Is it safe?

Autumn is drawing to a close and winter beckons. In Putney, there is an outside chance of snow in the morning, after weeks of warm, occasionally very wet weather. As always in such autumn weather, mushrooms have thrived.

My first thought when seeing a wild mushroom is a line from the 1970s thriller Marathon Man, when Laurence Olivier’s character quizzes Dustin Hoffman, ”Is it safe?”

                                                           Is it safe?

Many years ago Mrs IS attended a mushroom picking course, courtesy of River Cottage, but she has never been keen to put her knowledge to practical use. I have always been happy to go along with that; it is not something you want to get wrong.

“Is it safe” has come up in a different context over the last couple of days. I was booked in for some sailing this weekend, but with the weather forecast heading downhill quickly, our skipper had doubts about heading out of the Solent. The sail was almost cancelled last night and the axe fell finally this morning. It was impossible to argue with the decision, Gosport also having the possibility of snow tomorrow, along with the prospect of a breezy force eight wind.

In the Bernese Oberland, snow is falling tonight, which is much better news.

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