The Conker


23rd July 2023


20th April 2024

Cabinet-maker, could you craft me a conker?

Oil its wood, burnish its veneer, set it glowing from within?

Never. Not a chance. No hope at all.

King, then, could you command me a conker? Compel its green spikes to grow, its white plush to thicken? Impossible. Impractical. Inconceivable.

Engineer, surely you could design me a conker? Refine its form, mill its curves and edges? Manufacture me that magic casket? Unfeasible. Unworkable. Unimaginable.

Realize this (said the Cabinet-maker, the King and the Engineer together), conker cannot be made, however you ask it, whatever word or tool you use, regardless of decree. Only one thing can conjure conker – and that thing is tree.

– Robert Macfarlane, “The Lost Words” (2017)