Why is conker collecting so competitive?

Tell me: why is conker collecting so competitive? Not to mention addictive? I’ve always loved the thrill of hunting for small brown things in the grass… Stay with me here. I love conker collecting. Conkers, I can live without them. But finding them? Collecting them in an old carrier bag? The excitement as you gently kick a green shell to find that YES! There is a conker inside! Its all so lovely. It reminds me of being a kid and getting close to my birthday. Its great. But why so competitive?

This weekend, we took the kids to the ‘conker park’ as we now call it. We took a bucket to collect our winnings and we prayed that the rain would hold off for an hour or so. There’s only a week or two at the most left for conker collecting, you see, and I think we’re busy next weekend. And this is where the competition really hots up. Last weekend we chose the wrong park and the wrong time. By the time we began our forage around the pitiful trees in the ‘wrong park’, some pesky kids had beaten us to it and were probably at home, counting their loot and laughing right at us.

This time, we went early. You have to do it early round these parts. When we got there a family had already set up camp by the flying fox, an area infamous for its conker bounty. Never mind. The tree we started with had already thrown a few brown beauties our way and we were soon occupied with our harvest. The thing is, after a while I noticed the husband had gone quiet. He was watching the ‘other family’ with interest and decided all of a sudden that their approach was reaping more rewards.

‘Stand back,’ he warned us, hefting a huge stick in the air. Like a child once more, he threw said stick and it began to rain conkers. The children and I were delighted. The husband was the hunter, we were the gatherers. Excellent. Within minutes the bucket was full and the addiction had set in.

‘Five more mintues’ we found ourselves saying, ignoring rumbling tummies and overdue nap times.

Five more minutes. If only we could have five more minutes. That’s all we’d need. Instead, we had to admit to grown up responsibilities, such as feeding our children and overseeing homework. It still hurts to think about ‘the other family’ and their JD Sports bags full of shiny brown jewels.

Once home, the conkers have been resigned to the garden, with vague promises to make an autumn picture or to take to school for a display. I’ll throw them away next week, I suppose. The thrill has gone now. Until next time…

Please tell me we’re not the only ones who find conker collecting so damn addictive and competitive? Please…

image source: http://www.dreamstime.com

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8 responses to “Why is conker collecting so competitive?

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