From November to March my stove-top fan whirrs away almost constantly at about eleventy-twelve revolutions a minute, the only exceptions being when I oik it off the stove temporarily to make room to boil lobsters or to warm up another swan’s head in aspic for tiffin. Or, occasionally, to clean the wee beastie.
I can understand the dust and general crap that it gathers – living with a coal-fired stove is a dusty, fingernail-blackened lifestyle. I used to be able to cough up a rainbow or release emeralds from my nose, but all is now Stygian black.
But the cobwebs?
Some sort of daredevil stunt?
An Archnid Army training exercise?
Spinning spiders from another dimension?
The most common “last words” of the human species are ‘Wheee! Look at me!’
So too it would seem for the arachnids.
Then there’s the minor matter of reaching the fan as it whirrs. Do the spiders abseil down the outside of the hot flue, or do they run across the body of the stove itself, presumably hot-foot-foot-foot-foot-foot-foot-foot-foot and shouting ‘ooh! ooh! it burns! it burns!’ as they go?
Perhaps they parachute in, wide-eyed, tugging frantically at the cords and aware that a bad landing will turn them into mincemeat… thwirrp-splat, R.I.P.?
Do earnest-looking spider-scientists laden with instruments and laboratory proddy-proddy things, climb up from the hearth while wearing silvered suits, gloves and helmets cooled by little backpacks?
One of life’s mythteries.
The Slattern in question.
postscript: the fan is this morning making way for a chunky vee-getable stewy-soup fit for a vegetablearyan, and for which I shall soon be making Les Dumplings. Spuds and carrots and cauliflower and sprouts and cabbage and leek and onion – and broccoli – and anything else that wasn’t nailed down in the galley. Hopefully though, no spiders.
It all looks very green in there; the carrots are doing unseemly things with the spuds, in the lower layers, as root vegetables are wont to do when unsupervised by Cook.