The spider and the bumble bee – a story of Lewes’s Liberal life.

Here in my home town of Lewes, UK,  now thanks to secret voters in the recent General Election, a Conservative constituency, we are learning to take the rough with the smooth. It’s spring, which is nice, but it’s been unseasonably cold, well, cool in that North West wind that has blown up over the last few days but that has meant that the blossom has hung around longer than usual and that’s good too. Yes, we are taking the rough with the smooth here now that we have found out that our new member of Parliament is a Conservative and that our former and rather splendid MP, the energetic Liberal-Democrat Norman Baker has been unceremoniously cast aside after 18 years as Lewes’s representative in Parliament.

Now, I like spiders. I’ve often said that in these blogs and, here in my small town garden in the now Conservative constituency of Lewes, I am lucky to have a healthy community of little creatures all, as far as I can tell, feeling at home here. The spiders are much in evidence and that is good.


In these days when we are told that bees, rather like Social-Democrat MPs, are becoming worryingly scarce, I am fortunate to have a lively community of bees buzzing around in my garden too.

I like bees, especially bumble bees and do everything in my power to help them to thrive here by planting flowers and shrubs that are bee-friendly. I hope I’m making a difference because my environment would be a whole lot less pleasant if bees disappeared altogether.

I do have, of course, spiders and, as I said, I like spiders too.

In the summer months, I’m lucky enough to have beautiful creatures like damsel flies.

Sadly, sometimes, my spiders catch my damsel flies but, well, I have learnt to take the rough with the smooth.


I try to stay calm when I see another example of Nature being red in tooth and claw but it doesn’t stop me wishing for a greener Britain one day. Through all of this, I’ve carried on liking spiders.


The only problem is that I have begun to associate Britain’s endangered bees with this country’s similarly endangered Liberals because, in both cases, I believe Britain would be less, well,  British without them.
So, just after that General Election when Lewes rejected Norman Baker, I noticed from my bathroom window that one of my spiders had caught a bumble bee. The more it struggled, the more it got ensnared. Well done to the spider who had got itself a fine meal but, hey, I thought of Mr Baker and tried to ignore the comparison. One day soon, I hope, that friendly buzzing sound will return to my Lewes garden. Lewes wouldn’t be the same without bees or Liberals.


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