Tuesday, 20 November 2007


I guess I have probably learnt something new every day for as long as I remember. But today I went for a walk with an old friend, who has been rather ill recently and is now getting back to an approximation of full health.

It soon turned out that he had an aim: looking for some specific kinds of fungi. Now I know people who do this for food, to add to their own collection, or even to collect the beetles that live in and on them. Never before had I heard that a certain kind of bracket-like fungus is used to give a good ‘finish’ when sharpening knives.

Will it ever be useful? The amount of knife work I do in the field is very small, but I am a big believer in keeping knives sharp: it makes them so much easier to use. Having said that I have always got a friend to sharpen my knives, as he has a set of sharpening stones, and I don’t. But next time I may do the final finishing work myself, using a glorified mushroom.

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