Hello Chums,

It’s October and once again the air is filled with the sounds of autumn. Thwack! Crack! Ouch! Aaargh!! Yep, it’s conker time, and on Saturday I went down to the park with Dave and his ‘towny’ cousin Fred, hoping to find this year’s champion conker. Although, as Dave pointed out, the biggest ones are always at the top of the tree and never seem to fall off!

Mike found an old dead branch and threw it into the biggest tree he could see. A few leaves drifted down and that was all - until he walked over to the trunk and peered up into the foliage. Then, the old dead branch hit him on the head!

Fred wandered off and spent ages prodding around in the grass. Occasionally, we could hear him muttering, ‘Ow!’ and ‘Erk!’ so I trotted over to see what he was up to.

‘It’s these conkers,’ he complained, ‘the prickles stick in your hands when you’re trying to open them, and when you do get inside, they’re all a funny shape.’

‘They’re the right shape for chestnuts,’ I replied. ‘You’re looking under the wrong tree!’

Later on, Dave told us how last year he heard about a way to make a conker unbeatable by turning it hard as a rock.

‘I soaked it in vinegar for three weeks,’ he explained, ‘baked it in the oven for two hours and then buried it in wet tea-leaves and tied it in an old sock for a fortnight. After that it was like a lump of iron!’

‘And you beat everybody/’ asked Fred.

‘No,’ replied Dave glumly, ‘I couldn’t bore a hole in it!’

See you soon

Luv Junior