Archive for October, 2008

Filed Under (General) by Rob on 11-10-2008

Hi folks! I’m back in Benin, just for 2 days, then off to Togo!

Wow – it’s good to be back but, rather ironically, it’s cloudy and rainy here whilst (I’m told) it’s sunny in England: Typical!!

Journey here was good and I even got to see a bit of Paris. I’ll try and upload some pictures soon – watch this space. Meanwhile, my time slot at the cyber cafe is about to expire…

Filed Under (Trivia Question of the Week) by Rob on 06-10-2008

Q: Octopuses have blood which is what colour?

Answer to last week’s question: The coastless sea where eels from all over the globe breed is the Sargasso Sea
And the winner was: The Rev.Caroline Hewlett.

Filed Under (General) by Rob on 02-10-2008

Benin may have had lots of lovely trees (such as this one), but one we certainly didn’t have is the horse chestnut tree.

It was therefore a great joy for Lois and I to introduce our kids to the delights of conker fighting! I’m not sure whether other countries (US, Australia) have conkers or conker fighting, so I’ll briefly explain how it works:

(i) Find a horse chestnut tree (less commonly known as the Aesculus hippocastanum).
(ii) Open one of the spikey seed pods to reveal the brown conkers (or horse chestnuts).
(iii) Make a hole in your conker and thread string through, tying a knot in the end afterward.
(iv) Time for battle! One person holds their conker on the string, whilst the other uses theirs to hit it.
(v) Swap roles, so that the other person gets to hit.
(vi) Battle ends when one of the two conkers breaks and falls of the string.

Here are Ruthie & Micah having a go for the first time in their lives:

I’m so glad they could experience this bit of British culture for themselves! We always used to play at school, but overly-keen health and safety regulations these days have meant it is now banned in most schools (whilst bunsen burners, rugby and javelin-throwing are still ‘safe’ in many schools!)

For all you need to know on conkers and conker-fighting, visit this excellent site, which also talks about conkers in other parts of the world.

Happy conkering!