Monthly Archives: October 2010

Not currently reading…

The TYO wanted me to read a book to him. He picked one from the Waterstones display and handed it to me. I told him it wasn’t really suitable because he wouldn’t like the pictures. I also admitted to him that I had once attempted to read it myself but hadn’t managed to finish it. He put it back where it came from and together we chose something else. Don’t get me wrong. It isn’t that I’ve got anything against Stephen Hawking, it’s just that I don’t think A Brief History of Time is the kind of book I should be reading to a three-year-old.

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Reading Matters

I have finished reading The Dying Light and started another book. This one isn’t a novel. There was a time when I read almost nothing but technical stuff, mainly geology books and professional papers so I could keep up to date with the science. This book, Death of an Ocean, I am reading for pure pleasure. I was hooked on it as soon as I opened it. The authors have managed to produce a book that is both educational and interesting – no mean feat for a book that deals with the evolution and development of the geology of a large chunk of Britain. I’m almost embarassed to admit that the geology of the Scottish Borders is something I knew very little about. I’m sure that is about to change.

I am also starting John le Carré’s ‘Our Kind of Traitor’. The book has been given mixed reviews but one thing is certain, I am sure to encounter a few words I’ve never come across before.

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Fungus the Bogeyman*

No, I am not referring to Professor Roy Watling who led the fungus trip around Dawyck (pronounced Doyk), the Royal Botanic Gardens of Edinburgh’s Estate near Peebles the other day. He is certainly no bogeyman, though he is a superb teacher. Anyone who can get me interested in fungi other than edible mushrooms (strictly the kind you buy in the shops to cook at home) must be good.

I didn’t go on the trip because of any particular interest in toadstools, I simply wished to support local events and now I am hooked on them – that’s the local events, not the toadstools – I had no idea I could learn so much in such a short time with absolutely no effort. I don’t pretend to know the Latin names for any of these fungi any more than I managed to remember the names of fossils when I studied geology.

Since I went on the trip I am seeing toadstoods everywhere, though the likely reason for this is that Autumn is the time most of them appear (not a lot of people know that). Oh… for my readers in the USA (I have a few) I shall repeat that bit: “the reason for this is that Fall is the time most of them appear”. ‘Fall’ is a particularly descriptive name for this time of year.

The photos were taken at: TopWhitmuir Organics; Left – Dawyck; Bottom – my garden (growing in woodchip and looking suspiciously like an alien invasion).


Don’t ask me the names of any of these things. There are plenty of good books that will tell you. Here’s a beauty.

* here

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