Friday, September 29, 2006

The best offer I had all week

One of my school visits last week provided a memorable experience worth reporting. As I entered, I was met my a boy whose responsibility it was to greet visitors to the school.
"Welcome to xxxx school," he said "how may I help?"
"I'm here to see Mrs xxx," I replied.
"Shall I show you to her office?" he asked.
"That's fine. I know it's just along the corridor here"
"Shall I fetch you a chair from the dining hall?" he offered.
"That's very kind of you, but I'm sure Mrs xxx will be along any second. She is expecting me."
Did this young man's solicitude know no bounds?
"Would you like some soup?" he enquired.

Mrs xxx was greatly amused by the story, and had no knowledge of or explanation for this offer, and no, I hadn't stumbled into some kind of hospitality wars between local schools, despite having been regaled with the highest quality chocolate biscuits at another school the previous day. However, perhaps there was a possibility of hors d'oeuvres on my next visit. At this point, one of Mrs xxx's colleagues entered the room.
"I've just had a lovely mug of soup", she said.

Normal service not yet resumed...

A bit of a gap in the hunting owing to a heavy cold / flu laying me low last weekend. The weather has been very mild - quite close in fact. I decided to have a short outing after work today, so went "Robin". There was not much to find. certainly nothing for tea. I wonder if the temperature needs to drop before there is any chance of a new flush.At least I now have my dehydrator back in action.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Loadsa mushrooms

A brilliant morning's foray at "Ed woods" this weekend. The woods were full of bay boletes and saffron milk caps, and a few slippery jacks. There were some fine field mushrooms, but nothing to speak of in the way of wax caps. A bonus on the way back was a large harvest of sloes. Rounding off the morning with a pint of tea and a bacon butty made it a perfect Saturday morning.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Don't call us....

This week’s mushrooming activity was moderately successful: enough for tea and a few for the dehydrator. So that I can remember where I found stuff without giving away my location secrets, I’ll give each place a code name. Yesterday was “William”. There was nothing at all in the meadows, but the woodland yielded some Badius and Edulis, and a few fine Saffron milk caps. Unfortunately, the dehydrator decided to throw a wobbler, so if I can’t get it fixed soon, I’ll have to go back to using the airing cupboard.
At work, the week started badly when we discovered that following a reorganisation (god knows why) the phone number that our “clients” use to contact us had been discontinued. At least it had been reinstated by the end of the week, but only after we had made a fuss about it. This set me to wondering why people feel the need to reorganise things; does the phrase “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it” mean nothing to these people? I’m not against progress, far from it, but sometimes I can’t see any rhyme or reason behind changes. So perhaps I just need it explaining to me. Sainsbury’s please note.

Monday, September 04, 2006

Holland trumps Italy in tasteless Snowstorm contest

Now there's a sentence you thought you'd never read! There are lots more where that came from. For those beyond the magical world of QISS (don't even try to work out what it stands for!) there is an ongoing competition in the office for who can bring back the naffest snowstorm souvenir from their hols. The only rule is that they must cost no more than £2 / 3 Euros. Even if I say so myself, my Dutch boy and girl on a see-saw with a windmill in the background edged it over m'colleague's valiant two-sided submission of Vesuvius in its dormant and erupting states. The 4 days in the land of liquorice and bicycles was delightful. I devised a game for anyone visiting the country with a friend or partner. It involves spotting the most outrageous or unusual item being carried on a bike. Just to start you off, mine was a three piece suite, with a pair of crutches as a runner-up. Please do comment if you can offer any interesting sightings.
One of the high / lowlights of my stay was a visit to the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam; low, because it had been relocated (albeit temporarily) from its former site close to the Rijksmuseum and Van Gogh Museum to a building site round the back of the station,and all the fine impressionist and other modern masterpieces I remember from previous visits were no longer on display; high because one of the exhibitions there was unexpectedly splendid. I could not do it justice by trying to describe it. I'd urge anyone reading this to go and see it, or if this is not possible, at least look at the trailer and downloads on the website . The exhibition is called "The Falling Eye" by Saskia Olde Wolbers, and for anyyone who likes vivid images and intriguing and captivating tales, it is a sheer delight. The image above is a still from one of the videos.