It’s only 9.o’clock but it’s as black as Newgates Knocker outside. I’ve had to turn up the heating, put on a grey fleece, close the windows and drink a mug of something warm.
It’s 14 and a bit weeks until Christmas and I am not the only one who thinks we’ve been robbed of a summer. I can’t blame the weather so I’m going to blame David Cameron – why? Because I can.
I am sorry for the silence but my lovely blog publisher has been up to his neck in it, and even though I’ve only been away 4 days, it does feel like I’ve been away four months.
Before we left Sussex Jim and I walked the dog round the houses, we nibbled on the blackberries, which are huge this year, kicked over the acorns and collected up a fistful of conkers, all shiny, new and brown. The first conkers of 2007. I brought four back to London. They are sitting on my desk staring at me looking good enough to eat. It’s a pity they’re inedible but conkers are poisonous, they contain an alkaloid called saponin.
So I then wondered what IS the purpose of a conker?
Is it their lot to be boiled in vinegar, strung up on a string only to have their heads banged together. Does anybody know? Does anybody care? Does anybody play at conkers any more? or have the health and safety police banned that too? .
The conker must have some use, I thought, so I ‘googled’ them and there were pages and pages of info on them. Dear deer are able to break down the toxins and eat them safely and apparently they’re meant to be effective for horses with wind, but please don’t take my word for it and start giving your gassy nag a diet of conkers, I cannot be held responsible for all your equine losses, although we whoomans do use the saponin too – in supplements for varicose veins, edema and sprains, and the little conker was also used during the two world wars, as a source of starch. So there we are, apart from looking dandy conkers are really helpful little nuts.
I knew it. You don’t get to look that good and be a complete waste of space do you? Although Paris Hilton may be the exception to the rule.
Our local farm shop is now selling cob nuts, which is a dead-give-away that Christmas is a-coming and the merry marrons is on its way. My childhood was full of nuts, brazil, monkey, walnut and my father. The yuletide house was full of nutty bowls and baskets, the nutcracker was never too far away although my macho father broke more than one nut between his teeth. My mother was far too genteel for that kind of sport I don’t think nuts ever passed her lips.
I have a party trick though: Take one walnut, place your left index finger over the seam, whack it very hard with the other hand and watch that nut split in two. Ok it does hurt sometimes, if the walnut is too green, but mostly it just breaks in half. Have a bowl of Greek honey nearby and dip in that healthy walnut – delicious. Remember your ‘Dictionary of Signatures’, if it looks like something its probably good for it. So what does a walnut look like?
Correct, The Brain.
And no Marmite Girl we do not want to know what a leek reminds you of!
I am now exhausted having driven for two hours, written to you lot, walked the dog, made supper, done the washing and all on three hours sleep. Tomorrow I’m in town doing me voice over bits, attending a charity do in the evening and all without the aid of the Victoria Line as there’s a three day strike.
Whatever their gripe I’m sure I’m on their side, but it does bugger up my morning, Hey Ho. I’m alive and that’s all that really matters.
Hello again to you all.