Surrounded by something that might have been advertised as marshmallow oil, as I lay in the bath I noticed there was a ladybird insect on the leg razor I had left on the windowsill. I watched as it tried to disembark, its little legs waving dramatically, but not quite being able to reach from the obscurely contoured object to the flat surface of freedom. I moved the razor very slightly by way of assistance, but felt this went slightly underappreciated by the ladybird which had stopped moving entirely in response. I thought of Stephen Fry conveying the story of the spider in the toilet- when once it was rescued it promptly died- and consequently decided to have no further involvement with the ladybird’s compelling struggle for survival. I did however wonder if telling my step mother “there was a ladybird” was a reasonable excuse for not cleaning everything away after the bath.

Upon returning to my bedroom and switching on the light I was reasonably distressed to find a huge, malformed creature in the corner of my room, which is not terribly usual. I did however then realise that this was merely a shadow, and turning around I found the source was my lampshade… whereupon the ladybird had settled. “Oh, hello,” I said, “it’s you again”.

“Hello,” said the ladybird in reply, in a deep and terrifying voice, “I have a message for you”.