Posted by: Andrew Skelton | 01/11/2012

Is That A Death Cap I See Before Me?*

Mushroom, originally uploaded by

Back home after a few days away, and despite good intentions of completing a couple of blogs each evening I didn’t once power up my laptop I took with me. Mind you, my camera only ventured outside the hotel room today for the first time (and that was because we were leaving our room behind – well, there wasn’t enough space to fit it in the car).

I did hint, with one of my blog titles (did you just check, Dear Reader?), our destination for the last few days and it was a rather high brow one as we were in the birthplace of the Bard, Stratford-on-Avon. I was never that interested in Shakespeare when at school, though I did try and read some of the plays, I much prefered Orwell, Wilde and Dostoevski however when we first moved to the Reading area a number of Shakespeare’s plays were performed in some old Abbey ruins which made for a very atmospheric setting which made me see the error of my ways.

For our final day, we ventured further afield, to the outskirts of the market town to look around the house where Anne Hathaway, who was later to become Mrs Shakespeare, was born and brought up. Set in rural Warwickshire, the Hathaways were wealthy tenant farmers with plenty of land surrounding the cottage, part of which has been given over to woodland, with a trail running through it. I’ve complained how due to my bad timing I’d missed most of the most of the mushrooms in the vegetation around the village, well I was in for a treat when walking through the copse as there were fungi wherever you looked. Unfortunately, it was raining, and I didn’t have my tripod with me so the photos are pretty poor, in fact I only took some so I could identify the species later. Not that they helped… I’ve still not managed to ID them correctly.

* Today’s Blog title (a mis-quote from Hamlet) was brought to you by my Son – he thought the phrase up!


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