Today I was inspired to write about Conkers.

Every year at about this time, I am always pleasantly surprised to find them and I never ever get sick of looking feeling, picking up in keeping them as keepsakes.

I like to think of them as one of nature’s little masterpieces. They have such a shiny rich and Mahogany-like veneer to them. You’d think there’d been individually hand carved by a master carpenter. And if we define a carpenter as somebody who works with word that I guess a tree probably falls into that description.



I never cease to be amazed by these little fellows. Although they are all roughly the same shape, once you start to scrutinise them, you can see they’re actually quite different. I especially like the ones that, as a boy I would call Cheese Cutter’s. You can see, one of ease, on the right-hand side in about the middle of the page — one side of it is almost flat (it’s actually slightly concave in this particular instance).

I don’t know exactly why they’re called Cheese Cutters, but I probably make something up to make it fit the name at a push.

Today I introduced my son to Conkers. It made me very happy to see him crack open the prickly exteriors to find within a unique & perfectly formed Conker.

Conkers are Autumn.

Just take a few moments to consider each season, and then consider your feelings towards each of them. It might be pertinent to start with Autumn, and then move on to Winter, Spring and, although it’s a long way off summer.

I’m wondering what your initial feeling or reaction is, to each of those Seasons?

Is their excitement, dread present? Did you sigh or growl a little (please tell me I’m not the only one who growls?). Did you feel the slightest flutter in anticipation of fun and happy times?

To me autumn it equals Conkers, and driving in the dusk.

Winter is having the central heating on and walking with my collars up to the wind.

Spring is all about hope and remembering the Sun

Summer, well, that’s hot days spent on a cool and shady trampoline, cold cans of Coke and brain-freeze from gulping too big a mouthful of homemade fruit slush-puppy.

So that’s mine, what are yours?

Can any of them be improved? what would like to change in them if so? What new useful ways might there be to think of one that you weren’t initially looking forward to until now?

While I love positive thinking, we don’t always have to be upbeat and happy all the time, and by the same token, we don’t always have to be sad, down and under pressure all the time.

I know I pursue and enjoy one than the other.

Defining the Season
What is going to be your defining moment in Autumn?

What’s going to be the time where you stick a flag in the sand and be marked in your memory as representing Autumn. When you choose the time, use all your senses pay a lot of attention to your field of vision, take in all the sounds you can hear, how your body feels right at that moment, are you tasting something, what are the smells of that season defining moment?.

If there was one phrase which you used to encapsulate this moment in time, what would it be, and how would you say it to yourself? With energy, with peace? Loudly or quietly?

Make a point of recalling this memory in Winter, and notice what you notice bout it…

Let me know how it goes!

Till next time.


  1. Sarah BoothSarah Booth09-23-2009

    For me, I think to when I was in high school when fall starts. I remember being excited about the new start and crisp clean new notebooks, and brand new pens and unsharpened pencils waiting for a fine point. I think of the sweaters that I could wear again (sorry jumpers) and brightly colored leaves blowing in the wind around my feet. I still love fall. Watching the leaves change , the sense of a new beginning in the air even though there is no longer school for me; it still seems like a new start in a way. I love taking out the warmer clothes and the smells of heavier cooking and fireplaces that burn fragrant logs after the sun has gone down. Memories of hot apple cider with cinnamon and cloves also comes to mind, and just the warm comforts from coming in from cold weather into a warm house with lots of warm smells, tastes and textiles. Just some stream of consciousness about Autumn.
    By the way we called them gumball trees when they were green and held the chestnuts (conkers). Then they brown and broke open to reveal that perfectly hard and shellacked-looking nut inside. You can still find a vender or two with roasted chestnuts in the winter in NYC, just have to look hard enough. I love that smell, too.
    Hmm. I seem to be more about sounds and smells as I get older than sights and taste.

  2. Sophie Henson22Sophie Henson2209-23-2009

    Autumn beats spring any day for me. I just love the richness of the leaves. The different shades of brown that goes so well with the land scape here in the UK. It is lovely to walk through the woods with dryed ceisp golden Autumn leaves on the ground.

  3. English SistersEnglish Sisters10-02-2009

    Hi Al,
    We enjoyed your “talk” about conkers and the seasons very much, there is something so very down to earth about conkers…
    Bye, bye,
    The English Sisters

  4. adminadmin10-03-2009

    Love you guys!