Wednesday, 3 October 2007

What is a conker?

A conker is a horse chestnut, and this time of the year most people have at least 5 in their pockets, or so DD tells me! They drop out of the trees esp when young people throw sticks in the air, or climb the tree and shake it vigorously (sp). DD has grown out of collecting conkers now, but up until a couple of years ago, her and DH used to go out on Saturday nights and collected them in supermarket carrier bags...she also came home very proud and hand them over. I was then obliged to be very grateful, and keep them in a safe place until they rotted and I threw them out - luckily by then she had forgotten about them, so it was never too much of an issue when she realised they had gone.

What do we do with conkers: well, they have holes drilled through the middle of them, string threaded through the hole and knotted, so they hang on the string, and then you meet with fellow conker owners, and take it in turns to bash hell out of each others conkers (in turn of course, we are British, so are trained to queue for everything!) until one gives up the ghost, and then yours is known as a 6er (if it has killed 6 other conkers).....the number system goes on until it becomes ultimate champion, or is killed by someone elses champion. Various tactics are employed to make your conker harder than the others: I am sure people have their own, but the ones I know of are soaking in vinegar, or baking in the oven.

That is the gentle art of conkers..........action shot!
This link is worth a look to see conkers in action. Nice photos there too.


Bezzie said...

Wow. It's official. I have NO clue how to play that game!! But thanks for the explanation.

Don't your conkers come wrapped in those little husks that dare I say look a tad bit like testicles? At least mine do!!!

weezalana said...

That is TOO funny! Who'd have thought chestnuts would make a fine bashing game!

Magatha said...

I have never even seen a chestnut IRL. They look positively polished like fine woodworking in your first shot.

psammeadred said...

That brings back memories...when I lived in England, we had a GIGANTIC conker tree in the garden. Every fall, it would drop its payload all over my dad's car. I used to hoard them in my desk drawers, and my siblings and I used to try to find the biggest one. I think our record was about the size of a golf ball. They're such a beautiful mahogany color. We definitely need some conker trees in Oklahoma.