I used to be obsessed with this board game when I was a little girl.
For whatever reason my mother used to discourage us playing sungka. She was really adamant that we should not play it. I think I heard her say that it was a game of the dead or something. She made it sound like there was something sinister about it.
But I’ve always had a mind of my own, and the more I was told ‘NO’ the more I had to do it; it was like a red rag to a bull to me, a fascination of the forbidden. 🙂 I was a tad naughty! LOL
Probably that was the reason I loved playing sungka. I used to ask a neighbour, Lagring, who was a year or two younger than me to play sungka. We did not bother with the wooden board; at my instigation we would just dig little holes similar to those in the wooden board on the ground under our mango tree. We would then gather little stones and away we play for what seems like hours. 🙂
My mother always knew what I was up to as I would come home with dirty hands and even dirtier finger nails. And of course those little holes which suddenly appeared all over our backyard! 🙂
In the end, knowing that I would not really listen, she just gave up on her embargo against sungka. Funnily enough as soon as the ban was lifted I moved on to another obsession, Jack’s Stone! 🙂
By the way the photo above was taken at late president Ferdinand Marcos childhood residence in Batac, Ilocos Norte. It seemed President Marcos used to play sungka as well. 🙂
Noble Englishman England World Cup team theme tune by Rik Mayall.
For this 2014 World Cup, there is no official England team theme. We guess as the team and expectations for winning the WC are low and realistic.
During our walk around locally with our dog diesel we have seen a few England flags draped from windows, but not as many as previous World Cups.
Anyway a popular and unofficial theme has been found as a tribute as sadly this week one of our comic genius’ Rik Mayall passed away at only 56 years of age. I enjoyed laughing at his manic antics in BBC’s “The Young Ones” and “Bottom.”
He was also brilliant as the slippery, odious and ambitious at all costs politician in ” The New Statesman.” Hmm..he was an amalgam of real-life politicians. 😉
Rik also guest appeared in several episodes of the brilliant and clever historical and hysterical funny “Blackadder” comedy series with Rowan(Mr Bean) Atkinson.
This video made by Rik some years ago in 2010, has now been adopted as the 2014 England World cup team theme..brilliant and a fitting tribute.
Rik invokes Shakespeare’s Henry V the bulldog spirit which the English and British have been known to display. We hope the England team do well, they a have a tough group but have talented younger players are coming through and we shall see how they perform on footballs biggest stage.
With this fuss about his video coming back, Rik would no doubt be telling us all to “f**k off.” 😉
Enjoy the video and RIP as much as your frenetic energy and humour will allow Rick. 🙂
Yes the global beautiful game has begun. Teams from 32 countries now contest the greatest of games trophy in Brazil. Whilst England is the home and originator of the modern game of football, Brazil is regarded as the game’s spiritual home. This once poor country which is now among the richest, adopted football with a passion and fervour unrivalled in any other soccer playing nation. Brazil have won the WC five times and national pride demands they win a sixth on home soil. It would be a national disaster if they don’t!
England have won the WC once, way back in 1966 at Wembley Stadium. I was 11 years old and have memories watching the games on the family’s TV in black & white view, as widely available colour TV was a few years away.
The 1966 England team were most talented as they proved. My favourite player was the legendary goal keeper Gordon Banks, I am lucky to have his autograph. Gordon was acknowledged as the world’s greatest Goalkeeper of his era. When England played Brazil at the 1970 World Cup in Mexico, Gordon’s stunning save against Pele the then world’s greatest football player, has become the stuff of legend in football folklore.
Since 1970, England have never shone at subsequent World Cup Finals. Only under the late great England manager Bobby Robson did they show some promise in the 1980s.
Many think that England cannot produce the team spirit and understanding of the 1966-70 team, where most of the players came form one or two clubs and knew each others style.
Since the 1990s, the English Premier League (PL) clubs and the many millions of pounds generated have dominated the English club game to the detriment of the national game.
Rich PL clubs buy top talented expensive foreign players on fabulous wages. This has weakened home-grown talent coming though and those talented English players can be pressured by certain clubs they play for not to get injured in international tournaments as the investment and money-making potential is the priority for Premier League clubs, who want to win the top club competitions such as the European Champions League (domestic cups such as the FA Cup are now a poor second in the goals of rich PL club owners ).
The England team and squad now have a crop of talented youngsters coming through, if only they can make a team spirit and national pride above club when required, that teams like Germany and Brazil have created to meld together a winning team.
