“What am I writing about today?” poses the WordPress Prompt for Writing 101. It suggests we look at our stats and find what posts have been most popular and write something on that topic.
Naturally I would love to report that the overwhelming majority of views are on my France related posts followed closely by my TJ’s Household Haiku Challenge, French Friday, My whimsical short stories or perhaps my fascinating tales from Oxford.
Well, they aint!
If I go for what has remained eternally popular since this blog began last November then it must be a hands-down win to the one post that has had at least a couple of hits every day…My Blue Ringed Octopus Encounter.
While a bevy of charming, erudite people have been so kind as to visit, as I most desire, my favourite posts, this one post, followed closely by Stonefish – Deadly Animal Trifecta remain an eternal attraction for the hoi polloi.
Living in Australia is, it seems, appealing to many and our legendary deadly creatures seem to have a fatal attraction. Although no-one would describe me as the “Outdoorsy” type I have had my fair share of close encounters just by being Australian.
I have been chased (and pecked) by and emu; had a standoff with a kangaroo, kayaked over reefs teeming with sharks; inadvertently agitated blue ringed octopuses and stone fish; had a 20cm centipede fall out of a jacket and had a blue tongued lizard living under my bookcase. I have also put my foot down a mother in law fish’s hole (google this fish – it is one of our lesser known horrors). Don’t even get me started on spiders!
Spiders are our most obvious and regular visitor in the Australian home. While my Grandmother recalled how her cat “Soxy” used to bring in snakes for her to enjoy, this is not a common occurrence. You are far more likely to find a huge huntsman spider on the wall above your doorway and, as I found in one horrifying encounter, ready to jump directly at your face if you try to kindly attempt to put it in a dust pan and release it to safety.
On another occasion I pulled down the sun visor as I was driving to discover a huntsman the size of my hand behind it. My sister who happened to be driving behind me saw the car careening madly over the road as the dear little beastie leapt at my face and then hid in the seatbelt retractor.
Some of the less large spiders are far more deadly. I have been bitten by a red back spider when I was seventeen and lived (they tend only to kill babies). And then there is the White-tailed spider whose bite is not deadly but causes the charming symptoms of necrosis which causes your flesh to rot away. I can’t say I have seen one for sure as I have been so scarred by previous spider encounters that I tend to run away screaming at the sight of one. Living in Australia makes avoiding spiders rather difficult so people with arachnophobia tend to become recluses, sitting in their hermetically sealed rooms, their fingers ever planted on the button of the extra-strength, fast-knockdown, bug spray.
Here you have it, a whole recitation of my deadly animal encounters. Now I must go back in my mind to Paris where, as far as I know, you are unlikely to be attacked by non-human wildlife.
I could go on. But I won’t.
NOTE: All of the photos in the posts are my own unless specifically mentioned. I would be delighted if you would like to share them but please do acknowledge their source. Meilleurs voeux mes amis! 🙂