Samples below for Geraldine (and anyone else who would care to join in):
Well, I was half right (or half wrong, depending on the mood). The tree is a horse chestnut; about next May it should be covered in lovely white flowers.
It is indeed, Geraldine. I must admit though that when I saw the original pic, with that massive branch that spread wide from the trunk, I thought it may have been a beech tree. They do that. Now, winger, boy, can root around and collect a few conkers if they haven’t rotted or the squirrels haven’t had them. I never thought I’d see the day when somebody from Stoke couldn’t recognise a conker tree when they saw one. It just shows how far he has strayed.
From Working Class Hero to Absolute Disgrace is his next book. I dunno about the WCH bit, but I do know he’s an absolute disgrace to his working class roots. Phhht!
M. le etc…
Hello OS. Last Sunday, we had the 9th Irish Conker Championships (I bet you never thought there was such an event!) in the village of Freshford in County Kilkenny, which has huge old chestnut trees around the village green. It has become a very popular festival with thousands of people of all ages trying their hands at smashing their opponent’s conkers. For a sport that was unknown here ten years ago, it’s amazing how quickly we’ve learned.
So far, our trees seem to have escaped the disease which is sadly killing chestnuts in the south of England; I hope it doesn’t arrive here, or spread much further there.
I lived for over 20 years next door to a woman from Stoke and I never heard her mention conkers once! Maybe that’s the effect Ireland had on her … or maybe she’s from the same conkerless part of the city as Stephen?
that book title needs a revision: ‘I Come From the Conkerless Part of Stoke and I have Disgraced My Roots.*’
* Pun bleedin intended.
\o/ Hurrah for all you treeinthologists.
I have been to Kilkenny once, along the way from Cork: is that where you live, Geraldine? It was very lovely but although our visit took place in a 100˚ heatwave it never stopped raining. It was hot rain at least.
Hello Geraldine. Top o’ the mornin’ to ya. It sounds fun in County Kilkenny. I aint never been there. In fact, I aint never visited The Emerald Isle. My loss methinks. But I’m too old now to play with my wrinkled conkers.
I hope your Oirish chestnuts survive. There’s nothing so graceful as an old chestnut in full bloom. I think so, anyway.
I’ll be hugging Foster, boy, later today. I’ll be sure not to get near his conkers. He may keep them on a string like wot we used to do. In his trouser pocket.
You take care now, you lovely treeinthologist. 😉
Slurps from OS. XXX
Dear OS and All,
Just to say I have his conkers in my hand, as ever, so hug away with impunity
Wow, treeinthologist, I like that. I’m going to keep that as my description on official forms from now on. Thanks!
Ah yes, the hot Irish rain. It comes in all temperatures here and rather too much of it recently.
No, I don’t live in County Kilkenny, I’m a bit further up the road towards Dublin, in County Kildare (known as The Thoroughbred County because of all the bloodstock here). We are not far from the Curragh Racecourse, which you may have heard of, the home of the Classic races here. There are three racecourses within 20 minutes of us and a fourth only an hour away, so for racing fans there is usually plenty happening. You should organise a trip OS, I think I read somewhere that you’re good at doing that. It’s terrible that you have never been here, now who’s the disgrace?! xx
Yes, he should, & we could bring Philip too :–)
You could indeed, I think you would all enjoy yourselves. There is a big racing festival here at the end of April every year at Punchestown, it closes the national hunt season. Racing lasts for about five days and it is hugely popular. As an introductory course to Irish racing it would be hard to beat!
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