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The Entling was happy yesterday; he turned up at the portacabin with a strange little ovoid in his hands; it had skin like brown paper and a small stem. I pressed it with my finger and a surprising cloud of spores burst out and covered us both; that was the unwise bit. But the Entling was happy because it was an earthball, as he had predicted, while his close friend and unspoken rival in mycology expertise was incorrect in diagnosing it as a witch's egg. I had brought in a sample from my back garden, which looks like an ordinary edible white mushroom apart from its pink gills. It bruises bright wet yellow, hence its common name of Yellow Stainer; eat it and relive all the glories of babyhood by projectile vomiting for a long time.

I spent the day creating a single side of A5 to explain the bug hotel, what it is and why, using a software package that baffled me entirely. The wood contains a stag beetle sanctuary, so I tried to use a photo of a stag beetle as a background; I stretched it, rendered it into white and green (ecological you see) and made it transparent. The result was terrifying. Putting text on top just enhanced the horror; never obscure a monster. It was reminiscent of the tentacled baddie at the end of Hellboy. Then it tiled and made my brain bleed. In the end I was rescued by another volunteer, who removed the stag beetle, turned it all a light green and white, and surrounded it with cartoon ladybirds. Much better.

Volunteering at the wood is a delight to me. It's beautiful and healing to my heart, they send you on useful courses, and I appear to have found myself attending Mycology 101. I am learning. The exchange for my time is worth it, and I am not poor so all is well.

But I do question some aspects of the government's push to get people to volunteer. Just because it works for me doesn't mean it works for everybody - opportunities like the wood do not turn up every day. For a government so against the 'Something for Nothing,' culture, they certainly like to get results without paying for them.

It's a strange thing how the unassuming mediocre can lead to serious wrong. Cameron strikes me as a straight B student, rather slippery, perhaps not brilliant, but level headed enough to stay out of trouble. And yet somehow he has appointed the most offensive cacophony of cretins to govern since Satan first mustered the parliament of Pandemonium, beyond even Thatcher's thugs. The Lib Dems have, to quote Galadriel, 'Fallen into shadow,' and the Labour party appear to have woken up just in time to start electioneering. They say the road to hell is paved with good intentions; this lot could get us there just as quickly without paving the roads. Meanwhile, the jubilation across Facebook at America's troubles is deeply distasteful, as though certain Brits need this as a vindication of our own parliamentary process - because it's working so well for our poor, our dispossessed, our sick, our disabled.

Meanwhile, there is a small wood where people do nice things and necessary things because they want to and they can. More of life should be that way.

Comments

( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
nortysarah
Oct. 2nd, 2013 11:36 am (UTC)
We had a beautiful wood near here that ran events on every day during the summer from fairy hunting and gruffalo trail to constructing a bivouac and cooking dampner. I sadly heard this week that they're closing down. I guess they wouldn't have had much business when the suns not out?
smokingboot
Oct. 3rd, 2013 06:17 am (UTC)
That's a shame. Autumn can be a great time for wild food /foraging courses etc, but I guess the problem is making enough money to sustain the business through Winter. Are they selling the forest?
nyarbaggytep
Oct. 4th, 2013 07:51 pm (UTC)
I like your assessment of the state of the world. I don't like the state of the world though, I would happily just go and live in a wood...
smokingboot
Oct. 5th, 2013 12:09 pm (UTC)
Maybe the world is a meaner place, or perhaps we just see it more clearly now. There's more to love by the edge of the sea or the heart of the wood.
nyarbaggytep
Oct. 5th, 2013 01:15 pm (UTC)
Definitely true. I think I just see it more clearly.
( 5 comments — Leave a comment )

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