Saturday, 26 March 2011

Divide and Conker

my conker collection horse chestnot on blue plate special
The day of the great conker sowing. No short person can resist collecting conkers from the park and if your parents allow you to (and dry them out in cat litter trays, box them up and stick them in the loft) then soon you too can have a collection like mine. Here I was 20 months old and extremely proud of the first steps towards my 548 conkers, collected over 4 years. However, when I became a man, I put away childish things and it's time to perform the Heathen Spring Fertility Ritual and plant them all. Speaking of which, you will recall last August the Puddlers went forth into the bundu and collected blackberries and elderberries. Bud is even now putting those frozen fruits into his morning muesli. Yesterday that led to a bonus 2 frozen caterpillars in his cereal bowl. A natural source of protein, but no, he didn't eat them. I wonder if everyone else who made trifles etc with their blackberries are now worried that they ate some.
boy in the fireplace wet mortar
Bud did some more concreting this morning and here I am having my first sulk of the day. He said we'd be having a race to plant the conkers, I said we'd be doing a conker'n'spoon race because it was my idea and no we can't do both. Incidentally, Bud says the footprint of the new bonfire is slightly bigger so we can get bigger furniture in it. What is he on about, who ever heard of a bonfire walking around leaving footprints. Poo head.
So then Ben came round to ours and played with my new swords (a Samurai and a Viking) and then we walked to his place stabbing all the hedges as we went. Already in situ were the JoniBobs and Erin, then Elizabeth arrived by bike which went in the garage with the 9 other bikes. We sallied forth into the wilderness in front of their house and the adults tried to organise us into teams for a conker-planting race. We countered this by immediately organising ourselves into six teams of one and wandered off to do our own thing. Erin and I held the rest to ransom by going off with the seed bags while Bud and ErinsDad gamely tried to provide holes and Johnny pulled up grass. This all deteriorated somewhat when there weren't enough spades, or they won't share the seeds with me, or she won't give my trowel back and a million other niggles. JoniBobsDad had the idea of providing free bike rides with his extra saddle which was really good, if a little tiring for him.
children planting seeds in reclaimed land off moorings way portsmouthmy turn on the bike busWe all queued up to get our one circuit of the bumpy paths but then he took my place in the queue and I haven't had a go yet and it was my turn next and so on. So the adults gave up on that one, and we trooped over to the flat bit to do the conker'n'spoon race.
the children escapeHere's the problem. If you have 5 Generals and only 1 soldier (Elizabeth, who was good all day) then it all tends to fall apart. We all had our ideas of how it should go down and the PuddleParents weren't having any of it. ArchBishop Bobert was the first to go off in a huff, we all followed him to see how far he'd get before being caught by his Dad. Then 1st Sea Lord Johnny went off on one, Chairman Ben declined to take part, Prime Minister Erin lodged a formal complaint, Beth wandered off and Field Marshal Me decided that nobody was standing in the middle of the field where I wanted them so they weren't doing what they were told. In the end, only Erin was left with a conker so she raced a couple of the PuddleMummies: she was disqualified for putting the spoon down her shirt so the Trophy went to the only finisher, a most determined JoniBobsMum.
fatal motorcycle crash boy in plastic roofed toy carThe rest of us were 30 to 150 yards away in several different directions because nobody was following orders and I'm not going to join in and you're all doing it wrong etc. Divided: conkered.
howling childIt was at this point that something broke inside the PuddleParents, they'd given up, you could see it in their eyes. And you know that once they've done that, no amount of cajoling will bring the happy faces back and once somebody'd mentioned Vitamin Beer it all went to pot. Well, beer'n'wine, but close enough.
We repaired to Bens place and got out all his toys and drove round and round the yard, Ben seemed to spend more time on the ground under a bike more than on the bike and many fingers were driven over. Top quality food arrived which was probably the best thing that'd happened to us all day and we did some more driving: but even then he won't let me go on the car and he's not sharing the guitar and it's my turn on the scooter...... I think Ben gets the prize for the most howls but we all pitched in (apart from Elizabeth)
dancing topless The parents gathered round the old camp fire well alright the wine rack and stood there talking while we watched a film about chipmunks. After that was some sort of dance music channel so we gradually stripped and jumped around half naked, which is what we do. We all have an exhibitionist streak, it seems, so due to willies many of these pictures will only be kept by the relevant parents to embarrass us in years to come. I suppose at our age dancing around with our Wands of Youth out is relatively harmless, Elizabeth didn't mind, but it does seem to perturb BensMum which is always worth doing.
At about 9 they called it so we borrowed an extremely large dinosaur and walked home. My little legs were tired so they took it in turns to carry me.

1 comment:

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