Posted on

Royal Mail strikes, spore viability and ideal temperatures

Royal Mail strikes, spore viability and ideal temperatures

Hello, and welcome to another episode of “the country is fucked, mate”. Consider this a ‘clip show’ of sorts, because we’ve got all your old favourites: Tory ineptitude, corporate greed, and good ol’ fashioned “Someone’s got to tighten their belts and guess what it’s you again”.

Two dickheads pretending to be human
I’ve actually got a hoodie from this brewery that I now need to burn

Let’s start at the beginning.

I’ve been doing this odd little job for a few years now. Brexit made things a bit more difficult (used to be able to just send packages to Europe without customs declarations on which was a lot quicker for our cousins on the continent), for sure, but there’s been nothing like the recent Royal Mail strikes to figuratively fuck every online vendor straight in the dirtbox.

Right in there

I found the strikes in October to be quite troublesome. We had one strike a week (more or less), and each one caused multiple days of delays because stuff was just sitting in depots. Royal Mail can’t just double up the amount of staff the next day to get rid of the backlog, meaning it takes multiple days to square everything up to normal again. I had to answer a lot of emails about slow packages (I get everything out the door ASAP, no matter what), which I hate doing. I’m in this to provide the best spores (I mean, check out the amount of reviews I’ve got saying that they’re ace), and the best service, but thanks to Royal Mail’s refusal to pay their workers the right amount of money, that side of things got let down a little. I sell a lot of spore syringes every single week, so even if 1% of my packages get delayed, it’s quite a large number and it causes a massive headache.

If only I’d have known how the end of November and December was gonna be compared to October. Man, was I naïve.

In November and December, due to Royal Mail and the Government’s chronic mismanagement of the situation, we’ve had strike days in pairs! Pairs! Now, following the logic that one day of strike action causes at least a couple (if not three) days of delay, you can guess how much two days in a row has disrupted normal service.

It’s not a great situation, at all. It’s causing me a massive amount of extra work, because (and I don’t blame them) people want to know where their package is at. Not my fault, not their fault. But it also ain’t the Royal Mail worker’s fault. There has been the longest time in this country where pay rises haven’t happened, or have been below the level of inflation (essentially meaning your wage is going down, even if on paper it’s gone up a bit). Royal Mail can afford to pay their workers more. Royal Mail’s operating profit (remember, profit is the extra money not needed for costs) for the 2021/2022 tax year was £758,000,000. The year before that was £702,000,000 (Statista). Don’t get caught up in the anti-worker rhetoric that’s getting fed down from the people that are making millions. Simon Thompson, the CEO of Royal Mail, is paid £596,000 a year (Voice.Wales). Royal Mail has paid out £1,900,000,000 (yes that’s £1.9 billion quid) to shareholders since it was privatised back in 2013 (Mirror).

Royal Mail profit statistics
To save you doing maths, that’s over two million quid profit per day

What I am getting at here is that there is plenty of fuckin’ money to pay people enough for the services they provide, it’s just that the money doesn’t get to them because it’s busy being skimmed off the top.

So, fuck, having an online shop is a nightmare lately (and if you’ve got one too then you’ve got my sympathies), but I don’t blame the postal workers, or the rail workers, or the nurses, or the barristers, or Border Force, or the ambulance crew, or the teachers, or the lecturers, or the bus drivers, or the refuse workers, or anyone who’s having to take collective action against the rich fucks who refuse to give them a fair slice of the pie they are involved in baking. Which leads me on to my next point (yeah baby that’s a nice segue)…

Spore Viability

Given all that I’ve said in that last bit, it is likely that people’s spores may well be sitting around in Royal Mail depot for a bit. It’s cold at the moment, and some people have emailed me because they’re worried about whether the spores will still be okay. Maybe you’ve ordered some Golden Teacher spores, and you’re all like “ah man it’s been a week, is everything still good, Mr. Orangutan?”

Here’s the short answer: Yes!

Here’s the longer variant: Also yes! Spores are like little suits of armour, that protect the genetic information inside, and they are extremely good at their job. If you want to kill them, you either have to boil them or freeze them (freezing fucks up the cell walls due to water forming ice crystals).

In my workshop, I keep my spore syringes in a fridge because they’ll last the longest this way (2 years + is not uncommon), so the temperatures we’ve got outside in England at the moment are really no bother at all. Which in a mad stroke of awesome luck segues into the next bit, almost as if it was written that way…

Orangutan doing a thumbs up
It’s all good!

