Of Chestnuts and conkers and everything Autumn.
Autumn is heeerrrrrreeee *singing*
I love autumn. And I especially love it this year because my little girl is not a baby anymore. She’s not even a toddler. She’s a little girl.
Seriously, all the lights are on and Roz is definitely and fully in there. And it’s a joy to have her around.
There’s a tree at the end of our apartment and two weeks ago as we walked by on the way to the shop Roz tuned to me and asked,
“Mama, why are the leaving falling?”
Well, the conversation we had after that little question!
Krys has been taking her into Phoenix Park at least once a week and so they are slowly watching the turn of the seasons together as well, and last week, they came home with these:
They were laid out on the table top when I got home from work and when I saw them, I immediately said,
“Oh, conkers. Cool”
Krys looked at me and said,
“What the heck are conkers? Those are horse chestnuts”
“These are definitely conkers because that’s what’s played with in a game of conkers. I’ve seen it in books”,
I replied smugly, never having seen an actual game of conkers in my life what with growing up in a country with zero population of…erm…conker trees?
“I don’t know of any games, but you can make stuff out of them and play with them.” says Krys.
And smart mouth me says,
“They can’t be chestnuts because chestnuts aren’t brown like that. they’re all whitish yellowy”,
recalling the time I spat them out in London in 2008. they were sooo not how I’d imagined them tasting. Krys ate the whole lot of course.
And so one of our many English language discussions started, ending with a google search and a
“Aaaaah. They’re the same thing.. Bloody English language”
These discussions are always fun because, both of us having English as a second tongue and having learnt them from two different sources – mine England and a healthy dose of American English and Krys heavily leaning on the England version of English – we’re aware that Roz will not only be getting our mish-mash versions of English but also Irish English and we kinda want to give the girl as much variety as possible.
So now their duty is not only to have fun collecting and playing with the conkers, but also to collect some for freezing so I can make a chestnut stuffing for our seasonal dishes in December.*
I luv chestnut stuffin’, me.
The day after we had this whole talk of conkers and chestnuts I came home to find this:
A day very well spent and a very proud little girl.
Edit: 21st October 2013: * So turns out horse chestnuts are not meant to be eaten. Sweet chestnuts, which look the exact same (to me at least), are the edible ones. So please please do not forage for them unless you know the difference.