On Tuesday 3 May I started a new job. Naturally one of the first things which I did was to open my desk’s drawers to put my own documents, personal effects etc into them. Imagine my surprise when in amongst the clutter of pens and other office essentials I discovered a mug containing two conkers! My curiosity was awakened. Why I thought would anyone put conkers in their desk drawer? I had visions of the previous occupant of my desk pausing during the course of a hectic day to look at his/her conkers. Perhaps it brought back memories of walks in autumn woods, the sun slanting down through the leaves and the scents of country things and by so doing relieved the stress of a hard day’s work. Well that is how I see it in my imagination. However a colleague suggested a more prosaic explanation, that conkers are viewed by some as having the ability to ward off insects and the conkers could have been placed, in the drawers to perform this function. Well I am sceptical as to whether conkers do keep wildlife at bay (indeed I suspect that they may positively encourage insects)! In any event I prefer my own explanation for the presence of those conkers as it accords with what I would myself do (I.E. put conkers or weather cohns in my desk drawers to act as a reminder of the scents and sounds of the great outdoors).


About kevinmorris101

I live and work in London and blog as a hobby. If you would like to contact me please send an email to animalia at (the address is rendered in this manner in order to try and defeat spammers)!
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  1. snail1966 says:

    I remember well the conkers from childhood autumns, carpeting the ground around the horse chestnuts on my way to school. And of course the conker fights which some right wing commentators would have us believe are now banned, though surely many such stories are apocryphal. The horse chestnut tree is also quite magnificent in spring, with its white blossom dusted with specs on yellow, red and pink. I remember this being at its height only a week or so ago, but already now the blossom seems past its best and it is possible to picture the embryonic fruits as destined for the string and the school playground!

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