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The Musings of a Mule.

This being the thoughts & commentaries, musings & ponderation of said Donkey. A rather irrelevant look at life & its aspects seen through the eyes of someone who finds thistles ........ rather tasty !
Rating: 1 votes, 5.00 average.

Autumnal reflections

Posted 09-10-2010 at 22:18 by DaveinGermany

Well ! October already & if the last couple of days are anything to go by I do believe we'll be in for an Indian Summer (or as the PC Gestapo would have it, native American Summer ?) Whatever, I shall not, in any way shape or form let PC bother me in my musings. Yes a balmy 16 - 17 C out & about today, practically shorts & flip-flops weather. Despite the pleasantness of the temperatures though the Autumn is sneaking in with its little hints & reminders, the subtle shades & hues of the foliage, the small & furry are scrabbling round for nuts & seeds & on a few evenings I've heard the sounds of Geese on the wing, their raucous calls reassuring & guiding each other in their nocturnal flight to warmer climes. Aye the changes are coming.

Still, I must admit to a certain fondness for Autumn & Winter (strange I know, but hey, each to their own & all that). I suppose it's due to my recollections of times past & all the fun & frivolity my mates & I had in our yesteryears. Simple things that we did & enjoyed, collecting Conkers, Sunday league Footy in the park, scrumpin' from nearby orchards (Half a dozen Apple & Pear trees in the local farmers field) fishing down the cut & alcohol fuelled malarkey in the park after dark (2 cans of Kestrel Lager & a bottle of woodpecker between 6 ! Yeah, Outrageous I know, little Hooglians us).

One particular event that still raises a smile was collecting Conkers in the forbidden zone ! So if you'll just bear with me on this one & I'll tell you a little story. Now as 14/15 year olds we were always on the look out come Sept/Oct for the bezzy Conkers, all the usual haunts had been scavenged (posh peoples gardens, down station road & along willow hey) there were a few scabby conkers to be found over by the church, but the Holy grail of Conkerism was James Paige & Kiffin Taylor Mong homes ! (Now before some one goes off on one, this was the late 70's early 80's, kids with special needs & down syndrome as it once was referred to were, by all & sundry known as Mongs & for this retelling it is required, so don't take offence.) So to get into the grounds we had to climb over a 4ft high stone wall which dropped down to a ground level of about 5ft on the inside into the Homes grounds & then there was a perimeter of about 20ft in which grew brush, scrub & trees, most importantly Conker trees, lots of Conker trees ! Then there was an inner fence of chain-link 6ft high with access points along its length.

One of the boys stayed on the wall keeping dixie, the rest were a gathering the spoils, we'd the bestest Conkers & we were going to wup all challengers ! We filled pockets, plastic bags whatever we could, but it still wasn't enough, so it was decided that one of us ..... should climb up the tree & chuck down some beauties we'd seen still up there amongst the branches. After much pushing & pulling, cajoling & bribing, finally coming down to threats, the climberist was chosen ! Wally, was sent up the tree & we'd chuck some sticks up to him once he was in a position to knock the prizes down. Have you ever tried chucking sticks to someones hand who's up in a tree ? It's not easy believe me After being hit several times by sticks of varying sizes, we decided that perhaps if he just shook the branches ......

"Bloks !!!" shouted Kev, as he darted off the wall back to street level, "What ? What ?" our excited reply "Itsa Mong !" his diminishing response as he did one off down the street. What a palaver ! We scattered, conkers flying, knees & elbows scuffed & scraped as we tried to clear a 5ft wall or hide in the brush, while Wally up the tree was looking round wanting to know where everyone was "Lads ? Lads ? What is it ? What's happenin' ?" The universal reply "Itsa Mong !" By this time Joan (we spoke to her later & found out her name) was standing at the base of the tree looking up at Wally, now she'd obviously seen us before we'd seen her, that being the case she'd also seen what we'd been doing ! (You just know what's coming don't you ?) She picked up the biggest stick she could find & launched it at Wally ! Oh how we chuckled ! And of course we encouraged her, what a sound game this was, I think Joan really enjoyed herself, we did ! Kept giving her sticks & everything (Kids can be so cruel). Wally up the tree pleading & begging, us on the deck in fits. Once he'd promised us all his Conkers, the playboy mags he'd snaffled from his older brother & his footy card swapsies, we called "The Mong" off of him.

Sheepishly he scuttled down the tree, but scuttling back up was still an option if she kicked off again, he sort of slunk to the back of our gang as we chatted away with Joan. She explained about her life (she was 17) & the time she spent in the home & about how she was improving her own life but there were other kids worse off than her. She was allowed out into the Town without supervision on a Saturday & she was as far as she was concerned leading a normal life. I suppose that at this time I was also learning something but it didn't really register, only with hindsight & the benefit of maturity have I realised this. I did see her out & about for a few years later, always a nod & a hello, but then I left home so don't really know how she got on, I'd like to think that it all turned out well for her whatever she did & that I became a better person for the insight she gave my friends & I ..... that long ago Autumn time, not only did we gather Conkers we also gathered a lesson in life !

Incidentally the Conkers were crap !! We got battered

Thanks for reading .....
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  1. Old Comment
    Margaret Pilkington's Avatar
    Great reminiscing Son!
    More please.
    Posted 10-10-2010 at 10:49 by Margaret Pilkington Margaret Pilkington is offline

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