Ideal Temperatures

We’ve established that good temperatures to keep your spore syringe at range from “1c” to “Just Don’t Put Them in the Oven, Dude”, but let’s say you’re living in Jamaica, Brazil (and I have actually got a few customers from Brazil), or somewhere else where it’s legal for you to cultivate magic mushrooms, just for the sake of a bit of knowledge.

For the colonisation stage, you’d wanna be sitting in the early 20’s, somewhere around 22/23. Any less than this means that the mycelium would grow a lot slower. Any higher and you’d be running the risk of any contaminants getting a quicker foothold.

Once you’re past the colonisation stage, you could happily drop the temperature back down to around 19c, as the fruiting stage of Cubensis mushrooms is quite happy in that temperature zone. Goes without saying (or you’d think it would), this isn’t me saying to go and do this unless you’re in a nice legal country.

Cheers now everyone, I hope you have a nice Xmas holiday whatever flavour of it is that you personally celebrate (I call it Baileys Day because I celebrate the birth and inevitable death of the litre bottle of Baileys in my kitchen), and remember, as always, don’t vote Tory.

Posted on

Magic Mushroom season in the UK!

It’s Magic Mushroom season in the UK!

Yeehaw, it’s that time of year again, Magic Mushroom season! I’m just gonna get this in here real quick – I absolutely do not advocate that you go out and break the law, no matter how monumentally dumb that law is. Don’t go doing crimes. Anyway, it’s Magic Mushroom appreciation season!

Lovely tasty ornaments

It’s time to go “walking the dog”…

It’s the most wonderful time of the year, the time where Tory Island decides to cough up some goodies that make the sky look like it’s melting!

Quick primer for the newer dudes out there – the funky mushrooms that you’re gonna find out there in the next month or so are called Liberty Caps (due to the bell shape), but the scientific name is Psilocybe Semilanceata (people often just call ’em Libs). They contain the same active ingredients as Psilocybe Cubensis (which are the type of spores I sell), but they’re a fair bit stronger.

“Why don’t you sell Psilocybe Semilanceata spores then, Mr Orangutan?”, I imagine you’re asking? Simple! I have a few customers who live in Brazil (hi dudes!), and they like to grow mushrooms from my spores. It’s totally legal for them, but not for me in the UK, so they can do whatever they like. They’ve told me that Cubensis are really easy to grow, it’s quite a low-effort thing once you’ve got your technique dialled in, and there’s great resources out there on Reddit, and also sites like the Shroomery! Semilanceata, on the other hand, are virtually impossible to grow in a domestic setting. In terms of effort-to-yield, it’s just a complete non-starter, even if you could somehow recreate the right conditions (spoiler: you probably can’t).

A poster saying "you can't grow unless you are willing to change"
Haha you see what I did there

But that’s okay, nature provides. Depending on where you’re living in this utterly bizarre country, mid September to late October has usually been the ideal fruiting conditions, but thanks to climate change if there’s a really mild winter, you could still be finding Liberty Caps all the way up till Christmas. Lots of factors affect this – the temperature, frost, and rainfall all have big parts to play in convincing that lovely underground mycelium to start delivering up some tasty Party Shiitakes. Now, the important thing to remember is that when was just a young Orangutan, it was legal to pick Liberty Caps (you weren’t allowed to “prepare” them in any way but picking was fine). This ain’t the case nowadays, so don’t go picking them, just take a nice walk through wherever you may find them and admire them. Make sure you take a nice paper bag but make sure you don’t put any mushrooms in there. It’s still a Class A drug. Even if everyone’s decided that that’s ridiculous, all it takes is one bored jobsworth copper to notice you and you’re going to be having a shit time.

There’s a really cool website called Magic Mushroom Map, which, unlike the rest of the internet where it’s just tits and various flavours of fascism, is a handy map of where Libs are likely to be found, based off various bits of science like the weather, land cover, soil acidity, elevation, and historical grow records. It’s quite frankly fucking amazing and I wish I’d thought of it first. If you want it even more fancy-pants, you can throw the devs a fiver and you’ll get access to a ten-day forecast, and maps of where the public rights of way are. Noice!

Fuck me we’ve got another one running the show now, and she’s bringing with her an absolute barrel of nonces. A Health Secretary who is against abortion and gay marriage? Check. A Business Secretary who’s dad literally wrote a book on how to profit from the country being fucked up? Check. A new Home Secretary who wants to be more right wing than fucking Priti Patel? Check! Buckle up motherfuckers, because this next season of Tory Island is going to even fucking dumber than the last.

