in Anything that's not Eriba-related.
Tue Oct 22, 2013 7:49 pm
• | 3.147 Posts
I was sitting at my PC this afternoon listening to the plasterers preparing the new ceiling for their planned weekend skimfest when I was distracted by some bizarre seasonal behaviour across the road.
A couple of dog walkers were standing on the pavement under a large sweet chestnut tree staring intently at the ground while they rolled the prickly fallen nut cases around under their feet. Every now and again they'd stoop to examine the products of their rolling and after a few minutes' quiet contemplation they left only to be replaced immediately by other passers-by who continued to roll nuts aimlessly around the path. Most of the people who came past couldn't resist having a desultory roll, most of them in what can only be described as a furtive manner.
The point is, we've lived here for 32 years and seen this odd ritual take place every October but never in all that time have we seen anyone actually pick up a chestnut and put it in their pocket let alone collect a bagful of them for subsequent roasting.
Being townies we may be missing something but why do people do this? What is the point of it all? Could it be some distant folk memory retained subconsciously from our days as hunter-gatherers or is there something inherently comforting yet nutritionally unrewarding in the whole nut-rolling ritual?
Although I must have collected and eaten hundredweights of brambles from the common over the years, I've never been tempted to engage in what I perceive to be futile nut crushing so if anyone can explain what's going on, I'd be ever so much obliged.