Sunday, September 11, 2005

Finding time to actually sleep

Today I had to take my daughter Gemma da Hat back to University to start her second year of film studies at Lincoln University. We got just north of Stamford when her Mother rang to say she'd left her ID and credit cards behind. OH joy! So it was back to Peterborough and then back up the A1 an extra half hour on the journey. So we unloaded the car at Lincoln and I left Gemma, her boyfriend and her brother to sort her stuff out while I headed for Whisby Nature reserve. They didn't need me. Christ! I'm an old fogie. Why would they want an old man like me hanging around for spoiling their fun? Whisby nature reserve is incredible. It's very large. If you stay to the well trodden paths it's pretty boring. But off piste, away from the tourists and dog walkers and the OAP's it becomes interesting.

I'm concerned about a load of fish I found dead on the banks of a lake.

This one was two foot long. A prize specimen. But dead just like the three others I found within one hundred yards of each other. I don't know if any of you guys are fishermen. But does this happen? Do fish suddenly die like that? Or is it pollution? Why should an apparently healthy fish suddenly go belly up? Questions need to be asked. Anyway there was more to be seen...

These are the berries of the Woody Nightshade. When you start looking and I mean really looking you can see so much like....


...and Comfrey. All the comfrey in Peterborough are already dead. This one must be on it's second wind. A second growth. Early seeds that have fallen and already sprouted, rather than wait until next year. I met the warden of the Whisby nature reserve. He invited me into the section out of bounds to the public. Told me about how he was planning to mow the meadow and rake it all up now that the Fleabane has all done with seeding. He invited me back next year to photograph the Southern Marsh Orchids. I know I keep saying it's the end of the season. But it never fails to amaze me that there is always something to see, something to discover. No matter what I always seem to find somthing interesting on my travels. Not least this....

Fly Agaric or Amanita muscarina. Did you know that technically you are supposed to write the latin name in italics? The Genus starts with a capital and the species small case. I haven't done that before because I couldn't be bothered. But this is a hallucinagenic mushroom. Which means that you have great hallucinations before you die. German housewives used to break this up into saucers of water on a window sill to kill flies. It's a spectacular fungus. This is the first decent one I've seen in four years. You may be thinking "yeah yeah yeah! It's a toadstool. So fucking what?"
But to me it's an exciting find. But the excitement didn't stop there....

...because then I saw this, it was a foot tall. Incredible. It's a Shaggy ink cap.
I came home after dropping the boys off and settled down to watch TV. But who should turn up desperate to play me his latest songs but....

...Charlie. he played me three new songs. The first was OK, the second brilliant, the third?...... don't ask. It puts it into perspective when you read Pete Townsends blog. He writes something like a hundred songs for every one song that actually makes it to disc. So Charlie had a few beers made a phone call and announced he was going to meet some girl down Star Road and see if he could get a shag. Oh to have groupies! He left, slipping a can of beer into his inside coat pocket, "For later."
So then I had to create this post for you. I could have been in bed sleeping. I am almost dead on my knees. But no I choose to make the effort. Life can't stop just because you're tired. I can't waste a second of my life. I often get accused of burning the candles at both ends and then in the middle as well. I never stop. Actually I do, I stop when I drop. It can't be healthy. But that's me. I can't bring myself to waste a second doing something boring like sleeping. Life is such good fun. Life is brilliant. As I said earlier my children probably think I'm a boring old fart. But while they are thinking they are having a good time (because they don't know any better) I KNOW I'm having a good time. It's one of the sad things about youth. You have the energy to do stuff, but don't have the experience to actually put it in practice. I remember as a student I thought a great time was to go out with my mates and get slaughtered. Bin there, done that, boring. If only I knew then what I know now. I could have had some serious fun. I'd have had the energy to really kick some fun butt. I look at my children and they think they are having a great time. And I quietly think to myself "You don't know the half of it yet kiddos."

Note to self: Make to time to actually get some sleep.

Rock on dudes.


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