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irish conker championship 2009

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I said I’d go to Freshford to compete in The Irish Conker Championships …and I did. How did I get on…? Absolutely 110% had an amazing time…. 😆 I loved every second of it…

How did I get on in the competition….? Honestly? K.O. ‘d in the first round 😆

I hadn’t trained….

Is it serious stuff…? On one hand, the conker must be 8″ from the finger and the lace twice wrapped…. the fact that I was beat by last years champ; the fact that his sister Aileen won it this year… You may think so.

There is the other side where all the monies raised goes to charity and when I arrived down there on Saturday evening… within 3 minutes of arriving I was involved in a team of about 18 people putting up a marquee….

My advice…. book a b&b. Get your socks down to Freshford and literally have the craic. If you do manage to get involved, get to the ceilí, to the flower show, get a donkey ride…. [the list goes on….] and more important meet the amazing people all in the name of conkers… well, how bad can life be 😆

Here’s how I managed to get knocked out…. literally 😉

These are just some of the amazing people I met over the weekend…. thank you all. It was an absolute honour. I have some more images over here

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I’m going to compete in the Irish Conker Championships

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yes you read it correctly… 😉

This coming October bank holiday weekend sees the Irish Conker Championships, now in their 10th year take place in Freshford, County Kilkenny.

I spoke with Main Orgainser Brenda who explained to me that whilst some may find the event a little on the trivial side… there are those who do take it quite serious. I explained to Brenda I was one of the more serious. Brenda laughed slightly and asked how long I had been in training for….? hmmmm

The area where the competition takes place is surrounded by 52 conker trees so its perfect for the event. It is from here the local primary school, will start in about 2 weeks time collecting conkers every day after school and at weekends. In total about 25-30,000 conkers will be used.

conker - image courtesy of http://www.louieswords.com

Brenda also explained that to avoid any ‘tom-foolery’ all and only conkers supplied by the association along with leather laces supplied by local shoe maker Michael Rossiter can be used on the day.

The holes are then drilled by some of the 70 volunteers on the Saturday and then laced on the Sunday ready for the competition starting that day at 12pm.

I’ve formed a picture in my head of the 118 50 kind of Flahavans 1980’s type tracksuit complete with cotton sweatband of course…. I’m wondering also if I need a Rocky Balboa group of trainers to stand in my corner and a nick name for when I am announced entering the ring…. 

Either or… I’ve been off the competitive conker circuit for close on 21 years now and I need to get into training…. 😉

If you want to find out more visit the Irish Conker Championships website. Also on the weekend will be about ’80 musicians and the Kilkenny Flower Show along with the usual fares, stalls and stands. It costs €6 for an adult to enter and €1 to use the practice arena.

Any thoughts or advice for me – leave a comment. I need all the help I can get 😉

Could this be a nice opportunity to raise a little sponsorship for a good cause…?

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Horse Chestnut Tree

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The Aesculus [Hippocastanaceae]  or horse chestnut tree is an absolute all time favourite of mine. I don’t know how many years I spent hanging out of them or trying to harvest the conkers from them… 😉 Love it.

A genus of about 15 species, these are the ultimate in examples of palmate [hand like leaves]. Do be extremely careful if/ when deciding to plant one of these as they grow extremely large. The most common variety for example [that I know] is the Aesculus hippocastanum which can grow to 80 feet tall, its leaflets 12″ long and its flowers [spring – early summer] up to 13″ tall.

Don’t say I haven’t warned you regarding the space. These guys really are in the large but also the ‘greats’ category.

Want to grow some for free… watch out for the conkers [the brown nut like seeds usually found hidden inside those spkiy fruits].  Place them twice the depth of the seed below any type of soil and walk away… 🙂

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