Within half an hour the itching had eased but my hand was still stiff and sore. Still, I managed to fall asleep and did not wake again until nearly ten o'clock. My hand was still swollen but the itch was gone. I felt down, firstly because I had slept too late and secondly because my body was a wreck and I was going to end up allergic to everything. What had I ate? There was the blackcurrant wine but I'd had it a few nights ago and no reaction. Oh yes, pine nuts. I'd added pine nuts to a rather bland salad and as the packet was still sitting out I'd had a few more spoonfuls after supper. I'm trying to ease off on sugar (afraid of diabetes) and when I do that I always turn to nuts. No more pine nuts, no more pesto. God, this was getting depressing. I might even be allergic to dairy or wine and where was it going to end? Living out the rest of my days eating a dreary diet of milkless porridge, green vegetables and whatever first class protein my stupid immune system permitted me.
I plodded on with my day. Sowed some seeds to cheer myself up. Peter called in. I was recounting the story of being woken up, hand on fire, batting of my husband's puerile jokes about the duvet in flames when Bert said,
Probably something just bit you.
And then I remembered, the last time my hand felt like that was about ten years ago when a spider I was rescuing from a sink bit me on the finger. Knowing what it probably was made me feel a lot better because I can still eat pesto and drink blackberry wine. Unfortunately for the spider clan I might be less careful when cleaning and vacuuming for I'm always watching out that I don't hurt my eight-legged friends. But from now on I'm going to look the other way and hoover the fuck out of them. Imagine it, a decent wee woman sleeping away and Incey-Wincey lowering himself on to her pillow and the good wee person accidentally brushes him with the back of her hand and next thing allergic reaction. And if that doesn't deserve a good run of Hettying I don't know what would.
Actually, I probably will still be nice to spiders. Getting bit once every ten years isn't too awful. And I can still drink blackberry wine.