Field mushrooms x2

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Can I just thank followers Shazza and Rip, who contacted me to say the mushrooms highlighted in my last post should be edible and even included tasting tips, I am very grateful to them. Since that post I have noticed many more mushrooms sprouting up in the field outside the chalet and then I saw my neighbour passing by with a bowl, my neighbour who has lived all her life on the cliff.  I watched as she went into the field and started picking the mushrooms so I stopped her and asked how she knew they were edible, “I just know, I’ve always picked them, grew up picking them” and pointing to the fields beyond she said “they used to be covered in mushrooms until they were dug over for daffodil bulbs”. So there you have it, there have been mushrooms growing on the cliff fields for years so I just need to get out there with my bowl before my neighbours get them all!!

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field mushrooms?

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I went away up north for a working week, glorious weather and a wonderful catch up with friends amongst the working days. When I returned the garden was running rampant with nasturtiums, I have had some in the garden since the beginning of summer but they do take over and they found the pile of hedge cuttings we had put against the fence and have basically crawled all over them and the path. I don’t mind as it hides the twiggy mess but will have to watch out that they don’t self seed too much. I think I’m fighting a loosing battle! The other thing I noticed in the garden on my return were three mushrooms growing in the lawn. This is a first and I was quite excited so picked them and brought them in, they looked like field mushrooms but I wasn’t going to just slice, cook and eat. We made that mistake once before, quite a few years back and although we didn’t poison ourselves the mushrooms we picked were inedible, you couldn’t even get a knife through them. After that experience we bought a book, Mushrooms by Roger Phillips, considered to be Mr Mushroom in the U.K.  We got the book to help us on our foraging but needless to say we have NOT picked any mushrooms since, until now.

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The thing is, in the book they really do identify as Field Mushrooms but then again… could they be Agaricus semotus; or Yellow Stainer; or Agaricus pilatianus all of which are poisonous. The more you look online the more you think it’s okay, but then in the book the three poisonous possibilities look far more similar than those online. Aaaggggghhh.   I love the fact that nature has given us something on our doorstep, we have already picked copious amounts of blackberries and converted them into blackberry gin for Christmas and to just pick a mushroom and have it on toast for breakfast would be a thing of beauty – so I need to find out if these can be eaten, if anyone can help let me know. They look right and in my heart of hearts I think they are edible but…

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I threw them on the compost!!!

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channel view

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This is my neighbour’s chalet available to rent very reasonably via airbnb or Visit Rame  It sleeps four comfortably and has amazing views of the sea and fields beyond. There is a driveway for your car and a large garden alongside the chalet so you could even pitch a large tent!! Though you would have to check with them first!! Anyone who follows this blog should take a note of the links to this chalet and come and see the Rame Peninsula at first hand. Some positive pointers about the area…

  • The Rame Peninsula is known as the Forgotten Corner of Cornwall, meaning it’s less crowded than the north coast or parts of the south, yet it’s a good place to base yourselves to visit all the crowded ones.
  • People say they return because nothings changed since they were kids, which is why they bring their own children now. There is nothing but sand, sea, [some surf] and rock pools.
  • The bay is a dog friendly beach all year round so you can bring your beloved pet with you, it’s on the South West coast path and there are some great walks.
  • There is a fantastic cafe, the Cliff top Cafe, at Treganhawk cliff open everyday until 4pm and for an amazing meal out there is The View, the set lunch is great value.
  • The sun is still shining and it still feels like summer.

 

http://visitrame.org.uk/listing/channel-view

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Cornish Rural Touring

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In the autumn months there is a flurry of cultural offerings within the villages and small towns of Cornwall  via an agency called Carn to Cove. Cornwall has been hosting this kind of touring for years and it’s extremely successful partly because of the dearth of large scale theatres in the county. During the summer months there are many different outdoor performances to choose from but as the nights draw in where do you go? Carn to Cove is an arts scheme for rural communities where local people select the shows they want to see in their village halls choosing from music, dance, poetry, comedy and drama. The success of the scheme is down to the village communities, each venue has a promoter who are invited to a ‘menu party’ twice a year, where selected shows for that season get pitched [sometimes even by the performers themselves]. Once a show is selected by a venue then Carn to Cove administrate contacting the performers and deciding on convenient dates for everyone. Then, bar some paperwork and marketing the event for the village, the company will turn up and then it’s down to the village to run the event.

Me and Him Indoors went along to two such evenings this week, one in a local village hall on the Rame Peninsula via Carn to Cove and one in St Austell Arts Centre, both were packed with audience. There were volunteers running the front of house [issuing or checking tickets], staffing the raffle table and running the refreshments. In the Rame village hall the refreshments were through a hatch off the main hall that led to the kitchen, from where the wine and bottles of local beer were dispatched; in St Austell they had a separate bar.  Both had raffles, which are an added way of making money for the community and I was disappointed not to win at either place, there were the usual bottles of wine but also some tulip bulbs, which I had my eye on. Both shows were female led and both performed by mainly Cornish based professional actors; being local to the area can often help to bring in a bigger audience.

Having been on the other side of the stage at such evenings I know how adaptable you need to be, you may not get the designated dressing room you would have in a theatre, you may be changing in someone’s office, or a sports changing room or, like in one case when the venue was a museum, we had to share changing facilities with life size waxworks dressed in medieval costume [with the small addition of moths]. Sometimes depending on the size and lay out of the space you may have to share the toilet facilities with the audience and you may have to mingle with them ahead of the performance so you can use all the facilities. Aside from all these small compromises I also know how enthusiastic communities can be about these evenings as some villages become quiet in the autumn months after a busy summer holiday season and a show can bring a bit of life back into the place and, most of the audience know one another so there is a buzz going on before and after the show. The best thing about it is you are far more able to talk to the audience afterwards than in a traditional set up where you finish up back stage and by the time you have navigated your way out most people have left to get home.

