One of the few downsides of living out in the countryside is the mobile signal – or lack of. Our current provider doesn’t seem to have one of those signal mast things anywhere near us so we can’t use our mobile phones (useful).

We have bought an array of signal boosters and we have routers coming out of our ears but still nothing. However, as with lots of problems in modern life – there is an ‘app for that’. So we now make calls and send texts via this app, which is a blessing. I’d be lost without my texts!

However this app only works with general texts and not with texts that may have a security issue, which is fair enough. I had the joyful task of completing my online TAX return just after we moved here. I love TAX returns just as much as I love spiders! Anyway, the site has recently upgraded its level of security, so now it asks for passport information, inside leg measurements, your GCSE grades and favourite holiday destination. Oh and it helpfully sends you a secret pin number via text message. You get so far into logging into the system and then you have to wait for the text to come through. We get a slither of a mobile signal right at the top of the garden in the far corner up the hill. I take my phone out into the garden, trek up to the top and stand there like an ejit with my phone in the air trying to attract some sort of invisible text laser beam from the mast that is a trillion miles away.

Of course today is a day where we don’t even get a spec of a signal. I call up the lovely TAX people, listening to various menu options and by the time I’ve got through to an actual human being my log-in screen has timed out. !@*!!*@!!!!!!!

Whilst searching for an app to help us with our phone signal issue we came across a ‘walkie-talkie’ app which comes in really handy when one of us is in the office or workshop. It’s super cool and works like a proper walkie-talkie – you have to press and hold a button on your screen whilst you talk. Now, this REALLY excites me as I’ve always had a secret wish to be a spy. Move over James Bond, Spy-Barbie is taking over! Anyway, as cool as this app is, it sometimes doesn’t work because of the lack of signal, but it does oddly store any conversation you have missed and plays back once it picks up mobile coverage.

I was fast asleep in bed last night when I was woken up by Mr G announcing that the “Tesco man is here”. WHAT!?! Have I woken up in the middle of a fantasy that I’ve not been aware of? Have I agreed to some bedroom extra-curricular activities and not remembered? As nice as the Tesco delivery man is, I don’t want to have him snugged up with Mr G and I. I gingerly ask Mr G what he’s on about and then we realise that the walkie-talkie app has picked up that slither of a signal from the mast in a galaxy far, far away and played back the call G made earlier to me today.

I fall back asleep wishing my Tesco delivery man was Brad Pitt, George Clooney, James Martin, Denzel Washington, Daniel Craig…



Incey-Wincey Spider

When we moved to the countryside I understood that there would be more creepy crawlies around and I’m OK with this (kinda). I know I have to try to overcome my intense fear of spiders. Even though I am absolutely petrified of the eight-legged (eight! Do they really need that many?) arachnid, I keep telling myself that I need to get a grip and overcome my fear.

That’s all well and good until I came into very close proximity to a GIANT house spider, which obviously spends most of its time down the gym!

I was reading Amelie her bedtime story last night when something big (the dude I’ve just described above) caught my eye. Amelie’s room is very pretty and has lots of old wooden beams which I now realise are perfect for spiders to take their night time stroll along. The beams are brown, as are most spiders – so this isn’t ideal.

I’ve read that you can pass on your fear of things to your kids if they see your reaction, so for Amelie’s sake I tried not to look at it (whilst also trying to keep an eye on it). I knew it had to go, so I calmly told Amelie to carry on reading whilst I went to get some ‘spider- getting’ equipment (I’m thinking harpoon!) I quickly glanced at matey-boy on the beam to ensure he was still there (he was) and Amelie saw me. Thankfully she isn’t as scared as me and helpfully said: “Wow, he’s massive!” Yep, let’s not talk about it shall we. Just carry on reading sweetheart and I’ll go and get something to catch it in.

As much as I hate spiders I can’t bring myself to kill them. You have to interact with them more if you kill them and I’m not up for that! If you hoover them up I’m scared they will hang on to the inside of the nozzle with their EIGHT legs and then crawl back out as soon as I turn it off. If I were to try to squish it with a book for example, I’m sure the bigger ones could probably catch it and throw it back at me! (See, my fear is totally reasonable).

So, a few deep breath’s and a bit of a pep talk to myself, I make my way to the kitchen to get the tools I need to get rid of it. I’m armed with a pint glass (anything smaller wouldn’t have gone over it) and a sheet of card. Come on Jen you can do this!

My heart is literally banging out of my chest and I’m shaking as I approach the beefed-up spider. I hold the glass up, but nope that’s as far as I can go. All thoughts of remaining calm for Amelie go out of the window and I’m running out of her room shouting for Mr G to come and help.

Mr G is used to the “Geeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!” scream from me which usually means he needs to come and get rid of a creature of some sort – be it frogs in the loo, a big bad wolf outside, or tarantula (not far off) in the bedroom. So he usually comes running with a pint glass and a piece of card to catch whatever it is.

To be fair to (wimpy) me, Mr G also took a deep breath before catching the boot wearing, muscle bound spider.

I appreciate that spiders eat the horrible flies and they are very talented with their web spinning skills, but do they have to look so scary and have so many legs and eyes? What is that about? And only recently I found out that they also shed their skins. WHAT!?!?!

So it seems my move to the countryside is not going to cure me of my fear of spiders. But hopefully from now on we’ll only get the lazy sort that don’t frequent the gym!