Author Archives: heretherebespiders

About heretherebespiders

Ex-pat American living in Ireland. Sarcastic, decrepit. Loads of interests: reading, plants, pets, food, art, writing, drinking, space, quantum theory. Not 'girly' and not interested in being so.

We Need Some Lumi!

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This writing about what I’ve read is starting to annoy me already, as I will have several books under my belt before I can be arsed to post. I finished another one today…

I need to tell you about Lumi instead!

He is MASSIVE. Not quite 10 months old, he weighs nearly a stone (14lbs to a stone, so over 6 kilos). He won’t be fully grown until he is a year and a half old. Whoa! I seem to have a little white tiger in my house.


Neko and Lumi being buddies in the sunshine this week. Neko still has her St Patrick’s bandanna on – she loves it. Neko is about 36 kilos (just under 80lbs) so it does help to give an idea of Lumi’s size.


Such a long tail, too.


Mid-air action shots! He loves leaping to catch a toy (feathers onna stick are the best). It was sooo hard to get these. The rest of the play session was a white blur. 

Books I’ve Read #22 – Sandstorm 

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By James Rollins.

This is one from my work library, so it is a book I literally judged by its cover and took with me to read in the sunshine (or not) with Piggy Cat (or not).

As such, I consider it a disposable book. By that I mean not only that someone else bought it and gave it away, but that I have no intention of logging any of this book in my long term memory. That said – for an action novel there is a good amount of science fiction and history, which are both enjoyable for me. It also seems this is book one of a series, so if you like it, there are more to come. Assuming same characters in different situations. 

Books I’ve Read #21 – Baal

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Robert McCammon’s first published book!

I’ve been a fan of McCammon since Boy’s Life – one of my all-time favourite books.

Baal being his first, I find it is rough and not very polished, and has a few jarring bits of writing. Especially at the start. Once he finds his stride it isn’t bad. So glad he kept writing.

Bloomin’ Wonderful

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Himself bought me a bunch of hyacinth bulbs. I love to have them inside, as I adore their fragrance. Can’t do that, with kitten-features about the place. I was rushed to get them into the ground, so I stuck them wherever I could. I’m well pleased!


First one to show her face. I found her fallen over and staked her up, to no avail. Broken off at the stalk, this one is now fragancing my living room. If you look closely, there is another flower head coming up on the right, so all is not lost!


I’m feeling a bit sorry I didn’t put them in sunshiney places. This, and the next one, never see direct sun.


So lovely, aren’t they? And the scent is incredible. Hope I get some bees having a sip.


My new peony has survived! Not being sure how old she is, I don’t expect flowers this year. I could be surprised! It’s the first one I’ve ever grown.


Indoors, my gerbera daisy plants are soooo happy. As am I, to see these beauties every day.



Scottie – these are the ones I reccomend to bring some light and colour of life into your home. They are rather expensive to buy, for a plant, but if you grow from seed like I did, they are never ending beauty. 

Paddy’s Day Tunes 2017!

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A very short one this afternoon, as in about an hour we are going to the pub to watch the parade!

I wanted to share the link to hubby’s internet radio show and his St Patrick’s Day Special. All Irish musicians picked and played for you by an Irishman in Ireland!

If you are looking for some good music to get you in the celebratory mood, please have a listen!


Photo by the DJ, taken in our town the day of the Paddy’s Day parade, 1988.

Edit: now with a playlist!

1. Tom Morrison – Dunmore Lassies/Manchester Reel/Castlebar Traveler

2. Something Happens – Hello, Hello, Hello, Hello, Hello (Petrol)

3. The Four Of Us – Fool For Temptation

4. Power of Dreams – Never Told You

5. Ghost Of An American Airman – Honeychild

6. Forget Me Nots – So Good

7. Cypress Mine – Funny Street

8. The Would Be’s – Funny Ha Ha

9. That Petrol Emotion – It’s A Good Thing

10. Cactus World News – The Bridge

11. The Fountainhead – The Rhythm Method

12. The Blades – Ghost Of A Chance

13. Microdisney – Town To Town

14. Those Nervous Animals – The Business Enterprise (My Friend John)

15. Wilt – No Worries

16. Bawl – Older And Older

17. In Tua Nua – All I Wanted

18. A House – I’ll Always Be Grateful

19. Cry Before Dawn – The Seed That´s Been Sown

20. The Frank and Walters – Colours

21. NRBQ – It’s St. Patrick’s Day

22. Sack – What Did The Christians Ever Do For Us?

23. Stump – Boggy Home

24. Thin Lizzy – Emerald [BBC Session]

25. Rory Gallagher – Follow Me

26. Sultans Of Ping – Where’s Me Jumper?

27. Morrissey – Irish Blood, English Heart

28. Julian Cope – Cromwell in Ireland

29. The Waterboys – The Stolen Child

30. Kate Bush – Mná Na hÉireann (Women of Ireland)

31. Sinéad O’Connor – I Am Stretched On Your Grave

32. Kila – Leath Ina Dhiaidh a hOcht (Half Eight)

33. Damien Dempsey – St. Patrick’s Day

34. The Stunning – Brewing Up A Storm

35. An Emotional Fish – Celebrate

36. Toasted Heretic – Another Day, Another Riot

37. U2 – Bad (Live)

38. Jerry Fish & The Mudbug Club – True Friends (Autamata Remix)

What Is Odd About You – an Informal Experiment 

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I got to thinking. Scary, I know! What occurred to me is that being able to move your toes independently, curling your tongue, and wiggling your ears are actually primitive abilities.

