Cathy Dobbs: Spider a most unlikely star of the Queen's funeral

What is it with spiders this year? We’ve had some huge eight-legged visitors in our house over the last few weeks, that would look more at home in the Australian outback than in the English suburbs.

The spider that gatecrashed the Queen's funeral
The spider that gatecrashed the Queen's funeral

Even the Queen’s funeral wasn’t safe from creepy crawlies as a small spider was spotted scuttling out of the wreath on top of her coffin.

As someone on the world wide web wrote: "Imagine you’re a spider in the garden and you fall asleep in a pink rose. When you wake up, you stretch all your little legs and realise that you’re suddenly naked in Westminster Abbey, on top of the Queen’s coffin in front of world leaders and billions of people."

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It’s funny how the Royal Horticultural Society president is suitably named Keith Weed. It got me thinking about other people with names that suit their job, such as BBC weather forecaster Sara Blizzard, Durham archaeologist Pam Graves, the UK’s longest serving Samaritans volunteer Alan Toogood and Michelin star chef Tom Kitchin.

However, the best one has to be the young lad who won the London Youth Games cross country title a few years ago. His name - Aaron Farr.

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If you’ve ever wondered what the ‘silent majority’ looks like, then it probably includes the miles of people queuing to pay their respects to the Queen. Young and old from all backgrounds, stood together and, for a while, divisive anger was replaced with camaraderie, respect and patience. Not only did we show the world our love for Queen and country, but we also reinforced the global view that we Brits love nothing more than a good queue.

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Like the estimated 4.1 billion people around the world, I watched the Queen’s funeral with my family. My son can’t say ‘funeral’ so he called it the ‘Queen’s few-meal’ – it sort of stuck, just like a lot of his misspeaking has. So, when we are searching for something, we say ‘Keep your eyes a-peepo’ which is much better than keeping your eyes peeled. Also, his favourite chocolate includes those little bitesize treats made in Bournville – ‘Cabin Buttons’.

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There have been warnings that the cost of living crisis could lead to more fires, as we use candles and portable heaters without taking extra care.

Most of us are looking for ways to save energy. At home we’ve shifted our hot water timer so it only comes on for one hour in the morning and the evening. It was worth doing, as we still have enough hot water in the tank for showers and washing up, and it should save some money.

We’re also planning on cutting back on the central heating, and using a portable heater in the room we work in. My husband has even suggested I don’t boil the kettle as much – now, I like to do my bit, but as a tea-loving Brit that’s a step too far.

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