On the outskirts of a forest near the Moscow-Minsk highway, he falls into conversation with a young doctor.
‘I wish I could express it,’ the doctor tells him. ‘You know instinctively if the conditions are right. You can sense the thrill of it. So you go forward into a light clearing, perhaps – and there they are!’
The doctor then elaborates on his favourites: delicate, pleated ink-caps with their umbrella hats; strong-tasting red-birch boletas; yellow chanterelles growing in huddles together; and small, dense clumps of honey-coloured armillarias – best consumed, he insists, with a slug of vodka.
Despite this profusion of forms, colours and aromas, the magical enigma of the mushroom is that each of the thousands of species has the same absurdly simple structure – no more than a mass of tangled, interwoven filaments, or hyphae, readily discerned with a magnifying glass.
Those hyphae arise from a vast, subterranean network, stretching out in all directions.
This network, the mycelium, is the body, as it were, of the fungal organism. The mushroom is its spore-bearing fruit – as if a vine were buried underground and all that could be seen were its bunches of grapes projecting upwards.
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John le Carré, the German master
In 1956, before he was a famous spy novelist, David Cornwell came to teach at Eton. Among his pupils was Ferdinand Mount
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Mike, I received the latest issue of Prehistoric Times today. My family teases me that I get such a kick out of the fact that “the dinosaur magazine” has arrived in the mail. Thanks for doing what you do. It is a great distraction from other things that occupy us at the moment. Stay well, Tony Escobedo, Springfield, VA Thanks Tony, Ha, you think YOUR family teases you - I publish the dinosaur magazine! - editor
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Food & Drink
Babushka’s Victory Cake
Model @DEECOBB_ Photography by CHRISSY LITTLEFAIR | @LITTLEFAIRPHOTOGRAPHY_ MUA @ART_BY_LUCYMARIA PR LSA PUBLICATIONS | @LEO.ALDERMAN @LSAPUBLICATIONS
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