Saturday, 6 December 2008

Saturday 6th December 08

The boys had a lie in til about 9am which was a small but lovely treat. A relatively peaceful morning followed... and I cycled down to town to put in yesterday's cheque and a couple of other bits and pieces. Decided to come back via the cycle track and collect some logs, but when I'd done this I continued along the track which became increasingly icy and slippery and virtually impossible to push my overloaded bike and trailer. It was totally impossible to actually ride the bike on this ice, and so slippery that my feet didn't have enough purchase to push the bike. At one place, I had to unload the trailer, push the bike to a less slippery bit and re-load. I stopped off at St Nicks and chatted to Robin who was looking after the place and warming soup for the eco-active volunteers on their woodstove.

I did eventually get home. Had lunch and tried to persuade both boys to come to St Nicks to attend the Fungus Foray which was being led by my friend Findlay Coopar. However, only our youngest was willing to come. He had a lovely time and played with Simon's son, and afterwards, Simon and offspring came back home for a coffee, natter and play. We found a good selection of fungi on the nature reserve, many of them quite difficult to identify brackets on logs, as there are lots of enormous tree trunks dumped there, making an excellent habitat for a range of organisms. So we found hoof fungus, a type of oyster called pulmonarius, which looks like lung tissue, 'Jews Ear' on Elder trees, Common Coprinus which has a drug called antabuse within it, used to try to help alcoholics stop drinking. There were also candle snuff fungus, 'dead mans fingers, velvet shank, and Simon had spotted some Oyster on the way to St Nicks, which he went to find and bring in to show everybody. Findlay knows a lot about fungi including the encrusting ones which I don't know much about. I really enjoyed myself.

After Simon went, I put three sacks of compostables into the compostumbler and brought a load of apples and garlic back up the garden for preserving. I helped Gill do tea, by preparing some sweetcorn and home-grown potatoes, which needed a lot of work as the slugs and woodlice had got there first, but had left plenty for us as well. A good tea.

Gill and I had a game of Scrabble and I washed, halved, topped and tailed, cored, peeled and sliced about 20 apples which had been thrown away, and put these 80 or so slices on cake racks on the big water cans on the stove to dry... an excellent harvest from the bins! I won the Scrabble.

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