Actual tory island.
Holy fuck there actually is a place called Tory Island! Is there where they all keep coming from?!

Anyway, stick together, we’ll get through this, and maybe one day we can start rebuilding a better, fairer country that actually looks after those that need looking after. That’s the hope anyway. Cheers now, don’t vote Tory.

Posted on

What I’ve been up to lately

What I’ve been up to lately!

August is a fuckin’ mad month for me usually and this year has been probably the busiest. Like I’ve said before, I’ve also got a day job which ramps up in August, and then I’ve had a friend’s wedding, a few birthdays, and the nursery shuts for a few weeks so Tiny Orangutan needs a bit more looking after. Very busy indeed.

Anyway, here’s pretty much a roundup of what’s been cracking:

Product Earth happened

So I sent a whole load of my spores up with Chris from Mycopunks to Product Earth, which seem to have gone down well. Because of my partner’s birthday and my friend’s wedding I wasn’t able to attend Product Earth personally (well, I could’ve done, but I’d have been in the shit majorly at home haha). Apparently it was excellent, a whole load of decent people just doing their own thing, and a lot of knowledge floating about. Next year, I’m gonna give it my best shot and try to show up, seems like a laugh.

Amazing Mycopunks Stall
Proper cool stall!

Got loads of spore prints

Man, you dudes cannot get enough of the ol’ spore prints, which is fortunate because at the moment I’ve got fucking tonnes of them. I’m adding a few new variants to the store and removing a few of the older ones, so if you’re into something new, check ’em out. Got some McKennaii up, Red Boy, loads of Golden Teacher, Amazonian, and B+, all ready to go in handy super-flat form. Very useful if you’re worried about getting spore syringes delivered because your customs agents are twats, or just if you wanna get maximum value for money and don’t mind putting a bit of the work in yourself (assuming you’ve got a flow hood or some other way of keeping the area clean). All guaranteed to be clean as a whistle!

Got lots and lots of these bad boys now!

Strike Strike Strike

If you’ve been paying any kind of attention to the news you’ll notice that the country is absolutely screwed for a number of reasons, but let’s face it, it’s mostly the bastard Tories refusing to properly tax large businesses. Anyway, there’s going to be postal disruptions in the coming weeks, with Royal Mail strike action planned for the 26th and 31st August, and then the 8th and 9th of September. It’s a pain in the ass, yes, but the anger should be directed at the top of the company, not the striking workers. There’s a lot of money in this country, but it’s being hoarded – plenty of companies are posting record profits at the moment while people starve and can’t pay their bills, even when they’re in full-time work. People might complain about the strikes, but asking politely for enough money to live on hasn’t been working so far, meaning that it’s time for strikes and then probably time for riots. Interestingly, it looks like most industries are going to be striking in the coming months, from Lawyers to Binmen. There was a great bit of writing by Terry Pratchett that was “there is a curse. They say: ‘may you live in interesting times'” and blimey, we’re living in interesting times.

Bloody Hell!
Satire is absolutely dead these days because reality’s fucked

Like always, stay safe, take care of each other, and don’t vote Tory. We’ll get through this.

Posted on

End of July update

What’s going on in Orangutan Manor?

Glad you asked! All sorts, really. Still producing and selling heaps of amazing spores, and I’ve had, once again, my busiest month ever. Things are great. Thank you for your continuing support, I’m really stoked that people like what I’m putting out there and how I do things! There are a few cool things going down, so here they are, in handy blog format!

I have now sponsored an athlete!

I’ve decided to sponsor another athlete. Last year I sponsored a Rugby player, and that was cool (it didn’t really result in any sales but he was a nice chap and I was glad to help), and now I’m sponsoring a dude called Lewis Dutch who does Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. For anyone who doesn’t know, BJJ is best described as this: You know the way your arms, legs, and neck like to bend? Your opponent is trying to make them go the opposite way for you. It’s pretty cool, and it’s basically the only exercise that I don’t find boring (I need someone trying to hurt me to keep me motivated, it seems)! Lewis loves competing, which is something I used to do but always found too nerve-wracking, so hopefully he’ll get a load of decent podium shots at various competitions!

Me and Lewis posing for a photo
He’s about nine feet tall

Food bank donations

Food banks, nationally, are in the shit. More people than ever need them (and fuck me am I tired of writing that), but due to the cost-of-living crisis, fewer people are able to contribute to them. I’m not sure how much worse this country can get but hey, we’re gonna find out, right?

