Mushroom Picking and Productivity : 47/52

Welcome to my (sometimes) weekly journal, a quiet space where I share some every day happenings, small thoughts and some things i’ve found interesting lately.


I’m really behind on my weekly journal, it’s been an insanely busy few weeks and I’ve been feeling a little overwhelmed. This time of year always gets so busy with seeing friends and family, which is lovely, but as an introvert it makes me feel a little stressed. Fitting in the endless list of personal tasks, want-to-do’s, house chores and work commitments feels impossible. I’ve had to try and appreciate the small wins and not get disheartened with the losses over the past month or so. On the whole, things have been really good but as usual I haven’t managed to fit everything in that I had planned. I’d hoped to sort out my new photography portfolio and write a lot more here, but as usual, i’ve tried to juggle too much.

However, I’ve managed to be quite active (one of the small wins) which has made a big positive difference to my mood. I’ve done some form of exercise (other than any usual dog walks) several times per week. I’ve had some personal training sessions (which made me want to die a little) i’ve been swimming, done some yoga, attended ParkRun and been climbing. I went climbing at The Castle in London and attended a course where I learnt how to belay. Having the knowledge to tie myself in and exercise some control over the situation has definitely improved my confidence. Despite being fairly anxious about it, I really enjoyed myself.

climbing at the castle in london

A couple of times over the past few weeks, i’ve travelled down to Southampton and made brief trip to the New Forest. It was so nice to visit it again as it’s been a while since I’ve managed to travel there. I used to visit it a lot when I was at uni in Southampton, so I’ve really missed being able to pop there whenever I like. I went for a walk from Lyndhurst through the surrounding woodland looking for interesting mushrooms. My favourite was my first ever find of a Devils Finger Fungus, which is really alien looking. It’s not native to the UK – originating in Australia/NZ, but it sure is interesting! It looks like a creepy alien octopus and it’s hard to believe it’s a mushroom. I’m really enjoying looking for mushrooms at the moment, it’s such a fun thing to do in Autumn and has definitely made my dog walks more interesting. The season is coming to an end now the night frosts have arrived which is a shame.

At the beginning of November I flew to Sweden, to stay with my friend Angeliqa. We had a chilled week mixing work with a bit of sightseeing and had a lovely trip to the woods to make a fire, cook sausages and pick mushrooms. We found a collection of winter chanterelles and managed to pick enough to mix in with our dinner that evening. This is the first time i’ve ever eaten a mushroom that I’ve picked myself, so that was a pretty cool experience.

More recently, a lot of my time was spent arranging a surprise 60th birthday for my Mum. It was pretty stressful, but so worth it to see her shocked expression when she arrived at the venue. We all had such a lovely evening and i’ll treasure those memories forever. Now that it’s over I definitely feel a lot more relaxed but the coming weeks are looking to be just as busy.

This coming weekend I have a lot of tasks that need completing. I need to visit the allotment, as I had a phone call the other day from the warden asking me if I still wanted it – we spent hours digging all the weeds up and now they have all grown back, making it look like we haven’t done anything! We also have a lot of wedding related tasks to complete as well as buying a Christmas tree and bringing the decorations down from the attic.

I’m going to Sweden again to visit my friend Rania this month, so I need to make sure I get lots of work done and am fully prepared for that as well. They have snow there already, so i’m pretty excited about that! It will be so lovely to spend time with Rania again. We met during my walk along St. Olavsleden last year and she lives next to the trail. I’ll probably get emotional being back there again! I’m quite anxious too as it’ll be really close to Christmas when I am back, so i’m hoping I don’t have any travel problems. Luckily i’ve completed almost all of my Christmas shopping with just a couple of things left to get. So at least I feel prepared with that!

In between all of this, i’ve had some lovely autumnal walks, seen some friendly faces who I don’t get to see very often and have read a couple of books i’ve been wanting to read. Feeling very thankful right now.

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