Friday, 29 August 2008

In the Woods

I'm giving away a copy of Wildwood over on Lust Bites before the week ends - get on over and enter the draw by commenting on the post.

In keeping with the woodland/pagan theme of my novel, here's a photo I took while on holiday last year. So, it's hardly the Wicker Man. But we were in a fairly remote area on the west coast of Scotland, and we'd stopped to take a walk in a Forestry Commisssion woodland by the side of the only road going up this particular penninsula. It was an unusally pretty little wood and the path led down to the beach of a sea-loch where you could pick up garnets tumbled among the pebbles.

This was in the wood. I'm not sure if the whole wooden mushroom thing translates overseas, but basically they are garden ornaments and you can find them on sale in car boot fairs up and down the country. My guess is that someone doing some chainsaw work in the wood had knocked out this mushroom in a moment of whimsy.

And then passing walkers had come along and, for no logical reason, offered it money as if it were a shrine to the local god. (The white object is a piece of sea-worn glass.) There is an instinctive - if facile - paganism in the British I think. Give us a fountain or a well or, it seems, a wooden mushroom in a forest, and we can't stop ourselves offering up money.

So what did Mr Ashbless and me do? We left a coin of course, and went on walking.

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