Whenever I think of conkers, I think of the time my friend Milly and I were sitting in the Dingley Dell at Camp Bestival a few years back, kids long asleep, husbands on tent watch. We were one or two beers into the evening and jokingly lamenting the state of our boobs after breastfeeding - as you do at 10.53pm on the second night of a festival. "Conker in a sock, you say?" said Milly. Oh how we laughed. The image of a single conker dangling in a sock was just so ludicrously sad and lonely - and yet hilarious to us - perhaps because it was the bitter truth, or perhaps because the beer was kicking in. Either way, I can no longer think of the word "conker" without thinking of the word "sock".
So the other day (pics below), when the kids and I were trying to come up with a new way of using all the beautiful chestnut seeds that are currently plopping down from the trees and onto the park floor, we took the "conker and sock" concept and ran with it. We collected and collected. Conkers in our hands, conkers in our pockets, conkers in a bowl. Welcome to the conker stroll.
With them we created the "most awesomest massage octopus" (phrase courtesy of Bobby) you have ever seen. It's better than that massage chair you used to get in those 1980s novelty gift shops. It's better than your partner's occasional half-baked attempts at massage so he can get into your pants. It's better than spending a fortune on a deep tissue massage, which essentially ends up being a pool of lavender oil in the small of your back. This is the real deal massage tool. It even dealt with all the leftover knots, aches and pains I had in my back and shoulders from doing the interminable (I cried into my goggles) Dart 10k swim last week. Result.
What you need:
- A chestnut tree
- A pair of tights
Top tip: The most awesomest massage octopus also works for reflexology. Just plonk it on the floor and walk on it.
Top quote: "I am so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers." L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables.