Bonkers about Conkers

Thursday, October 14, 2010 |

There's a chill in the air and fall is definitely here.  For me, growing up in England, one of the clearest memories I have is going 'conkering' in autumn. Conkers are the fruit of the horse chestnut tree, they have a spiky exterior shell and the greatest joy was to find one with the shell intact and then to peel off that shell to reveal the smooth shiny conker inside.
Annie with conkers

Jemma with Conkers

Once you have your prized nut you want to play conkers with it.  This is where a picture is worth a 1000 words.
Playing Conkers

You strike one conker with another and the last conker standing is the winner.  You can make your conker harder to crack open and beat by pickling it in vinegar or even baking it in the oven, these methods are not strictly within the rules or spirit of the game but, as they say, all's fair in love and conkering! 

 Now England is a small island with ALOT of people so finding a horse chestnut tree that had not had every last nut stripped from it was a challenge. Imagine my surprise and delight when we moved to Canada and discovered conkers are not a prized possession, there is no game of conkers and if you can find a horse chestnut tree in October in Canada you can bet your bottom dollar you'll find more conkers than you can shake a stick at!

Last week I took my two girls and some Canadian friends conkering, it was almost too easy.  I needed carrier bags to take our haul home.
But we won't be threading them with string so we can  knock seven bells out of our oppositions knuckles though, my little princesses are far to refined for that and besides they have no-one to play with!  Like all other years they'll gather dust in their bedrooms, or wherever they leave them and then when enough time has passed so they won't notice I'll surreptitiously put them in the compost bin, 'til next autumn.

Happy Conkering

PS. Check out some of these Esty conkering finds.  here .....they really do have everything.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I still love collecting conkers, though I never got to play when I was little because the game was banned in school! (Too many broken fingers, I think). I went on a conker hunt a couple of weeks ago with a mini friend, we found loads, but we had to look all over the park! She's put them in every corner of her bedroom, because they're supposed to scare spiders away. :)

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