Oddly Oddly Onker My First Conker

Summer has drifted by in a haze with Autumn taking no time at all to seep its colours into the organic leaves on each tree. Conker (chestnut seeds) have already been falling from the horse chesnut trees not native to these British lands, but from afar in some place of Europe. I want you to close your eyes and remember the excitement as your conkers first clinked surfaces all those long forgotten years ago. It’s mysterious patterns swirling in mid-air as your faces lit up with joy. When did playing the game of conkers become too dangerous that many schools have banned them? or too boring that many parents have forgotten its usage?, and no… the conkers in the UK are not edible.

‘Oddly Oddly Onker My First Conker’ is what you say when you find your first conker resting in the shades of grass beneath an ethereal horse chestnut tree. This is to ensure good fortune for your conker battles ahead. As my son and daughter collected bundles of conkers memories of my youthful days came fluttering back, traveling in the light Autumn breeze. I remember how my mother helped make my conker unbeatable by baking it in the oven and then soaking in a bowl of vinegar (this is cheating of course). My children and I dipped the conkers into the bathroom sink testing which ones float or not (ones that float are of no use as they are damaged inside – they can be used for decorating instead). Using a hammer and nail we created perfect holes and then laced the conkers up with string (shoe laces are more efficient). There are rules to this game… but the basics are… it’s a two player game. One holds out their conker whilst the other has three strikes at a time, the first conker to break loses. I had a 28 win streak before evenutally being defeated in my golden youth.

So put away the digital games, cover the televion sets and head out for a stroll in the crisp Autumn air and go conker hunting… you will be entertained for hours. The stroll alone will be rewarding for even within an urban landscape you will find beauty. The leaves (pictured below) are growing out from behind the railings of a bridge hovering over a train track. Immerse yourself as the sun breaks through the clouds with a honey tinted ray flickering like a disco light in between the autumn leaves – marmalade, apple, burgundy, forest green, strawberry, banana, lime, caramel, and mango all falling to the ground. Oddly oddly onker my first conker…

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