There are various other schemes like Carn to Cove in the south west; Beaford Arts and Villages in Action cover Devon, Takeart covers Somerset and Arts Reach, Dorset.

 

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cabin envy NZ

 

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This large cabin is owned by the director of a New Zealand architectural practice so its obviously going to tick all the boxes design wise and for practicality. What you can’t see from the above picture but get a glimpse of the open doors [with black frames] is, that the same amount of window space is opened up on the other side leading to the wrap around deck with the outdoor fire. It also has two tubs sunk into the deck so you can bathe outdoors in front of the fire [I wish].

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Photo by Designboom  source  

 

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Marine Conservation Society’s 3 year survey

 

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The Marine Conservation Society have conducted a three year quarterly survey of 19 UK sites, one being at the eastern end of Whitsand Bay. Facilitated by Rame Peninsula Beach Care  Polhawn beach was cleared four times a year and the results came in as to what was collected from it. In total they cleared away 68,739 pieces of rubbish and that doesn’t include the tiny micro plastics that were too small to pick up and collected when, at times, the beach looked relatively clean to the naked eye. Some items came from large container spills, like the lego spill from 1997 and a load of HP Printer cartridges, but the most is just broken bits of plastic – 34,546 bits.

As Rame Peninsula Beach Care says

‘ we hope these figures, when combined with those from the other locations, will help to provide a useful set of baseline data about marine plastic on UK shorelines that can be used in future to draw up effective policy to tackle the marine litter problem..’

The full itemised list of what they collected over three years is on their Facebook Page.

Click on the highlighted words for the links

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locals foodie tips in Oahu

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a local beach in Haleiwa, on Oahu’s North Shore

The joy of staying with friends on holiday is that you get an experience which is as close to local as possible. We’ve been visiting Oahu for many years and in all that time we have stayed on the windward side on the east of the island, about half an hour away from Honolulu and less touristy. Yet over the years our favourite places have started to be more popular and now, to us, they don’t feel special anymore… I know, how selfish of me!!! Yet over the last few weeks we’ve managed to find some spots that are still off the beaten track. The great thing about Hawaii is that all beaches are for public use, apart from Government owned ie those by the U.S forces. There are beach parks dotted everywhere and you only need to walk a short way further along the beach to find the quieter spots although without the facilities including life guards local knowledge re water safety is requisite.

We also had some great recommended meals out, here are our friends tips.

Mud Hen Water 3452 Wai’alae Avenue, Honolulu: This is modern Hawaiian food by local chef Ed Kenney;  we ate the Opah [moon fish] that had been wrapped in banana leaf with local vegetables and buried under hot coals – fantastic. Recommended by Vincent

http://www.mudhenwater.com

Kalapawai Market  306 S Kalaheo Ave, Kailua, A short walk from the soft white sand of Kailua beach Kalapawai is so laid back. Help yourself to the daily coffees, around 6-8 choices, from Kona or Vanilla Macademia or Hazelnut or Coconut and the super large muffins or local banana bread. There’s a small kitchen selling breakfast and lunches and there’s a couple of rows of grocery goods and tasteful holiday trinkets. Recommended a long time ago by Bud 

http://www.kalapawaimarket.com/section/store/

Ai Love Nalo 41-1025 Kalanianaole Hwy, Waimanalo: A vegan restaurant in a super local area that sources ingredients from local farmers. It’s more than a restaurant its a whole wellness centre with a great ethos. Recommended by Laura

https://ailovenalo.com

Merriman’s, 1108 Auahi Street, Honolulu. Known across all the islands Merrimans in Honolulu is the newest addition. It’s a proper dining experience and the prices can be high but there are small plates at smaller prices and Happy Hour offers at the bar, and with live music every night you can listen to a slack key master included in the price of a meal and you can’t argue with that when the musician is Jeff Peterson

https://www.merrimanshawaii.com/honolulu/

Koko Marina Pub 7192 Kalaniana’ole Highway, Honolulu. The second home of the Kona Brewing Company [the first being on the Big Island, Hawaii]. The 48 beers on tap are great and even better during Happy Hour, which starts at 3pm, my current favourite is Lemongrass Lu’au, a blonde ale with lemongrass and ginger tones. Sit at the bar with a beer and a plate of pupus [poo poos] – Hawaiian snacks. Not sure who recommended this first but Him Indoors would highly recommend to anyone!!

https://konabrewingco.com/come-visit#koko-marina-pub 

Island Brew 377 Keahole St, Hawaii Kai. Its the location more than anything, you can sit shaded under umbrellas whilst looking out over water and sipping iced coffee. Maybe a bit pricier than other coffee places but its all about location location location. Recommended by Joyce.

http://www.islandbrewcoffeehouse.com/locations.html

Foodland 1450 Ala Moana Blvd Honolulu Yes Foodland! if you go to the one in the Ala Moana Centre [shopping mall] in the middle they have a u shaped bar that serves beers, wines and plates of cheese and charcuterie from the deli. You can also collect a selection of salads or hot food and bring it back to eat at the bar. Recommended by Marion

https://www.foodland.com/stores/foodland-farms-ala-moana

Shave Ice you can find shave ice all over Oahu, if you are at the North Shore then the queues at Matsumoto’s are very long but make sure you get condensed milk on the top, you will never want it any other way again. One of the best shave ices is Island Snow and the one in Kailua is a stand in a clothing store [600 Kailua Rd, Kailua] – one of Obama’s favourite spots, so lets just say that this was recommended by the Obama family.

Back on the Cornish cliffs for the next post.

 

 

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