I’ve had a few lovely customers send me a bit of money specifically earmarked for the food bank, and I’d just like to take the time to say: You are incredible.

This is what hell is
Absolute fucking ghouls

Cool art stuff

I got sent a lovely piece of Liberty Cap art by a customer, it’s like a 3-D painting, and it’s hand-made by KJ Creations! She does a lot of other cool stuff, and is open for commissions, so if you like what you see maybe hit her up and ask her to make you one!

I also had another amazing person do a portrait of one of my cats, and again, they’re open for commissions, so if you want an amazing pet portrait, have a look at Captain Bayley on Instagram.

I’m blown away by how talented people are, I guess mycology is probably quite an arty scene (lots of crossover with the art world at the very least). Thanks to everyone who’s helped me to make my house better decorated!

Midnight Cat!
Cool and awesome!

Anyway, take care of yourselves (and others if you’re able), and remember: don’t vote Tory.

Posted on

What does “MSS Syringe” actually mean and other popular questions!

I see loads of questions getting bandied around on Reddit, and sometimes the answers are are ace, but other times there are new guys answering new guys and the answers are bizarre, so let’s have a go at cleaning some of it up, for shits and giggles.

What does MSS mean?

Okey-dokey, in at the top with a big one. All the syringes I sell are what’s called MSS, which stands for “Multi Spore Syringe”. I’ve seen some people on Reddit getting confused by this terminology. What it means is this: the syringe has spores in. It’s that simple. It doesn’t mean that they’re spores from different phenotypes, it just means that there are multiple spores in there. This is your basic “I am making spore syringes from spore prints” kinda deal.

Some people seem to have assumed that it means it’s like a mix of various different spore prints – this isn’t the case. That would also be a really strange thing to do (I can’t think of a single plus point to it) but if you wanna mess about at home and do something like that for the fun of it, fill your boots, there’s weirder ways to kill time.

MSS is a bit of a genetic lottery – because there are millions of spores, even in a very clear-looking syringe (Psilocybe Cubensis spores are about 8.5 micrometres long, which means each one is .0085 of a millimetre), there are a lot of genetic combinations available. This is why in countries where’s it’s legal to cultivate mushrooms, people will use MSS to get something started, and will then select out fruits with the desired traits, clone them using agar, refine the mycelium using agar, transfer to liquid culture, and then grow from there.

Some goofy dude's logo
It’s nothing to do with these fuckers either

What’s a Liquid Culture syringe?

So here’s another type of syringe! It basically contains live mycelium, so isn’t a Multi Spore Syringe as there is only one genetic line in there that began with two spores getting their fuck on. It can even be made from actual mushrooms – if you were to cut a bit out of a mushroom and put it onto/into a medium it likes, it’ll revert back to a mycelial stage (mushrooms are fucking amazingly interesting). So a liquid culture syringe doesn’t have spores in, just mycelium. This is the Rad Shit if you live in a country where cultivation is legal as you can more easily isolate what you’ll get as an end product, and it’ll shave a few weeks off your project time.

Sadly, in the UK it’s illegal, as the mycelieum will contain trace amounts of Psilocybin, so I don’t (and wouldn’t ever) sell it. Looks fuckin’ cool under a microscope though, vaguely jizzy. I guess it depends on whether you think looking at that sort of thing is your cup of tea!


Can you get some swabs in stock?

Yeah, probably. I’m working on it, basically. The issue I have is one of scale – I need large quantities in order to make it worth putting items on the site, as (and I’m eternally grateful for this) I sell a lot of products per week. There seems to be enough demand for this sort of thing though, so I will get round to it when I’m able!

This is where mushrooms come from, I heard it off my mate Gary in the pub

Oh hey man I hear you went to watch Tool in Manchester, was it good?

Yeah it was fuckin’ rad man. Had multiple moments where I was just completely lost in the music and the light show, and it’s only when the lights changed that I realised that I’d gotten sucked in. Very cool. Decent setlist, quite a bit from the new album, Fear Inoculum, but they got one of my favourites in there with “Hooker With A Penis” which it turns out is just incredible live. The support band was Brass Against, who were also good. It’s the first time Tool have toured over here in sixteen years, so y’know, it was a thing that had to be done. Such a tight band, I was absolutely blown away. Got Nine Inch Nails in June too so that’ll be awesome too!

This is DadRock now apparently, but I’m cool with that
Posted on

Where are Magic Mushroom spores legal?

It’s pretty simple!

