Ailz put an app on my phone which allows me to identify fungi. It's a very cautious app and only tells me that certain specimens are "reported to be edible" instead of assuring me that they are- which I understand but deplore. I went the rounds yesterday, pointing and clicking- and found quite a few different species. Dare I pick the parasols in the top field which are "reportedly edible" but closely resemble another species that is likely to kill me on the spot? I still haven't made up my mind on that one. I was hoping for magic mushrooms but no go. A friend picked some on our land a week or two back and left them lying on the kitchen counter- sad, weedy little things- and I ate them when no-one was looking. It was a very small dose- and the results were only mildly interesting...


I dreamed I was in my mother's bedroom- and and it was full of spirits. Some of the spirits were attending her as she lay in bed and some of them were attending me. Hers were mostly women, mine were mostly men. I thought, "This is splendid. I can finally see spirits. This is how things ought to be." They weren't diaphanous or ghostly but quite solid-seeming people; with strong, individuated faces. The ones who were attending me introduced themselves- and I wish I could remember who they all were, but I can't except that they were from the past- and one of them was a Roman- not a stereotypical Roman in toga or military garb but a peasant farmer who could have been from almost any period- in rough, practical, working clothes...


I'd been carrying a pebble around in my pocket for several weeks. I found it on our drive- and I've no idea how it got there. It was a chip of flint, irregular, its edges smoothed by water, with a couple of facets that exposed its glassy, black heart. I love flint. The other day I dropped it on the shingle beach at St Leonard's because that seemed like the right place for it. I like to think of it remaining there, for thousands and thousands of years, getting run over by the sea among all the other pebbles until it finally turns to sand.

Every Third Thought Shall Be My Grave

I dreamed I had a medieval broadsword and was going off to have an adventure with it when this bunch of kids asked to borrow it so they could play cricket. At first I said "No" but then I thought a cricket match might be fun- but only if I was in charge- so I asked for a one-to-one confab with their leader. The rest of them crowded round and I shouted at them to back off and when they wouldn't, appealed to Priti Patel, the Home Secretary (who just happened to be there) to please keep them in order.

Later I was sitting in a waiting room with a girl who was either my daughter or my granddaughter, waiting for her to be called in for an audition. A woman sitting opposite asked her companion if the old man (meaning me) was talking to himself and I said. No, what I was doing was weeping with emotion because I could hear lines from The Tempest being recited in the next room.


"Some little Hollywood person" said Ailz, " "Was saying we shouldn't call them 'aliens' because it's hostile. What we should call them is 'E.T.s'.

We agreed this was a move in the right direction.

"On the other hand, " I said, "'E.T.s' may be too specific. It's not at all clear that they're coming from off-world. They may be coming from inner-space or from parallel universes or from the future. And if time and space are illusions all such distinctions are meaningless, anyway."

"So what do we call them?" she asked.

"A lot of people in the UFO community call them 'Beings'. I said, "That's nicely neutral. Whitley Streiber calls them 'visitors' because they visit him. He's been dealing with them all his life- and talked to them and ridden in their ships- and even he doesn't know where they're from."

"'Visitors' is good, " said Ailz. "I wish they'd visit us." And then, addressing whoever might be listening, "We'd be very happy to see you. We like visitors. Just so long as you don't talk too much, or stay too long..."

Ca Suffit

Cutting and lopping brambles is crocking up my hands so I'm stopping. I've cleared the two big patches in the centre of the field- and that will have to do for the time being. This morning I tried to burn the heap of cut brambles- which is as tall as I am- but I'd judged the wind direction wrong (as I usually do) and it didn't catch. Perhaps I'll try again tomorrow.


My mother gets up to use the commode, forgets that that was what she was doing, finds herself sitting on the edge of the bed and assumes it's time to get up. So she shouts for me- and when I show up, asks me if I know where her clothes are.

She did it twice last night. The second time I had a hard time keeping my temper- not only because it had taken me ages to get back to sleep after the first call but also because she had interrupted me in the middle of a splendid dream where I was breaking bread, saying "This is my Body" and generally carrying on like I was Jesus.