Purveyor of Bollocks to the Crowned Heads of Europe
Tuesday, 27 September 2016
A walk in the woods
The end of the Indian Summer has put the lid on the Tupperware box which is G.B. out of season, and watching the documentary filmed in Alleppo last night left us exhausted with impotent grief.
John also threatened to mothball Going Gently, and made this threat/announcement here on my blog. Unthinkable.
So today, I am going to spend a few hours in a forest in energetic meditation by going on my first mushroom hunt of the season. I haven't told H.I. this yet, partly because I feel guilty enough about taking the day off as it is, and partly because mushroom forays are just not meditative if you are not on your own. It would be like fishing at a garden party if you attempted it with more than one other.
Every year, the commercial pickers at The New Forest make life more difficult for amateurs than the last. It is almost war there now, I am told, and the situation hasn't improved with the arrival of all the Eastern Europeans who have been brought up to hunt for the family since they were kids.
It has got so bad in these big forests, that most of them have imposed a blanket ban on picking of any kind, but the lure of hard cash from restaurants means that the commercial lot ignore it completely. There is a fungal war about to break out in the woods.
The forest management have tried to make up for it by having official identification outings, but what is the point of trooping through the trees with twenty others, only to be shown mushrooms which are the best edible varieties, then told that you are not allowed to pick, let alone eat them?
If I return with just two good mushrooms, then I will do what I always do and have them as the centrepiece for tonight's dinner. Sliced Penny Buns (or Ceps, or Porcini) or Hedgehog mushrooms browned in butter with maybe some scrambled egg on the side is a seasonal bonus which caps off a walk in the Autumnal woods wonderfully, but to go home empty-handed and exhausted is also satisfying to the soul.
Tomorrow, most of the specialist materials I bought yesterday (including a biocide...) for work are due to arrive. Tomorrow can wait.