England fans are passionate about their game and team.
Our flag out and proud!
As Jean and I take our lively Terrier for a walk around our neighbourhood in the evenings, we have seen the gradual appearance of a number of England flags with the distinctive Red Cross of St. George being draped from bedroom windows in houses and flats/apartments; many cars and vans now sport a small England flag too! We must look for our flag too and we look forward to the England games and hope that our team will progress in the tournament of this Beautiful Game.
I just remember from my childhood aged 7 to 11 in my primary school playground the enjoyment and fun playing a traditional autumn game with my friends. The game was called ‘Conkers’ and is a traditional childrens game in Britain. A conker is the seed of Horse Chestnut tree also called a conker tree.
We knew when autumn was begining and around early-mid October, the seeds surrounded and protected by a spiked green casing fall form the branches onto the ground. The casing splits opens exposing the brown seed. Eager children and adults eagerly pick the shiny (unedible) seeds each. Each conker is 2–4 cm diameter, glossy nut-brown with a whitish scar at the base about the size of a chestnut (an edible relative which is delicious when roasted).
in 1848, the first recorded game of conkers using Horse Chestnuts was played on the Isle of Wight.
The game is played by two players, each with a conker threaded onto a piece of string: they take turns striking each other’s conker until one breaks.
The conker eventually breaking the other’s conker gains a point. This may be either the attacking conker or (more often) the defending one if harder.
A new conker is a none-er meaning that it has conquered none yet.
If a none-er breaks another none-er then it becomes a one-er, if it was a one-er then it becomes a two-er etc. In some areas of Scotland, conker victories are counted using the terms bully-one, bully-two, etc. In some areas of the United States and Canada, conker victories are counted using the terms one-kinger, two-kinger, etc.
The winning conker also takes over the previous score of the losing conker, as well as gaining the score from that particular game. For example, if a two-er plays a three-er, the surviving conker will become a six-er (the sum of the two previous scores plus one for the current game).
If a conker was thinner and flatter on one side, we would call it a ‘cheese cutter’ as it had an edge to it which could slice/cut into a more rounder conker.
Also if your opponent droped his conker, you could stamp on it crushing out of the game and so claim victory 🙂
We knew various tips (cheats 😉 ) to make our game conkers harder, such as coating with clear nail varnish or soaking and /or boiling in vinegar.
Today now early October, my lovely four year old grandson Nathan gave us two conkers that he had collected near his new primary school.
I was hoping that little Nathan would play conkers in a few years time with his new school friends, however the inane Health & Safety ‘dickats’ from an out of touch government, now prohibits this harmless playground game which has had no recorded injury in it’s 165 year old history! Commentators wonder why children are always playing with mobile PC games alone ignoring others and not mixing more with other children! Conkers helps children interact, build friendships, friendly competition and have fun! At least they can hopefully play out of school if time permits.
However the grown-ups still like to play and every year there is a World Conker Championship held in England 🙂 Video below
Nathan’s Conkers Photo by P H Morton
Horse chestnut (conker) seed in it’s casing
Conker games past and now
There is and old wives tale that house spiders fear conkers and will vacate rooms containing conkers collected in a dish. Scientists are investigating this claim made by many trying this ‘anti-spider’ remedy!
Kohei Jinno was forced to move after the 1964 Tokyo Olympic Games – and now the 2020 Summer Olympics are threatening his home.
5:44am UK, Thursday 19 September 2013
“Kohei Jinno shows an old photo of himself, inside Kasumigaoka apartment complex which is located near the National stadium in Tokyo”
Thousands of Tokyo residents celebrated their city’s winning bid for the 2020 Summer Olympic Games – but for Kohei Jinno, the win means losing his home for a second time.
Mr Jinno and his family were forced to move after Tokyo first won the Olympic Games in 1964, to make room for a new stadium.
Fifty years later, it has happened again.
“Fate has not been kind to me. It may be great fortune for the nation, but having to leave this place fills me with sadness,” he said.
The public housing complex where Mr Jinno lives with his wife is earmarked for demolition in preparation for the Games as the National Olympic Stadium is redeveloped.
The futuristic stadium designed by Zaha Hadid will seat 80,000 people and will replace the stadium used for the opening and closing ceremonies of the 1964 Games.
Mr Jinno, a tobacconist, ran a shop attached to his house before he was evicted ahead of the 1964 Games.
He lost his business and was forced to wash cars for a living to support his wife and two children.
