Don’t you just love Autumn? I think ive been asking that qute a lot in my last few blogs, but to me its just the season that ‘keeps on giving’.
Over the last few days during walks with my dog Jess, I have been waiting. Waiting for something to drop so I can scoop them up and put them in my bag, ready to be placed on a suitable dish when I get home. Its something I do at this time every year as I like to bring a bit of autumn inside, and I love the feel of those shiny brown autumn jewels in my bulging pocket. Yes you’ve got it, CONKERS! I think in a previous life I may have been a Magpie as I love picking up something shiny and squirreling it away to be admired at a later date, although new research has shown that Magpies are actually afraid of shiny objects so maybe I would just have been a Squirrel.
Do you remember playing conkers at school? I can, and I can remember being very afraid as I saw my opponents conker flying towards mine as it dangled timidly on its string, my arm outstretched to the point of being painful. I would hope if I played it now that I would be a little less afraid, but I think I would probably still prefer to enjoy them as they sit huddled together on a dish looking nice and autumnal, while possibly scaring away some of the spiders in my house, of which there are many.
Did you know that on finding your first conker of the season you are supposed to say “oddly oddly onker, my first conker” this is apparently supposed to ensure ‘good fortune and few tangles through the coming season’. I think that just avoiding playing conkers would do that for me! but I will leave you to give it a try.
For those of you who love the game here are a few tips to give you a chance of getting a Killer Conker.
1: Place conkers in a bucket of water: those with damage inside will float to the top so best to choose one that sinks to the bottom.
2: Soak your conker in vinegar.
3: Bake in the oven.
4: Use one of last years conkers. Roald Dhal was a big conker fan. He says, in his book ‘Roald Dahl, My Year’ that a ‘Formidable conker is one that has been stored in a dry place for at least a year’
Let me know if any of these tips work. Of course many schools have banned this game but I’m sure many still play it at home. I do have a slight tinge of guilt at times when I see children looking for conkers under the tree near my house, little knowing that the 55-year-old Magpie/Squirrel has already scooped them all up.
Autumn is such a lovely season for so many different reasons. I do hope you’re enjoying it as much as I am. The colours, the aromas, warm cosy jumpers, sitting by the fire with a good book and a mug of something tasty. And if your out on an autumn walk and can’t find any conkers please forgive me……I just can’t resist those shiny brown autumn jewels.
Love Alison x