No bogeymen

“Oh what a beautiful mor-nin’, oh what a  beautiful day, I’ve got a beautiful feelin’ … “

Pull the curtains and it’s blue out there. Cold, but blue.

Sleeping upstairs, in the snug, on the sofabed, as the Prof (in his ‘Tex’ incarnation) is away yet again. The view’s gorgeous in autumn from the snug. And not only is the television in there, it’s right next door to the kitchen.

One pot of Rwanda tea pours the first of three – maybe four – cups.

Two veggie sausages, languishing in the freezer,  pop in the oven.  (I’m tired of porridge.)

Two and a half tomatoes ripe for roasting, ditto (one of few benefits to solitary catering – I like them for breakfast, Tex doesn’t).

And a nasty shock when I look out of the window.

The golf course chaps were here yesterday and  I waited until they’d finished – or so I thought – before I went out.

But what fresh hell is this?*

*(Artistic licence, it’s not really that bad)

A heap of strimmed undergrowth where the fairy performance space used to be (or the fox, more probably) and … Rudolf has vanished!

They were supposed to be taking out silver poplars, which spread via suckers, grow like fury and will colonise the earth bringing death to all foundations.

We (aka Tex-Prof) took out half a dozen from right beneath our wall. So the golf club men were doing us a favour. But last time, they left Rudolf standing. King of all he surveyed, in solitary stately splendour.

So where is the poor creature?

It’s no good, the morning’s soothing balm has been wet-wiped away.

I bathe.

Sit at my desk for an hour and a half trying to sort out my website* forgetting I’m still wrapped in a bath towel.


Suddenly cold!

And it’s almost 11.00. And I said I would see a friend who works at a woodland Nature Reserve on Saturdays. Saturday mornings.

I leave the house. Lock the two doors.

Forget something. Go back. Unlock the two doors.

Repeat the locking and leaving. Set off for the car, put everything in (2 cameras, phone, water bottle, purse, notebooks, reading material [the novel I should be editing plus depressing stuff about the Doomsday Clock], pens, tissues, brush, lipsalve – oh, plus eyedrops and spare glasses as I’m wearing contacts).

Then remember Rudolf.

I can’t leave without finding out. Unlock the two locked doors AGAIN. Fetch the key, open the gate. Rummage through heaps of dead bramble cuttings.

Find his head.

Oh, alas alack, poor head!

Find his body with only two legs.

And finally, two amputated legs.

Lay them out on the paving stones.

I couldn’t find his antlers 😦

Re-lock gate. Wash hands. Re-lock doors.

And, finally, set off.

Arrive around noon. The weather newly brrr-cold and cloudy.

I decide to walk first, see friend later.

That’s when the fungus takes matters into its own hands. Or spores, I suppose, not hands.

The half-hour walk takes an hour.


Raymond Briggs’ fantastic book, a child’s delight – this adult’s delight actually

I set out in a dingy mood. But at the first sighting I’m won. Lost to the delights of fungus, smiling at fond memories of green snot and Fungus the Bogeyman.

Now, it so happens we are going on a walk with a fungus expert in two weeks’ time. So you might imagine I’d wait to share images till I knew what they actually were.

But here’s the thing about me and blogging. And – for those of you who ever want to do your own PR or excite a journalist about a story – the same is true for many journalists.

We like to find our own stories.

The sentence almost guaranteed to kill interest in a story is: ‘this would make a good story.’

Or, even worse, ‘I’d  like you to write this in your article.’

Or, ‘this is fascinating, are you going to write about it?’

So, without further ado, I’m going to share some of the images.

And totally out of context (and specially for fellow blogger Karen at a very different fungus:

An old image from Zambia. One of the metre-wide mushrooms that small antelopes shelter under that are a speciality of the northern region in the rainy season. Check out the little baby behind the mum’s back. Women stand by the side of the road selling these and bowls of red chanterelles.

Well, that’s all, really.

My apologies for this erratic and inconsequential post.

I’m not on good blogging form, too many things telling me they’re more important. And a world so incredible (and often not in a good way) I don’t know where to begin.

One day, no doubt, some of it will come out.

Rants. Moans. Walks. Recipes. Maybe even some fiction.

You have been warned.

By the way,  my friend waited for me, she’s kind like that (even though Barney, her dog was itching for his walk).