In 1965 he moved into the municipal housing complex where he lives today and was able to reopen his shop.
But another Olympics means another move.
“It’s like they’re taking away the most precious thing I have after my family,” he said. “Because of the Olympics I’m going to lose the community I love so much, the friends that have kept me going so long.
“In their place I’m getting uncertainty, loneliness and pain.”
Mr Jinno, who turns 80 next month, said there are around 200 other families in the same position.
“I wish they wouldn’t have the Olympics in Tokyo again,” he said. “I can bear getting evicted if it’s just the once in a lifetime. But twice? It’s ridiculous.”
Japan upset by French cartoon linking Fukushima to Olympics
Reuters – 14 hours ago
TOKYO (Reuters) – Japan is to formally complain about a cartoon that appeared in a French weekly newspaper showing sumo wrestlers with extra limbs in front of the Fukushima nuclear plant and linking this to the Olympics, the top government spokesman said on Thursday.
Tokyo won the right to host the 2020 summer Olympic Games after overcoming concerns about leaking radioactive water at the stricken Fukushima plant north of Tokyo, with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe assuring the International Olympic Committee that the situation was “under control”.
The cartoon, carried in the satirical Le Canard Enchaine, shows two sumo wrestlers, each with an extra leg or arm, facing off with the Fukushima plant in the background as an announcer says, “Thanks to Fukushima, sumo is now an Olympic sport.”
Another cartoon shows people in protective gear by the side of a pool, the Tokyo Shimbun daily reported.
“This cartoon hurts the feelings of those who suffered through the Great East Japan Earthquake,” said Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga, referring to the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami that wrecked the Fukushima nuclear plant, triggering the world’s worst nuclear disaster since Chernobyl.
“It is inappropriate and gives a wrong impression of the Fukushima contaminated water issue. It is extremely regrettable.”
Suga said Japan would lodge the complaint through the French embassy in Tokyo and that the Foreign Ministry had been directed to “thoroughly explain the situation” to avoid similar incidents.
Japan was angered last year after a French broadcaster used a composite picture that showed Japanese national football team goalie Eiji Kawashima with four arms and the caption “Fukushima Effect” about a save he made in a game between the two nations. The broadcaster subsequently apologised.
Japan was chosen as host for the 2020 Olympics on Sept 7, beating out Madrid and Istanbul despite the issues posed by the Fukushima plant, some 230 km (140 miles) from Tokyo.
The crisis shows no signs of ending. The operator of the plant said on Wednesday that levels of tritium – considered one of the least harmful radioactive elements – spiked more than 15 times in groundwater near a leaked tank over three days this week.
(This story has been refiled to change the headline)
(Reporting by Elaine Lies; Editing by Nick Macfie)
Lara Prior-Palmer also became the first British rider and the youngest person to win the race since it began in 2009.
She claimed victory in the 1000-kilometre race in dramatic circumstances, with the American woman Devan Horn actually crossing the finishing line first on Saturday.
However, race rules stipulate that each rider’s horse must pass a veterinary inspection at the end of each leg, and Miss Horn’s horse’s heart-rate did not recover in the required time. She was issued with a two-hour penalty, which handed victory to her British rival.
Prior-Palmer, who is the niece of Lucinda Green (six times Badminton champion), wrote in the Telegraph prior to the race that she “wasn’t scared of anything at the moment.”
The course is a recreation of Genghis Khan’s ancient postal system of 25 horse stations across the Mongolian steppe.
Riders change their semi-wild Mongolian horses at each station, and stay with the local herding families that run the stations and provide the horses.
Lara said: “I can’t really believe it … I came into the first station last because my horse was so slow and I had to walk him in. I thought that would be the end of my Mongol Derby.
“I knew that there were 30 people and nearly all of those 30 wanted to win and I really just wanted to finish.
“If you compare my first few days to my last few days I was going so much slower … and suddenly I just got the hang of it and how to ride the horses and what to do to catch up with the rest.”
Richard Dunwoody, the official race photojournalist and former champion jockey, said he’d witnessed “phenomenal riding” and that both front-riders had “set a scorching pace”.
Half of the 30 riders who started the race have now withdrawn, with only 15 now expected to complete. Many have fallen off or been bucked off their semi-wild horses or sustained injuries.
What is the Mongol Derby
1000km horse race across Mongolia
30 riders compete
Race takes in a mammoth network of 25 horse stations across the Mongolian steppe
Riders change their semi-wild Mongolian horses at each station approximately 40km apart