First, if you can, watch this:

If you can’t or don’t want to watch the video: lie your arms flat, palm up, and touch your thumb to your pinkie finger. If you see this raised thingie in your wrist…


…then you have the unnecessary muscle, palmaris longis, that is only really useful for climbing trees freehand. I have the palmaris longis in both my arms. Hubby does not, in either arm.

Clearly the three Auricularis muscles (ear movers, if you didn’t watch) are more developed in those of use who can wiggle our ears or scalp. From the video, I understand that both of these are traits that quite a few of us have evolved beyond.

I’d like to know – do any of you who do have odd talents have the palmaris longis? Do any of you who profess to have no human tricks have it?

My next question is likely to get fewer answers, but might explain my ‘unevolved’ state.

I’d like to know if any of you who responded to the original post have had DNA testing done on yourself, or close family members. I bought my father the National Geographic’s Genographic Project DNA testing kit a few years back. I won’t go into heavy detail here, but one part of his results does relate to my as-yet-untested hypothesis.

My father has “… about 2% Neanderthal, which is in the range for most of European extraction. (1-4%) No Denisovan.”

If my father is 2% Neandertal, that means I am about the same (the test only works on male DNA). So perhaps I got a bit more from mom, or dad has his own set of throwback abilities. Hi Dad! (Waves) Maybe send me an email and let me know what you think!

So who is in? Let’s see if my hypothesis that we who have wiggly bits that most don’t, also might be less evolved? I certainly don’t take the idea as something derogatory. I rather like the idea that I’m a bit of a throwback. 

Books I’ve Read No. 19 -fledgling 

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By Octavia E. Butler.

Loved it. I read it a little slower than most of the books that I really like. I think it is because I had not one clue what was going on at first, and some parts at the beginning are pretty disturbing! Once I understood that what I thought was horrible had a good reason for being, it was simply fascinating.

Even more fascinating is the author herself. Have a look at her Wiki page – she won so many awards and I’m sorry to see she has passed on. 

I’m sure I’ve read something of her work before, but never looked her up. This new experiment of mine, blogging about what I’ve read, is a welcome educational experience for me, too.

Books I’ve Read No. 17 & 18 – autumn & autumn:the city

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Both by David Moody.

autumn, and autumn: the city are part of the author’s Autumn series: very loosely described as a post-apocalypse zombie series.

After reading Hater, I was excited to have a six book set to delve into. Sadly, I just don’t care for these books. I struggled through the first two, and gave up quite quickly into the third one.

It’s not the quality of his writing, not at all. It’s that I don’t care about the characters. They bore me. They keep dithering over making decisions over and over and over. No one is taking charge, and no one seems to really want to do anything to survive without whining about it for days until their choices are taken away from them by lack of action. Maybe that is the main point – but I don’t care for it. I kept thinking of ways to solve their problems much easier and faster! I don’t want to be the smartest person in a book. I want the characters to surprise me.

It doesn’t mean you won’t like the books – lots of people do! I’m not giving up on the author, as I’m still very curious as to what happens to the main character in Hater!


What Is Odd About You?

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My version of Stupid Human Tricks, I suppose? 

I can curl my tongue in any direction. Not just in a curl but sideways to the left and the right. I never knew this wasn’t something everyone can do. It seems so simple to me.

My older sister has synesthesia. She also never realised it wasn’t something everyone did! She sees names or words in colour. That is pretty damn awesome. And a shock to realise it isn’t how everyone else sees the world.

I can wiggle my baby toe, or pinkie toe, independent of the rest of my toes. It was way easier before I broke both my pinkie toes (one to tripping while being quite drunk and barefoot, one to a horse that trod on me). Both in the same 6-month span of time, too.

Maybe another odd thing about me is that that I’ve never had another broken bone. Mine are quite strong, despite all my clumsiness and my willingness to throw my body anywhere as a child.

What brought this on is something I’d like to know if anyone else can do. 

I can wiggle my ears – but I can also make my eardrums vibrate. I’m going to sound quite insane here, maybe: I definitely, habitually, pin my ears back, like a dog or cat, when I am not happy with the situation. I can push that movement a little more and I hear a wind-like sound in my ears.

Not sure what exactly I am doing, muscularly? I can do it at will. I can wiggle my ears without making the sound, or I can wiggle and make the sound.

Anyone else? I know hubby can’t do any of it from tongue to ear. I’d love to know if anyone else can do my same thing. Or if not, what can you do that it seems others cannot?