There’s a crane fly in the flat, a daddy longlegs. Keats might not have mentioned them in his Ode to Autumn, but they are a creature of the season. I don’t mind them, though they bring back memories of outside toilets at my primary school. The daddy longlegs used to lurk around the pipe from the high cistern. There was a damp autumnal smell most of the year, better than boys’ toilets next door which frankly stank. The boys used to try to drag us in there in kiss chase. It was a major incentive to run fast.
There was one occasion when a boy was allowed in the girls’ toilets. Actually, not allowed, ordered. Someone had called him names when he had been in the field over the wall retrieving a ball. He had reached for the ample horse dung and flung it at the toilets.
He spent the day cleaning it off. I don’t remember his name, but I can still see him, a big boy in my eyes, knee length grey shorts and the ubiquitous short back and sides. He had dark curly hair, and he reminded me of a sheep.
In time, new toilets were built for us delicate girls inside. The boys got our old toilets, and the smelly structure in the corner of the playground was pulled down.
Tonight’s daddy longlegs started in the bathroom where the window is open. It’s in the sitting room now, hovering up by the ceiling and bringing out MasterB’s hunting instincts. He doesn’t think it’s playing fair and is miaowing piteously, then climbing to places where he should not go. My flowers are at risk, my cards are on the floor and my wine has remained in the bottle.