I wonder how many readers remember playing conkers, or even know what conkers are. It occurred to me and John yesterday, whilst out walking that no one seems to play conkers anymore.

As we walked off the canal at Bradley (just after photographing the hideously rusted railway bridge about .75 miles back) we found horse chestnuts strewn all over the Ashgrove Road. It was unbelievable just how many there were – we both reminisced about how this would never have happened when we were young. As youths, we would have been so impatient to get at the conkers that we would have been throwing sticks (anything really) up into the trees to try and bring the nuts down, before they were ready to fall. To actually get this far into the school term without the trees being denuded seemed to us a real sacrilege.

There always seemed to be a ball of string hanging about the house at this time of year and some kind of implement for boring the hole. The game itself could be quite painful, especially when your opponent decided to whack your knuckles instead of the conker!

Anyway – such a shame. However, as we walked away, we did see one dad taking his lad conkering – he’d assumed that because of the wind (60-70 mile an hour today!) there would be plenty about. I’m not sure who his lad will compete with though.

Tomorrow, Monday, I’m up and off by 6.00am to catch my train to London, to the Handheld Learning Conference (#hhl09) where I will be until Wednesday evening. It’s day tomorrow and I’ll be working with Lilian, James and Stuart to decide what’s cool and what’s not. On Tuesday, I’m working on the MoLeNET stand and on Wednesday I get to visit some workshops.

strewn conkers