This morning we had our monthly visit from the local pest controllers, who come to Bagdad and spray the houses for insects and other "bugs". Cockroaches in particular need to be kept under control as they are a favourite food of scorpions (so far we have had only one scorpion in the house but we have to be continually vigilant as they are a pale colour and can blend in with carpet, etc). The pest controllers came in and looked around, inspected the hot water cupboard (favourite bug hang-out) and said, "Oh look, you've got a TARANTULA"! To which of course the only logical response is "AIIEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!!" (runs away screaming). Fortunately it was dead, having been caught in a glue trap placed last month. I REALLY HATE spiders but unfortunately this kind is endemic to Arizona and the current monsoon season is making them more active. They are not often seen indoors (although our local library has one captive in a glass case) but are common in backyards and of course in the desert. Thankfully they are nocturnal and not usually noticed in daylight. Needless to say that will be the last time that I check the hot water system!