So those of you that follow my social media will have seen that I am now able to post to Ireland again! Yay! Now, spores have always been legal in Ireland (like most places in the world), but for some bizarre reason (most likely Brexit related), their local postal carrier, An Post, decided just before Christmas 2021 that Royal Mail’s electronic customs information was incorrect. I got in contact with Royal Mail who told me that no, it was all fine, and it was a problem on An Post’s side. This meant that pretty much all of my packages to Ireland got sent back (and not just mine, most eBay sellers too), which obviously cost me a whole lot of money in refunds, and I had to stop sending to Ireland. I am now giving it another shot following some discussions with customers who assure me all the eBay packages are coming through fine now, so yeah, it’s a good day!

But: legality! Currently, as far as I am aware, the only places you can’t have magic mushroom spores are three states in America (California, Georgia, and Idaho), and, bizarrely, Norway. This has always struck me as kinda weird in California’s case, because they seem to be quite relaxed and left-leaning on a lot of issues (or as much as America can be, anyway). As a fun side-effect of those three American states not liking spores, the banks class spore vending as super high risk, which is why spore vendors can’t take card payments.

The spores are completely legal everywhere else though, because in most countries it’s the Psilocybin that’s illegal, and it’s only when someone attempts cultivation and tries to germinate the spores that Psilocybin begins to be produced. Basically, this means that you can collect all the magic mushroom spores you like, and it’s not gonna cause you any problems at all!

Team America: World Police
Fuck Yeah

Customs Shenanigans

In my experience so far, (and to be fair, I send a lot of packages abroad every week) your local customs agents really don’t give a shit, in a good way. They’re on the lookout for anything illegal or incorrectly declared, that’s their job. Thankfully for you (unless you live in Norway, California, Idaho or Georgia), Psilocybe Cubensis spores are legal, so there’s nothing there that they care about. I personally import a large amount of spores from various countries, these are inspected at different stages of the customs process, and no-one cares. I suspect unless they’re into mycology themselves (and it’s still quite a niche hobby after all), they likely don’t know what the product actually is – they’re only human, and it’s not like they would have an encyclopedic knowledge of every single item everyone in their country imports.

Officer Doofy
How I picture customs officers

The Future

What do I reckon will happen in the future? I think my best guess would be this: it’s a great time to collect all these spores and keep them in your library. Can’t do anything else with them now, obviously. However, I’m confident that in the future there may well be a relaxation on the laws surrounding the cultivation of magic mushrooms. There’s a reasonable amount evidence out there supporting the therapeutic benefits of a bit of Psilocybin, and there’s a growing surge of popularity around mushrooms to the point where even fanny-candle vendor Gwyneth Paltrow is banging on about them.

Seems plausible then that it’ll probably end up like the Cannabis market, with most places relaxing prohibition, and very possibly the industry getting co-opted by rich old Tory fucks. That would still be cooler than it is now – I’ve said multiple times that I think the cultivation of magic mushrooms should be legal, especially for personal use. Sadly that isn’t the case at the moment, so that’s why we just collect them and wait for a better future!

Zero zero zero zero zero zero one
Zero zero zero zero zero zero one one
Zero zero zero zero zero zero one one one
Zero zero zero zero zero one one one one
Posted on

Make your own spore syringes from spore prints!

Spore prints are a great way of keeping genetics safe and sound (swabs are great too but spore prints are easy to store), and every spore vendor uses these to make heaps of syringes. As usual there are fifteen thousand ways of doing things, but this is how I like to do it. The important thing to note here is that I have to make sure everything is super cleanly done, as I’m producing hundreds of syringes at a time and I can’t risk anything at that level (imagine the fun of refunding all of that), so the way I do things involves spending lots of money on a big-ass flow hood, pressure cookers, scientific equipment etc.

You, on the other hand, might just be turning a spore print or two into a buttload of your own spore syringes. It’s a super economical way of doing things, and obviously if you’re just doing your own, you can go a bit lighter on the aseptic procedures if you like. It’s probably fine, most of the time, and if I was just knocking out a few for myself at home I would very likely cut a few corners – mycology should be accessible to all, and much like the amazing Uncle Ben tek, there are various slightly hacky methods of making spore syringes that will be likely good enough to get you up and running with a minimum of expense.

I sell some of my spore prints – they’re the same ones I use to make my syringes with! They are insanely good value if you are prepared to put a bit of work in yourself, and they travel very easily to countries with uptight customs agents.

