Perspective: getting into a spin over conkers
ORGANISING a worldwide celebration and fun event must be an enormous task so it may not be surprising that people who do it can get into a bit of a spin, writes John Adams. They can think that they have done everything correctly but then find virtually at
ORGANISING a worldwide celebration and fun event must be an enormous task so it may not be surprising that people who do it can get into a bit of a spin, writes John Adams.
They can think that they have done everything correctly but then find virtually at the last moment that a simple slip up - such as giving it the wrong name - threatens to put a dampener on proceedings.
That's what happened this week when people from the Spinning Top Museum in Burlington, Wisconsin, USA put out an invitation at tea-time on Tuesday to pop along there at lunchtime the following day for an annual event.
Perhaps I - and the many others who I suspect were also unable to take up the offer at such short notice - will be forgiven for not attending.
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I was a little intrigued by the title of the event. The press release headlined it as "World Spinning Top Day" which brought to mind the difficulties of getting a world to spin - you would need a very long and strong piece of string to wrap round it and a strong pulling arm to get it going.
But more than six hours later - shortly before midnight our time - came another email which had as its subject: "Ooops STOP PRESS".
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This informed me that the event was in fact International Top Spinning Day which by the sound of it involves a much more manageable.activity.
The sender added: "It's been a long day!"
Her name is Caroline Fosbury and it struck me that she had made a flop of it (but that is getting into high jumping puns).
Perhaps the lady got over her long day by taking it easy spinning a few tops on Wednesday. It is very therapeutic, as I know from my younger days (along with many millions of others).
Quite often, the simpler the toy, the more children play with it and that is very true of tops.
They are among the oldest toys known to man and, I am told, they encourage knowledge of science, maths, history and even social studies. All that from a piece of rounded wood with a pointed end.
You could also say that about conkers, another childhood favourite of mine. They involve more social interfacing than tops, maths (one-ers, two-ers, three-ers, etc), science (watch how the bits fly with a well-aimed shot), physical activity (being quick getting out of the way of a badly aimed swing) and history (every schoolboy knows that one of the best players in times past was William the Conkerer).
With the conker season upon us, I am tempted to flip a stick into the branches of a horse chestnut tree and see what harvest it brings. All I'll need then is a skewer and a piece of string and I'll be in business. Anyone for a game? I bags first go.