Hunting For Conkers

new conkers
Perhaps it is the fact that I'm so accustomed to moving and changing house every few years that makes me love traditions so much. When everything in your life tends to upend quite often it's nice to have certain things you return to again and again. Autumn is full of traditions; there's pumpkins to carve and meals to prepare, decorations to be scattered around the house, costumes to be considered and candy to be devoured. Moving to Ireland has brought new fall traditions, like plum and apple picking on Thomas's family farm. This year we even made our own homemade jam, a new tradition we look forward to doing again next year while learning from our many mistakes! Another new-to-me tradition is conkers. It's something Thomas grew up doing; hunting down the oldest chestnut tree in hopes of gathering the largest possible conkers. Then you take your conker, harden it by any means necessary, drill a hole it in, string with a shoelace and head out to battle. You fight conker-to-conker in solo matches, each person taking a turn to swing their chestnut at the other's, the first chestnut to break loses. A good conker might last several such battles before an untimely end or well-deserved retirement. It's a very traditional game in these parts dating back to the 1800s although I believe it's banned in most schools these days (and you can understand why children swinging hardened nuts at each other on the end of strings might be undesirable in the school yard...), but even as we were out taking these pictures at this majestic horse chestnut we were joined by several children on their own conker hunt. Banned or not, the game lives on. We will probably do a few conker fights this autumn with our favorites, but the rest we'll keep around the house as a bit of autumn decoration and perhaps as the old wives's tale suggests: spider repellent.
conkrs-28 conkrs-19
beret, cardiganPrincess Highway blouse & Ava skirt, old heels, ASOS bandana, vintage bucket
conkrs-4-side conkrs-48 conkrs-53 conkrs-51-side conkrs-60 conkrs-16conkrs-44-side conkrs-63 conkrs-25
beret, cardiganPrincess Highway blouseAva skirt, old heels, ASOS bandana, vintage bucket



  1. The look with the green skirt is so cute!
    xx from Bavaria/Germany, Rena

  2. The little belt just completes the look. Loving the fall-esque colour scheme!

    Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog

  3. Do you have a link for the sweater? I've been looking for a cardigan in that exact color.

    1. Whoops, yes! Didn't mean to leave that out of the outfit details; it's by Emmy Design Sweden. Here's a link to all their knitwear; I'm wearing the Lumberjackie cardigan in mustard but they have this color in other knits as well.

  4. Your post make me smile and ready for autumn because your style really shines in the autumn season!

  5. your blouse is so cute, I love the fox print

  6. My husband is from London, but we live in California. He's always on the lookout for conkers in the fall. The best we can do here are the California Buckeyes, which are related, but not as good as the ones he grew up with. We already have a little collection on our hearth. :)

  7. That is the sweetest little blouse!

    Sara - Flemingo

  8. I would love to see one of those chestnut fights in action, as I've never heard of such a tradition and can't really picture it .... can you take some pictures at one of those "fights" next time? :)

    1. Hi Hailey, I have filmed conker fights on my Instagram stories before. And if you look at this post, then you see the conkers on a string and me preparing for a swing, so that might help show how it works. It's best to see it in action; I'm sure there's videos on YouTube as well :P


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