Anyway, here’s what I do:

Get some distilled water from wherever your favourite shop is. I need this because it’s got nothing else in it (they basically evaporate the water to collect it), which means there’s less chance of the spores trying to germinate and zero chance of any shit being in the water. You could take a chance and use tap water if you’re doing it at home!

Fancypants water
Fancy water for fancy lads

Place your science beaker (yeah I know it’s got a proper name but ain’t nobody got time for that) in your pressure cooker (on a trivet so it’s not touching the bottom), throw your magnetic stirrer into the beaker, and top up with lovely distilled water. The science beaker is made of Borosilicate glass, which means heat won’t fuck it up. Water in the beaker, water also in the pressure cooker. Some of this water will evaporate so add a bit more than you think you need.

Heat up your pressure cooker, and once your weight is rocking about like a motherfucker set your timer for 25 minutes. Due to the wonders of science, the water’s boiling point is now 120 Celsius, so this 25 minute blast will kill anything that might be lurking on your equipment or in your water. Once you’ve cooked stuff for the 25 minutes, turn off the heat and allow your water to cool down. This takes ages but that’s life. I tend to do mine in the evening and leave them for the next morning, as this means I can spend valuable time sleeping, which is ace. I fucking love sleeping.

Turn your flowhood on, wait 20 minutes. Put all your stuff that you are going to use in front of your flowhood – alcohol spray, alcohol wipes, spore prints, sterile scalpel (I use disposable ones, but you could easily just get an all metal one and pop it into the PC when you’re cooking your water), magnetic stirrer plate, sterile syringes, sterile luer locks (they’re the little end caps for the syringes). Clean your hands and arms thoroughly with the alcohol wipes or spray, and then I usually put gloves on and clean them too. Wipe your surfaces! Wipe everything! Overkill is your friend here.

It's the band Overkill
“Hello, we’re your new dads”

Now open your PC in front of your lovely flowhood, and, making sure you keep everything within the airflow, place your beaker full of water on top of your magnetic stirrer. Now comes the fun bit!

Use your sterile scalpel to scrape your spore prints into your water. It’s up to you how many you use, but you’ll get multiple syringes per print, easily. Turn your magnetic stirrer on, and watch the radical little spore cyclone turn your water a shade of purple. Once you’re happy that you’ve got nice bit of spore broth going on, turn the speed on your stirrer down a bit. Don’t turn it off – if it’s just gently circulating you’ll have better distribution of your spores for the next bit.

Open a sterile syringe, and suck up some of your solution. Then open up one of your luer locks, and cap your syringe. Bingo bango, you have now made a spore syringe. You are a god amongst men.

Dennis Reynolds being a Golden God
“If you say another word I swear to god I will dice you into a million little pieces. And, put those pieces in a box. A glass box, that I’ll display.”

Like I said, if you’re doing this at home you don’t have to go to these lengths. You can take a few risks! There’s a great video by Philly Golden Teacher over on YouTube that’ll guide you through it, but you basically just need some water, a syringe, a shot glass, and a pressure cooker. You can’t really get away from needing a pressure cooker in this game – it’s a really worthwhile investment though if you want to get into mycology in a big way.

Posted on

Random News Updates

Probably gonna do a podcast

Me and Chris were chatting some drunken shit the other night (I can’t guarantee his drunkenness but I was pretty pissed) and figured we might do some kind of a podcast, or at least try and do one and see if we think it’s worth half a damn, and if people are interested or not. Being a spore vendor is a really weird niche job with loads of odd elements to it, and I’m pretty sure that Chris’ job as a mycology goods supplier is equally weird, so we’re gonna give it a go. I suppose best case it’ll be a moderately entertaining chat about stuff, and worst case it’ll be godawful and you’ll never get to hear it so it’s win/win for you really. If you’ve got any questions you desperately want answering and they’re ones that I can actually legally answer, then drop me a message on my Insta page and I’ll have a crack at it!

You would not be surprised to hear that trying to find a picture of an old-school BBC DJ who isn’t a nonce is really hard

New stuff coming soon

Yes yes y’all, I’ve had some supply line interruptions thanks to Customs (it seems that no-one on earth is safe from the idiocy of customs officers), so I’ve run quite low on a few of the slower-selling varieties. However, because it’s important to have contingency plans, I’ve got plenty of other stuff ready to go. So, coming soon enough – Jedi Mind Fuck and Z-Strain will be joining the list, and maybe Mazapatec. How soon? Who knows, I need to get the writing bits sorted on the website, and get some product shots done so everything looks right. Maybe a couple of weeks, maybe a bit longer?

