This festive season, should you wander through the snowy streets of Glossop you may happen upon a magical story trail...
Thanks to Glossop Creates, 24 writers have paired up with 24 local businesses to bring an array of family-friendly Yuletide yarns to the town.
Though I no longer live in Glossop, I was a local for around 5 years or so, and the last couple of years I've been back doing an artist residency with the lovely folk at George Street Community Bookshop. So it's an extra cherry on top of the Christmas pudding to be invited to contribute to the story trail for the second year running.
This year I offer you A Very Merry Mushroom – a festive poem featuring an amanita muscaria growing where a mushroom should not grow… in a bookshop! 🍄 And since this ‘shroom has grown on festive tales and Yuletide yarns, she fancies herself as the very spirit of Christmas.
It may seem odd to write about festive fungi, but with its bright red cap and snow-white spots this mushroom is more Christmassy than you may think. Not only can you find it on plenty of Victorian Christmas cards, there are also theories linking it to the story of Santa Claus himself. (Look it up, you won’t be disappointed!)
It also seemed like a nice way to round off my recent artist residency with George Street Community Bookshop where I have, you guessed it, been exploring the bookshop through the lens of mushrooms and mycorrhizal networks (read more about the project on my website).
I ho ho ho-pe you like it!