Wednesday, March 24, 2010
What I didn't realize was that bringing up conkers in the middle of an office meeting in Canada would result in awkward silence and nervous giggling. I thought it was a great analogy, two sides arguing so much that they end up wearing each other down..."like a pair of conkers" is what I think I said. So here I am, like Michael Moore explaining health care to the Americans, to explain to you exactly what conkers are.
Wikipedia tell us
Conkers or conker is a game traditionally played mostly by children in Britain, Ireland and some former British colonies using the seeds of horse-chestnut trees. The game is played between two people, each with a conker. They take turns hitting each other's conker using their own. One player lets the conker dangle on the full length of the string while the other player swings their conker and hits.
But that doesn't include exactly how fun playing conkers is. People in England take the game very seriously, firstly you have to pick your conker, which is the best bit. Going out and finding the strongest, shiniest and biggest conker you can takes most of the autumn (or fall - translation-ally) But once you have it, you feel ready to compete in the new term at school. Next you have to make a hole in the conker to put a lace through. People think this is unimportant, but a clean hole means when someone else is whacking away at your conker it's less likely to split, so if you are going to compete I would suggest you think wisely about your hole making implement.
Once you tie your lace to stop the conker falling off, you are good to go. The rest of the rules are pretty vague, and differ regionally. Some people say that if you break the other persons conker you get to absorb the amount of wins that conker has achieved. To clarify if you've been walking around school killing other peoples conkers then once you get beaten, your opponent wins a point for beating you and then gets all the points you've accumulated beforehand. I like this way of playing because it seems to make people more cautious about who they challenge to a duel.
Long story short, Conkers are amazing. If you want to go pro, you can keep your conker for the whole year in a dry cupboard, or soak it in vinegar so it is extra hard. My mum was always super supportive of conkers, and let me collect them in plastic bags when I was little, so if I ever win some sort of conker award, she will definitely be in my thank you speech. I would suggest you give conkers a go, you won't be sorry.
Incidentally I can't seem to stop breaking chocolate stories. I logged on the BBC this morning to have a look at the news, and there under panorama was a story about chocolate trading in Africa. It relates to a new doccumentary called the 'the bitter truth' which exposes the use of child slaves in the cocoa industry. I will include the link at the end of the post. Either the BBC news team are avid readers of my blog and then went back in time to make a documentary on chocolate to be released the day after I blogged about fair trade chocolate, or it is a coincidence... I think we both know the answer to that question. Hi BBC news team
love and cuddles