Spindle the Conkerer

It’s that time of the year again pals!! 

Autumn has beckoned us with it’s crisp, leafy hands…Yes! It’s the Spindle Towers Annual Conker Championship!

* Spindles pauses for the excited chatter to cease.

There was an unexpected air of panic, and a deep concern was voiced when the flyers were first handed out amongst ourselves. It turns out that the computer device had auto corrected the title to ‘Spindle Towers Anal Conker Championship’, which, as it turns out, nobody seemed that keen to take part in. Once everyone was reassured that there would be no moral misuse of conkers, a general flurry of excitement began. So far, Hector, the Tiny Terror and Nelson had signed up – and myself of course. I must admit to you that I have something of a reputation with a freshly polished conker! 

We all had our particular methods of pre match conker conditioning. The rules stated that each method must be declared in the warm ups, to allow for transparency and a general attempt at good will and fair play. This rule was decided upon after we discovered that last year Hector had secretly dipped his conker in resin which quite frankly was not very sporting at all.

I had foraged for the perfect specimen whilst out on my morning scampers a few days ago. I spotted the brown shiny jewel as I was evacuating a brown shiny jewel of my own, a moment of perfect equilibrium in our great universe.  (I suspect my own offering would not stand the rigours of a conker competition however, not having the requisite consistency/properties, also being difficult to attach a string to etc etc)

After my impromptu morning tail trembler, I trotted over and picked up the conker for full examination. It was indeed a beauty so I quickly secreted it in my autumn reticule before any other thieving herbert tried to get their grubby mitts on it. 

You may think this is stepping into the realms of paranoia, but in response, I draw your attention to the great conker scandal of 2018, when Nelson was caught red pawed, secretly foraging in my winter muff. After an impromptu gathering in our temporary court room (kitchen) we extracted an apology from a petulant and sulky looking Nelson, who agreed (with some reluctance) never to investigate a ladies muff without prior consent, and most certainly NOT in the pursuit of conker subterfuge and snafflement.  

A light sentence of community service was also dished out as he had also stolen my emergency pack of custard creams. The details of this community service can’t be disclosed I am afraid, all I can say is that it took place in The Velvet Marmoset*, under the watchful gaze of Sister Josephine and involved a glitter ball and a defunct soda stream. 

* For the uninitiated, the Velvet Marmoset is a dodgy nightclub of some notoriety, which also happens to be our much beloved local night time haunt).

Getting back to the conkers, the reason for my interest in my new conker was that I had something of a reputation as a champion of this great game. My winning method was all in the pre match preparation, a method discovered by accident when I accidentally tiddled on my conker. Once again, Spindle’s finest worked as an all in one hardener and preserver, a chemical compound that could, if I wished, be sold to shadowy figures for a large sum of money. Thankfully I am not motivated by such unimportant, trifling things as money – although truth be told I would indeed do anything for the merest whiff of cheese.

We were going to turn the garden into the Arena of Excitement, for the first round and  I could see my fellow competitors limbering up in readiness, with a flurry of star jumps, squats and unpleasant to watch lunges. Movement was hampered by the safety gear that we had through experience, learned to wear. Hector had his old riding hat and boots on, the Tiny Terror was sporting shin pads under her leg warmers and Nelson was fully encased in biking leathers, the origin of which was uncertain. 

We can exactly pin point the moment that it all began to descend into farce and tepid violence. It was when Nelson’s conker flew off the end of his string and shot through the window of the greenhouse. We all looked on as the glass tinkled over the withered and entirely extinct plants inside. 

The tiny terror was slightly irked by this as she had spent a good deal of time and effort to continue her unblemished record of assassinating any plant or living object she touched. This also explains why she is only allowed to approach Hector for a hug when wearing her gauntlets. She was very much attached to the greenhouse, as indeed were the weeds that had grown up the supports. 

With a strangled yell, she set upon Nelson brandishing her conker with menace. Thankfully she was not gifted in the sport of conkering/conquering and was soon found floundering in the bush, having been skilfully deflected by an accidental outflung paw as Nelson also fell onto his leather clad botty. After a moment of surprise, they both crawled towards each other and continued a slight enscufflement.

Hector and myself watched on with interest, unsurprised really as we seemed to end up in a undignified scrap every year. We left them to it, a floundering, whirling ball of leather and wool, and went inside to pop the kettle on. 

Pip pip for now pals, may all your conkers stay firm and victorious in battle!

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