Wednesday, October 10, 2007

seasonal ramblings

Whoever was painting these yellow lines clearly had a bit of a ramble. The line did begin at the edge of the road...

Three sites for you to click.

First, and most worthily: the breast cancer site.
This site makes money for free mammograms for women in need in the US - visiting and clicking on the site boosts the number of visitors, attracting advertising and making more money. I've just added this to my favourites to remind me to visit daily.

Second, and most nostalgically: conkers.
This is the first year when I don't think I've stopped in the street to pick up conkers. I wont miss the increasingly dusty and wrinkley pile usually accumulated by LG and myself this time of year - but I do miss their gorgeous chestnut shine and satisfying roundness. I think its partly the contrast between the chesnut and the spikey green shell which is so appealing - finding one newly splitting out of its horny-outside silky-inside little nest. Aaaah, I'm going to have to go for a walk later with camera and empty pockets....

Apart from the aesthetic appeal of the conkers, they have such nostalgic connotations for lots of Brits. Like those other old playground games like french skipping, british bulldog, hopscotch.... All of them "levelling" - cheap, accessible, easy - and potentially bruising.

There are also a lot of sweet chestnut trees in Greenwich park, which I walk / cycle through regularly. This is the edible type of chestnut (still sold in London on street corners, roasted - for some stupidly outrageous price, ££?? for about half a dozen, hot and notquiteburnt and just delicious). [though i'm too mean to buy them]

The outer case is much more viciously spiky than the horse chestnuts, but that doesn't deter locals from collecting them in the park. Its quite common to see people picking up huge sackfuls - especially the local chinese/vietnamese communities. It is necessary to fight the squirrels for them though.

This isn't one of my photos. Its from Wikipedia. I always feel surreptitious using Wikipedia etc. because I spend so much time telling my students "IT IS NOT A RELIABLE ACADEMIC SOURCE".

oh and now I can't remember what the 3rd site was going to be.

de dum de dum de dum.


No, nothing.

Ah well. Instead of a 3rd site, do a quick google image search on "falling" and see what you come up with.


tut-tut said...

Not good images, I'm afraid; three people falling off buildings! I had hoped for something benign--falling leaves, say, or raindrops. Yikes!

Good Wednesday to you.

Dumdad said...

Conkers, glorious conkers!

I've already done a conkers post on my blog but I always like reading about them, I don't know quite why. Perhaps a childhood nostaglia trip or something.

I haven't actually played conkers since I was about 11 though.

Steve said...

Thanks again for the Conkers info!

I always make the same argument about Wikipedia to reporters -- NOT a reliable source!

Vintage to Victorian said...

Can anyone else see someone leading a camel in the yellow paint splodge?

Mmmmm ... conkers! Those were the days!

Donna said...

I love conkers too. My little boy was taught how to play conkers by his grandad the other week, it's a dying art as it is no longer allowed in playgrounds.

I think Sue might be right there is definitely something camel-like about that yellow splodge!

John Eaton said...

Cool postage, Lettie.

We have chestnuts over here in the former colonies, ya know. Pecans are our locally big arboreal these days, as the trees are full of them.


Londons Falling, a punker group from California.

All the best,


Reya Mellicker said...

Hey, we have conkers here, too, horse chestnuts. The dogs hate walking underneath them because the spikes hurt their feet.

But they are so beautiful.

Akelamalu said...

My friend has a horse chestnut tree right outside her house and you wouldn't believe the dents the conkers have made on her car! I do love them roasted though -chestnuts not cars! ;)

Lynne said...

Letty, do they call them "conkers" because when they fall they "conk" you on the head? I hope that translates because after reading pod, I'm not so sure anymore ... ;P

We only have acorns here in NJ and they make a huge bang on the car roof when you happen to drive under a falling one. Sounds like a gun shot! My head has narrowly missed the same "conking."


Gary said...

I clicked the breat cancer link. I have had several friends whose lives were saved through early detection and treatment. A very worthy site. Thanks for the info.

lettuce said...

TT - oh dear, sorry! I found a rather fun "woman falling on bubbles" game.... Yikes indeed.

DD, I'm sure a lot of it is that nostalgia. Yoof of today - all too busy on their PSPs and iPods. Tch!

I know Steve - but it doesn't stop them using it, does it!

V2V - yes, def. a camel, thats what I thought!

donna i was thinking as I wrote this that its probably not allowed in the playground any more. :o( Good for Alfie's grandad.

lettuce said...

John - bit of a time lapse there, I was having a listen. Good link, not bad! I will pass on to The Girl, she'd like them. Pecans falling from the trees? how exotic! do you manage ever to go out without filling your pockets?

Reya, poor Jakey. I'd not thought of it from the dog's paw perspective.

K'Lulu (sounds kind of Klingon) I can believe it! they do drop with some force. I suspect squirrels actually.

Lynne, yes we can talk over here of being conked on the head. A big conk though, thats a different matter......

gary, it does seem like a worthy site, and I'm remembering to click quite often!

Lynne said...

ooooooh, Letty, I can only imagine in my head what a big conk means...

hmm.. imaginging on here in Nj with a grin .. ;P

kimy said...

did the google image hit and do like the picture of the feather falling!

lettuce said...

heehee lynne. Actually its not rude - at least, not in an innuendo way, just in a personal comment way, as it would just refer to a big nose...

Kimy I didn't see that one I don't think, I must try again

Joyce said...

don't those yellow splotches look like a camel?

grumpy old woman said...

Darling Lettuce

Although I've visited your blog regularly over the months, for some reason I've not been able to read it.
But this evening I was allowed in and I had an amazing time reading and reading - catching up on all your posts for the past many weeks.

Thank you sooo much for a fab read.
Your writing is wonderfully descriptive and I've loved looking at all your photos.

I hope it won't be such a long time before the Big Blogger allows me to visit you again.

Hugs and love.

Pod said...

i've got a rather large conk
not as big as noseybonk's though
and i love conkers too
you never know what you might find when you take the shell off. that lovely dark shine