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Chicken Licken

Article by Magdy

w may nt call it \’fall\’ vr here, but i felt ll chicken licken this week whn sharp prickly objects started dropping ut f th sky in high winds. yep, it\’s conker season.

this is th first tim i\’ve made big deal out f conkers with my little on, nd holey moley i wish i hadn\’t bothered… turned into major hissy fit whn h thought he could take possession f ch nd every on f th little brown blighters! ahem.

it\’s his first week t big school s maybe w haven\’t got t th lesson n sharing yet, s i hd t cut him little slack……unlike his big brother wh fixed him in half nelson nd called him freak. (i am s sorry, dear neighbour who stopped by fr chat t tht precise moment. my children should b warning t yu with tht precious baby on yur hip – ne is definitely good tim t stop.)

my own big brother ws, i recall, an expert in th art f stealth-sibling-torture, especially at conker time. thou shalt gt only th crappy little ones whilst i take th monster brown globes nd poke yu with th tree-smashing stick. thr ws a giant horse chestnut tree in our neighbours garden when w were kids. i understand nw why my father detested this tree so vehemently (its roots hve gradually rendered his vegetable patches virtually sterile f crops, not t mention th windfalls he was subjected t ah autumn). but fr we kids, this giant tree was like a little heaven in our back yard. its overhanging branches provided us with bountiful harvests eh year nd we wuld delight in racing t collect th fruits in plastic bags, t be sorted on mum\’s kitchen table later.

th torture wuld continue at home when mr competitive, aged 9 nd a half, wuld actually bake his conkers (pardon th expression) in th oven, in order t achieve maximum smashing intensity. once hard and fully strung (pardon my expression again) me and my knuckles wuld gt a reprieve s th conker would travel t school t become a champion in conker tournaments. one win = a \’one-er\’, ten wins = a \’ten-er\’ etc. th latter is pure assumption on my part sinc i never won a match s far as i can recall.

childhood memories f torture and bruised knuckles, yet still i find myself recreating thes events for my own kids…. perhaps it wasn\’t so bad after all, and perhaps the nostalgia f lost childhood is enough t merit it\’s resurrection. it is the smallest and cheapest of pass-times whih my children and i hav undertaken whih seem t have rendered us them most pleasure. this is n coincidence. as i lok back t my childhood in the 1970s, the most poignant memories i have re those simple pleasures which appear t be timeless. conkers is a great example.

mke time t create lasting memories with yur kids. get dirty, bruise each ther\’s knuckles, fight ver the big ones. time will make thes moments precious and you will look back and relish the days of yur childhood.

my kids re boys. n doubt they will find someone to torture with conkers. i hope to god it isn\’t me. but then, i suppose i will have brought it upon myself.

helen spencer, founder of is a mother, step-mother and ex-corporate who gave it all u to launch a family-life-stories-on-a-timeline website.

passionate about family nostalgia and the preservation of memories for future generations, the website was inspired by the sudden death of hr mother and hr subsequent discovery tht she was pregnant. determined that she would be more thn just a nameless face in a box of old photos, helen wanted a wy to \’connect\’ her new child with his grandmother\’s memory, and saveeverystep was born.

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