Top 5
Things that make me scream and other people laugh (at my expense).

Imagine, if you will, a quiet, squeamish,  9 year-old city girl from London. Her only contact with spiders being the occasional Daddy Long legs in the bathroom. See her now at her new home in Victoria, Australia. Everything’s bigger, brighter and very foreign. There are amazing birds of all shapes, sizes and colours. On her new bedroom wall is a Gould League poster illustrating the varied birdlife that might be found in her big, leafy treed backyard. She absently taps the poster thinking of nothing in particular. From being the poster creep two enormous black hairy spider legs.
Screams. An athletic leap from the bed to the other side of the bedroom door. Where she remains refusing to enter the room until the spider is gone.
My poor Dad. Who was just as squeamish and unfamiliar with our exotic arachnid friends armed himself with the vacuum cleaner and removed the offending beastie.
To this day I’m not the best with anything that has more than 6 legs. Unless it is salt and pepper squid.

 Not so much the movie as the brilliant timing of my brother. I was 14. My (still) best friend and I were sitting in the dark in my bedroom watching the climax of the movie; just as the chair holding ‘Mother’ was being turned around. My brother (I do love him really!) opened my bedroom door and threw a stuffed toy at me. Screams ensued. Everyone else thought it was funny.

 I have always had a morbid fear of leeches. I think it may all stem from a Medicines exhibition that I was taken to when I was about 8 or 9 at The Science Museum in London. I remember feeling distinctly queasy whilst looking at tools used to drill holes in the skull and reading about the use of leeches to cleanse the blood.
There are two parts to this story; one when I was about 15 and my brother chased me around a holiday garden with a leech in a jar with the lid on. I am blonde on the inside.
The second …I wasn’t so young…21(well yes I was that young!) In a rowing boat, on the lake at Pokhara, Nepal. We rowed to the far side of the lake and had a bit of a walk in the jungle. Back in the boat I take off my sandals to find tiny little leeches attached to my feet. Much to my then partner’s embarrassment I begin screaming at the top of my voice “Get them off me” over and over again. He keeps rowing and I hysterically scrape them off my feet. I can laugh now. They really were tiny. Needless to say my over sympathetic partner (not) and I have since parted ways!

Electric Fences:
Surprise, surprise. My brother appears again. Amazingly, I am still on speaking terms with him. This time in cahoots with my Dad. I am about 14. A very gullible and trusting 14 year old. Trust me; I am a lot more cynical now! Another holiday. On a farm. My brother and Dad convince me that the fence is switched off and it won’t hurt me.
‘Just grab it” they say…. So Muggins here wraps her whole hand around the wire. You can imagine the hilarity that followed. The laughs and holding of sides. Even Mum was laughing. I, meanwhile, in mortal pain up to my arm pit (as only a 14 year old can be!) Am reduced to angry tears and hurt pride. Oh we still all laugh about that one.

Scary Email Attachments:
I am a horror movie wimp. When I do watch them it’s usually with my hand clenching the Milkman’s arm hard enough to leave bruises. I am struck with fear for a good 2 to 3 weeks afterwards. I had to turn the lights on at night for about 3 months after watching The Ring. I sidled past the TV in dread each time I had to get up and go the toilet. I even took to waking up The Milkman to accompany me to the toilet.
 It’s okay. You can laugh. Two nights ago we watched 28 Weeks Later. I really liked 28 Days Later and I wanted to watch the sequel. But yes, I am a tad nervous when I got to the toilet at night now. It would be very easy to induce a girlish scream from me.
 Anyhoo, a few months ago I got an email from a girlfriend with a power point attachment called Sweet Dreams. I was sitting alone, in the dark. The presentation opened and the instructions were to click on the red dot. With each cute picture of fluffy kittens and sweet babies the dots became smaller and smaller so I crept closer and closer to the monitor. The very last screen was a picture from the Finding Nemo movie. Its had lots of very tiny flecks and I literally had my nose on the screen to find the dot. But find it I did! Click! Suddenly an awful scream blares from the speakers and a rotting zombie face is eyeball to eyeball with me. I scream in return, push my chair as far back from the desk as possible and run, sobbing, into the lounge room to the Milkman. He thinks I’ve  hurt myself. I’m hyperventilating, my heart is pounding. I’m so upset I can hardly speak.
I know as soon as start to tell him (through hiccoughs) that I sound totally stupid. I even laugh a little. But I still get the Milkman to open any power point attachments that I’m not sure of. There have been more sent. I shut my eyes and block my ears.
 I’m still a girly wimp! Hurrah!