Simple pleasures are easily ignored

Six-year-old Billy and I decided spontaneously to stop at Abington Park and introduce Bonnie to the joys of the horse chestnut harvest. 

I know it’s a cliche, all this running about being at one with your kids, but it’s memory of my childhood that’s still vivid. 

It was an annual treat for my brothers and I, skiving off on a Sunday morning to the conker trees with Dad, fighting over the best ones. 

They might not be allowed in the playground any more, what with the paranoia of Health&Safety, but there’s still plenty of pleasure in finding conkers. 

From the anticipation of carefully breaking open a fat prickly windfall, to scouring out that perfect, polished brown ball, it was a satisfying and absorbing hour’s play for all three of us. 

Bill and Bonnie with their haul of conkers

 

Bonnie ran back and forth, utterly engaged with the task in hand, filling her pockets. She now insists on carrying around a handbag stuffed with them. 

Still, this means I avoid stabbing myself with a skewer trying to get a piece of string through them.

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