Dear readers,

I know what a bradawl is as my father used to use it to make holes in conkers so that we could thread old shoe laces through them and tie knots in the end to ensure they had a chance in the playground conker fights we played in the 1970s.

I had never seen the word written until today, and typed bradle into Google; eventually, when I described that it was a tool for making holes in things, the correct images came up.

The conkers are out in Gloucestershire. I’ve been out and collected a few to plant, so that I can watch their sticky brown buds appear in the spring as they grow into saplings.

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