The spider above

Lolling on the couch the other evening, I happened to glance up. In the low rays of the setting sun, an odd bump showed on top of one of the bracing rafters.


It was the biggest spider I have ever seen, with a very fat, light brown body. As its legs were bent around the rafter I couldn’t see how to catch it without damage.

But I kept the reading light focused on it so I could check if it was on the move — especially towards me. Needless to say, all concentration on my book was ruined.

The next day it was gone, but that night it re-appeared, underneath the rafters, and closer to my couch. It was straddling two 4 x 2 inch timbers (100mm x 50mm) so you can see that if it extended its legs it would be over 4 inches wide.

Again, I couldn’t work out how to catch it safely. I could now see it better —  the body downy and dotted, like a stitched-up Kiwi fruit. The light caught an almost metallic sheen on the legs and eyes.

Next day it was gone again and I haven’t seen it since. But each evening, as my cabin grows dim, wherever I sit, I am now compelled to check above me with the torch. And keep checking.

It is obviously a resident, and probably has been so for a long time.

I’m not fond of spiders; even the thought of looking through pages of spider pictures to try to identify it gives me the creeps. So does anyone know what sort of spider this is?

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