Time to inspect the ol’ prison wallet

Product Earth!

There’s a cool UK Cannabis expo called Product Earth, but they seem cool with the mycology world too. I was hoping to be able to attend this year, but I can’t because of a few other commitments. However, I’m gonna throw Chris and his team a shitload of my spores to sell, and they’ve got a nice big stall there – so if you are there and you’ve got a burning desire to get into the world of microscopic shenanigans, it’s gonna be nice and easy for you to get some cool spores. I will probably do a small run or two of some stuff I don’t have much of as a limited edition expo special (and tonnes of the usual stuff), so there will be the opportunity to score some hella rare mushroom spores!

Anyway, that’s all the red hot news I’ve got for now. Stay safe, keep your microscope loaded at all times, and remember: never trust a Tory.

Posted on


So yeah, let’s keep this train a-rolling. Didn’t have any better ideas so thought I’d do a bit of an FAQ based on – guess what – the questions I am frequently asked. So, with no further ado, feast your saucy little eyes on the hottest FAQ this side of my OnlyFans.

Are you actually Chris from Mycopunks?

Fuck yeah, always have been mate.

Holy fuck really?

Naaaaah. Probably not. I do have these rare disassociative moments where I’m not even sure who I am or if I’m some kind of Tyler Durden-esque figment of my own psychosis but most of the time I reckon we’re separate dudes.

I’ve actually known Chris for quite a few years now, back before all the spore/substrate shenanigans, because we both used to do Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (Chris pretends he’s gonna go back one day whereas I don’t think I can be arsed with it anymore). BJJ is simultaneously one of the most useful bits of combat sport, and also the most absolutely homoerotic. It’s ace watching all these macho dudes trying to pretend to be tough whilst huffing the gas out of each other’s crotches and dripping sweat into each other’s mouths. My favourite position in it was called North/South and basically it’s where you sit on a guy’s face. Not even joking. I’m about sixteen stone too so it wasn’t a good time for anyone involved. Top quality shit right there.

Sex moves or grappling position? You decide (it’s both) Image Credit: Digitsu

Anyway, Chris popped down to the club I was training at and after strangling the living piss out of him, I found we had a lot in common (both being similar-aged pasty-looking beardy white dudes with a penchant for weirdness). I thought he was a good egg and many years later we’re still mates. Fun Fact: there were four people who helped me out a lot in getting this business started and he’s one of them.

Why just Psilocybe Cubensis spores?

Basically, because of availability. It’s easy to get loads of ‘genetic material’ for the various Cubensis phenotypes, and they sell very quickly due to the ease of use. Much, much harder to get enough of the other types of active spores, and they kind of really only appeal to the more hardcore mycologist so the supply/demand issue continues!

Why are you so handsome?

Genetics innit, and a strict dietary regime of beer, saturated animal fats, and cigarettes (yeah I know, I’m trying to quit).


Can I be your friend?

You can all be my friends. I’m nice like that. I would buy each and every one of you a Vienetta of your choosing.

What made you think of the charity donations?

Well, this is a contentious issue so allow me a bit of a soap-box moment: It doesn’t seem fair to me that because of a few lucky choices I don’t have to worry about keeping food in my children’s bellies any more. Now, the government should look after those that need looking after, that’s their role. It isn’t fucking cool or good and the fact there are so many fucking foodbanks in this country should be enough to make people start setting fire to stuff (and yet the Tories still manage to maintain power). I decided that as soon as my business started turning a profit, I’d start taking a slice off so that hungry people could be less hungry, and thus that’s what I did and that’s what I’m going to continue to do. I want my business to be a force for good in the world, and this is one of the ways that it can be that, and it’s probably going to be very much needed moving forward due to the coming price-of-living increases that are gonna make a whole lot more people unable to buy food. Now, really, it shouldn’t be you or I that have to do this because our Government should be caring for those that are in need, but hey, Tories innit. Just have a look at what these fucking vultures think about it all.

Why do you bring up anti-Tory stuff? Surely that puts off customers?

Yeah, good, I don’t want their money. Fuck off Tories, go away. Shoo. Dickheads.

Posted on

Wow it’s a blog by OTC about Psilocybe Cubensis stuff!

Check it out yeah boyee

My friend Matt drew me this, man has talents!

