Horse Chesnut

This trees flowers make Chesnuts when they are fertilised and mature.

Chestnuts are big brown nuts or seeds. They have hard shells and children gather them up in the autumn to play the game Conkers.

The local children throw sticks up into the tree to knock the chestnuts down. Then they make holes through them and thread them onto string tying a knot at the bottom so the Chestnut (or Conker) doesn’t fall off.

They take turns to swing one conker against the other until one of them cracks and breaks up. There are various tricks to try and make the chestnuts harder, like for instance soaking them in vinegar.

The more conkers a child hits and breaks, the more important the child’s conker is. If it’s only broken one it’s a ‘oner’ a six would be a ‘sixer’ the winner is the person whose conker does not disintegrate and beats all the other ones.

Probably not a game played much these days. But I remember playing it until my friend conker accidentally hit the knuckles of my hand. Ow!

Computers!

Reading a blog about computers and computer programming today I suddenly remembered an incident that happened over forty years ago.
I didn’t know how they worked and I was just starting college. I went in an exhibition about information technology. I saw on a computer screen a message which said something about typing the answer to a question and it would then play a game.
I typed in the answer, nothing happened. I did it again and again, nothing? The original question disappeared off the top of the screen….frustrated I gave up.

There was no-one there to explain what had happened. There was no one there to tell me you had to press enter!

Losing friends

When you open up Facebook you don’t expect to hear that a friend has passed away. Someone who I admired. A good artist and a compassionate and sensitive man.

I guess I would rather find out than not know at all. Waiting to see if he would post new art, or a post about how he was feeling. He went missing for a couple of months about two years ago. He eventually turned up and everything turned out OK.

Now, I don’t know. I guess I’m glad I met him on a website and saw his art, he lived in a different country so we were never going to meet up. But that doesn’t matter, he was a very good artist and was a thoughtful person.

I lost another friend in a similar way last year. This was a woman from overseas. Another artist.

The internet allows people who would never normally meet to find each other. At least I’ve found out what has happened. Feeling very sad.

Remembered scary tree

Oh I used to run past this tree. I was convinced as a child that it was inhabited by a ghost. As part of this terms college work we had to remember some landscape from our childhood and this was what I thought of.

I’ve probably missed out trees and I can’t remember if there were houses in the background. But it will remain with me forever!

Local landmark

Today’s #bandofsketchers prompt was local landmark. We had a walk round the main Hanley Park and also the small park which had this fountain in. The last time I saw it, it was frozen! But tomorrow is the first day of spring, and it was a pleasant and sunny afternoon. Here is my pencil and felt pen depiction of the fountain.

Photo troubles

I have too many photos on my phone, some on its drive and some on its SD card. I have thousands… I tried putting some on my pc from the phone. I have a USB cable with a connection to the phone. I found the bit on the pc that allows you to upload photos, but the pc can’t seem to find them on my phone? I tried Bluetooth. The phone found some woman’s phone nearby, it not my pc. I looked for Bluetooth on my pc but couldn’t find it?

I tried uploading to the cloud, but Samsung no longer supports it, or at least won’t from 30.3.21..? I have one drive, but my phone seems to have another type. My friend suggested I download Google photos. So I looked and I already have it on my phone. I’m not sure it’s on the pc though? Life was simple with film and physical photos. I will have another go but it’s frustrating.

Fuzzy photo

photo across the ages from forty years ago when I first went to college. Why? The sky was dirtier, there was dust and smoke in the air from places like the Michelin Tyre Factory. I don’t know if that’s a chimney in the distance or a crane.

Why keep blurry old photos? They link you to memories of a time long gone, of a changed world. Where there was some interest in pollution and ozone holes, but not enough pressure to improve things.

Maybe I should just delete this, but this was a prompt I wanted to use.