Immediately after breakfast I rang CVS to discuss whether a volunteer has any protection when it comes to disability discrimination. They don't, not in the same way as an employee. But organisations do often have equal opportunities statements and this might be a way to ask them to acknowledge the unusual and possibly challenging behaviour that people on the autism spectrum might display. And not to just acknowledge it, but to make what they do as accessible as possible.
And whilst on the subject of disability awareness, I'd like to invite readers to take a few more minutes to watch parts one and two of this film, 'Talk', from the Disability Rights Commission.
This is the underside... note a partially rotted tomato skin and grape twigs.
This is the same organism in my hand, to show scale.
So, what is it? Well I believe this is a 'slime mold' which is fairly closely related to fungi, but it's different. It has a really interesting life cycle. It starts as a spore, which germinates and becomes a single celled organism, maybe similar to a bacterium or amoeba. It is motile, ie it can move around. Then, due to some environmental cue, these single celled organisms club together in groups, and start to behave like a multicellular organism, somewhat like a slug. Some cells become the foot, some the front end, etc. They don't develop a mouth or gut though. What happens next is that it settles and starts to grow into what looks more like a fungus, with surfaces or specific parts where sexual reproduction takes place, releasing spores like a fungus. These disperse and become the next generation. So, unless I'm told something different, this is what I think this thing is. Apologies for the poor quality of the photos, Gill's camera isn't designed for close-ups.
I had a quiet evening, watched some TV with the children and prepared a load of bananas and melon for drying. Enjoyed the 3D films on Channel 4.