What is it about spiders and boats, anyway? My guess is that they get on board, find plenty to eat, no one to eat them in return, reproduce, and then can’t easily disembark. Before you know it there are thousands and thousands of spiders — and spider webs — to deal with.
My friend, the Wizard Geoff Mellor, who takes care of all of my electrickery when he is not lost in an unknown parallel universe, says that ‘spiders are very good luck. You should never get rid of spiders. If they’re on board, it means that nothing dire is going to happen to your boat. Especially when they are in the bilges.’
‘A bit like rats,’ adds Poppy, the Pirate Queen. ‘Also, spiders are the symbol of the Goddess on earth in the realms of old Pagan beliefs.’
Great. I will explain all that to the guests who are arriving on Saturday.
I know alot of boat people in England who claim that a few conkers (aka buckeyes) will repel spiders because chestnuts emit a chemical odour that they dislike. For that reason, I have scattered a few of them on the windowsill next to Jesus, because, as you can see, he is scared of spiders. However, this method simply does not work.
My normal spider elimination technique involves the vacuum cleaner and a magazine. Poppy was absolutely horrified by this when she joined the cruise last week. ‘Harriet,’ she explained, ‘the collective consciousness of the spiders is going to give you really bad karma.’
I have to admit that when I come back, I would prefer not to be a fly, and that is where she thinks I am heading. So we have reached a compromise: the tupperware catch and release method. I have to admit, it works pretty well, and I feel better already.