Leafing through my weekly Nouvel Observateur, I came across an article describing how much British people love the Dordogne region. A lot of them have bought properties there, recreating a little Britain by importing some of their sports and customs. Among them, cricket (the South-West league has four clubs) and conkers, which according to the article, "passionne les foules Outre-Manche" (everyone is crazy about it on the other side of the Channel). Conkers is a game in which two players, each armed with a conker (horse chestnut) hanging on a string, try and destroy the other player’s conker by hitting it with their own.
Now I’d like to make something clear to any Nouvel Obs reader who may think that British people have way too much time on their hands: the very large majority of conkers aficionados are kids under 10. I’m sure a few adults delight in this game, but there aren’t many. I was amazed to hear that there is a French Union of conkers and that it has organised a championship for 13 years. Wonderful. I do love these cultural exchanges and the fact that there is a pétanque club in Brighton.
I wonder whether French conkers are better than British conkers.