out, having to go watch a friend's citizenship ceremony, which lunch an shopping following (found a very, very nice and quite expensive skirt that was much like one I'd coveted ages ago and this time, bank balance be damned, I bought it). The citizenship ceremony? Where do I start? In the not designed at all for the purpose building where hundreds of people had to cram into three lifts (no ground floor purpose built chambers) then we were herded down a too narrow corridor into your average office meeting room with office chairs and not even any decoration. Even the picture of the Queen was propped up on a desk, and I'm no royalist but come on, this is a citizenship ceremony, key word: ceremony. Nor had the officials bothere to dress up.
Having had to perform similiar official functions in my time, I was shocked and outraged at the lack of care or professionalism. At least we had purpose built and decorated rooms and posh rags we could buy with an allowance. Perhaps there's no allowance these days. The wincing didn't stop as they belted out a badly cued first verse of the national anthem on a cheap tape deck. Oh, it was woeful, but my friend was so pleased she didn't notice, so I bit down on my misgivings (I had to vent them here, lest I explode).
Then we were all shooed out, not so much as a cup of tea and an iced vovo, and the next batch was herded in (much like the French revolution, they were inducting them in batches). Awful, awful, but as I said, my friend was well pleased and that's the main thing.
At least lunch was lovely, in a cafe down by the river.
Oh, and thanks for the Lewis caps. Made my day.
Peter Jones' cat dung coffee, £50 a cup
Ancient serpent shows its leg
'Super-scope' shines on Mary Rose
No-one 'owns' purple
Mammoth's internal organs found perfectly preserved
Archaeologist says pollution threatening last Parthenon marbles
'Extinct' plants rediscovered
Teeming with dinosaurs: how Britain was real Jurassic Park
Sex? It's written all over your face
Ben Affleck is scared but excited by his directing debut
Bush is depicted as foul-mouthed frat boy in new Oliver Stone movie
Big, black dogs having trouble finding homes
Food colourings with link to hyperactivity may be banned
Bryan Ferry: 'I don't want to be controversial'
Mike Batt: he can't forget he's a Womble