And the clouds dispersed.

And the sun took over.

And I’m sitting at my desk again. Cold again.

Ready for another cup of tea.

Au revoir!

*Remember this asterisk? The website is still working, if you are desperate for a copy of A Little Match Girl it’s – though if you want to wait a while longer I may start sending out individual copies in red envelopes instead of brown. We’ll see, when they arrive…

This entry was posted in Art, jaunts & going out, Britain now & then, Lancashire & the golf coast, Nature notes and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

24 Responses to No bogeymen

  1. graemefergshotmailcom says:

    I’ve always thought that the return of Fungus the Bogeyman could be a massive commercial success.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. jilldennison says:

    I DO love the way your mind works and love this post!!! You put a smile on this tired ol’ face! I did almost cry over Rudolph, though. Last month, the people who maintain the grounds in our townhouse complex pulled up all my sunflowers and I realized it only after the last one had been pulled. I went out in a fury and threatened to reign havoc on their heads, and then came inside, sat down on the stairs and cried for a full half-hour. Sigh. Anyway … love the description of your day (I do hope you put clothes on before you went out?) and the fungal pics! Who knew there were so many varieties? Not I. Have a wonderful weekend, my dear friend.


    • Ha! Now going out in my towel, that would have been quite an aberration and very chilly! Yes, since I was being so detailed (I nearly used another expression and stopped myself 😂) I should have mentioned the trousers, polo shirt, hoodie and trainers 😁. So glad it brought a smile and your sunflower story had me crying on the stairs with you. Is it just me, the world is reducing me to tears BOTH of joy and sorrow more often than it ever has – is it this age of extremes we are in? Take care, take some time for yourself,
      have some r&r this weekend dear Jill 🤗🤗🤗

      Liked by 1 person

      • jilldennison says:

        Hmmmm … I think I know what ‘other expression’ you almost used 😉 No, my friend, it is NOT just you, but most of us who have a degree of intelligence, follow the news, and care. We are indeed in an age of extremes … mostly not very nice ones. I shall, and you do the same.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Wonderful fungi pics!
    No one goes mushrooming here and while i have seen some that look recognisable I need a book…and the book that exists does not have photographs!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Lovely story. I was there with you. I would love to hear your encounters with Bread.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Judy Nicholson says:

    Stop apologising Mary! Those fungus photos are amazing. Feel very sad about Rudolf though…

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sorry 😁
      I took more pics, some of very tiny blobs, but decided to stick with the ones I liked best.
      I am quite upset about poor Rudolf mostly because the men trashed him 😣 but coincidentally the walk I went on is in a wood managed by the Lancashire Wildlife Trust and a man who supports the Trust makes reindeer like Rudolf for sale in winter, that’s where he came from 😊


  6. No photographs? Barmy! I am always very dubious about eating foraged mushrooms, in fact the only time I did I was almost sick just because of the worry! That added to the fact that the ones my then boyfriend had picked had to be cleared of an infestation before cooking bleeurgh. I look forward to the walk with the expert. And will probably promptly forget everything she says.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Great photos! I love Kenyan tea – I’ll be on the lookout for Rwandan tea. Thanks for the update!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Kathleen – good to hear from you. Yes, the Rwandan is tasty though I think Kenyan maybe has the edge… I like to switch around! I used to like Rab’s Classic Malawi which the prof brought back from Zambia but he but can’t seem to find it any more.
      What’s happening with your blogging? I don’t get any notifications, are you still at the oasis 😉 ?

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Why oh why is it difficult for some to get other people? Why could they not leave Rudolf? I mean I get the workers, they were there to work. But surely with some thought & care. I’m probably too bloody naive and hopeful for the best of things. Still. Despite much evidence & experience to the contrary. Sigh.
    And, on to mushrooms… I’m looking forward to a fungus expert report post. My grandfather taught me about field mushrooms when I was very young, and I’m confident still but only field mushrooms. I would love to forage for -and eat- a wider variety. But not magic mushies which have quite a following for some in these parts. For all it’s ups and down I like reality, and life.

    Liked by 1 person

    • OK, I see I have to take notes!
      As to Rudolf, yes, the last time they did some work they left him looking out expectantly waiting for next Christmas… Sob. Santa will not be calling at someone’s house this year 😦


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