Spores are ace to look at and stuff

So, uh, hello. You’ve probably seen my writing in such places as “my Facebook page“, “my Instagram page” or “this website“. I like writing ridiculous words about things, and so I thought I might as well fire some of that into some blog posts. Probably one a week or something, who knows, likely some behind-the-scenes stuff? I expect I’m just going to write a load of old nonsense bollocks but who knows, some of it might be Solid Fucking Gold so you’ll have to look at all of it on the off chance you miss anything life-changing, eh?

Just to get this out there nice and early – I like psychedelics, and I like the ol’ magic mushrooms (whatever variety you can find, I am a fan). They are rad. I think they’re a great mental health tool when used correctly, and also they’re fun. However, and this is very fuckin’ important, I absolutely do not and can not condone or help or be okay with anyone trying to grow any of those from the spores I sell. My personal views are my own, but I run my business according to what the law is, not what I wish it was. So basically don’t go taking any of this as an invitation to message me daft incriminating stuff because even if you’re my mum I’m gonna block you, you filthy criminal – and once more, for those right at the back, my products ain’t for growing.


Running a magic mushroom spore business in the UK is really weird. It’s basically in this mad grey area, where you can sell magic mushroom spores, and they’re very popular and 100% legal, as long as you don’t grow the fuckers, but also lots of people and organisations get kinda weird about it. Due to these spores being illegal in like three states in America (California, Georgia, and Idaho if you’re interested), the major banks that underwrite all the payment processors just say “nah bruv” as it’s easier for them to not have to navigate that complexity for the small amount of money involved (on their scale, obvs). This makes it a real twat-ache, especially when you’re starting off and you haven’t got a lot of “social proof”. People get a bit twitchy around bank transfers sometimes, and much prefer the safety of PayPal or a charge-backable credit card, especially if you haven’t got loads of reviews, which can make it hard to get going. I’ve now got tonnes of really good reviews both here and on Reddit which is great, people seem to like what I’m doing and that makes me happy.

Oh monkeyman, how did you begin your quest?

I started off on Reddit, where I’d previously bought a load of spores myself. It was a little bit easier back then, as there were some very big subreddits that you could advertise on – they were mainly US-based, but that just meant that there were hardly any other UK vendors on there, so it wasn’t too hard to get a few sales. Some cool dudes that I’d met online started up r/EuSporeHub as a way to try to have a little base on Reddit that was more focused on this end of the world, so I signed up to that first and then American subreddits and started firing out spores. I realised quite quickly that if I was having to chat to every single customer to make a sale, I wouldn’t be able to cope and it would become quickly unmanageable.

Reddit has since gotten a bit harder to advertise on, as most subreddits now won’t let you even mention active spores at all, not even for microscopy. Reddit moderators have now gotten a bit sketched-out by it all. It’s fair enough really. I don’t give much of a fuck about platforms banning things, on one hand it’s not exactly fair, but on the other it’s their platform and they can decide what they want on there or not.

Picture of a baby orangutan that doesn't do magic mushrooms
My baby did not look this because I am not an actual Orangutan it is merely a theme I am running with

I had a look around for a cheap website solution – we’d just had a baby here at Orangutan Manor so money was a huge issue, and we were probably a couple of weeks off needing to visit a foodbank. Every quid I put into the business was a gamble with a potentially huge downside. I had to build up a piece at a time, starting off as cheaply as possible. I checked out Big Cartel (it’s like a tenner a month and it’s great), used a simple theme, bought a domain, and away I went. The only problem (I would probably still be using Big Cartel otherwise) was that they lock your payment options to Stripe or PayPal, and I already knew they would suspend my accounts and hold my money as soon as they knew I was slinging spores (that fun ol’ grey area shit again).

And inevitably that happened! Stripe were pretty good about it (not like PayPal), and just said “you can have your money but we won’t take any more payments for you” and actually told me that they had no moral judgement on my business, but also that their banks wouldn’t allow it, so it was a no-go. However, I had been a crafty old Orangutan, and like I say, I knew that getting my payment options stopped was inevitable. I’d been working every single night and most weekends, and had taught myself how to do a bit of website magic, and built this site as my “SHIT HAS HIT THE FAN” resort. I had it waiting all along, and as soon as my Big Cartel site wasn’t able to take payments, I just switched over to this one. I figured if I did it that way, I wouldn’t have weeks of downtime while I tried to learn how to make the fuckin’ CSS do what I needed it to. It was pretty knackering to be fair but here we are, it worked out alright in the end.

That’s about it for now, if anyone’s got any ideas of things you wanna see me write, feel free to message me on Insta which is definitely the best way of getting hold of me at the moment.

Cheers now! OTC