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Wednesday, 11 April 2018

Married for 45 years and still talking to each other when playing boules

We were happy to celebrate Ann and Dave's wedding anniversary at a recent Friday afternoon boules session

Dave and Ann (without the e) have been married for ages. On certain Friday afternoons throughout the year, they kindly host a friendly session of Boules. Dave is a semi-pro boules instructor with Huddersfield U3a and tolerates the rest of us. He is what is known as a 'shooter' (see below) and can dampen our enthusiasm when he knocks our prize shots into next week. We are soon friends again if he misses. Okay when he's on your side - 'like a bridge ...'
  We have our idiosyncrasies. Imparting lateral spin rather than back spin, bowling the boules as in crown green, expressing disappointment at a bad shot and having concerns at the referee's decisions. One of the more unpredictable features of the game, in addition to skill levels, is the pitch. Fine gravel and stones and unpublishable expletives when our efforts are no longer under our control - if they ever were.
  Geoff Gill, taking two weeks away from France, sidled up to me at choir rehearsal. Apparently he tried to buy tickets at the train station from one of the machines in the foyer. He didn't say where he was going. Like many an oldie, this technology got the better of him - until a vision in purple came to his assistance. None other than Dave Talboys in his role as all round Mr railway nice guy who helps old ladies to cross the lines and gives people hope when they do not have a clue.
  My giving up being grumpy for Lent came up in conversation, as the Good Friday deadline has come and gone. Ann (without the e) was interested how I had got into that spat at pilates. "Well, two girls tried to take my space. They did it for a joke, but I didn't laugh." Ann was hugely sympathetic and regaled us with many a tale of school staff room seating protocols. "Primary schools are the worst. On one of my first days, the head suggested I didn't sit down at break time until everyone else had settled." Does that mean I can go back to being grumpy again?
  The chocolate cake was stunning - concept and taste. Baked by Anne (with an e).
  I was on of the winning team as part of the regular season - hurray. The additional invitation final game however, we lost on the final throw - boo.

Pétanque (French pronunciation: ​[petɑ̃k]Occitanpetanca [peˈtaŋkɔ]) is a form of boules where the goal is to toss or roll hollow steel balls as close as possible to a small wooden ball called a cochonnet (literally "piglet") or jack,[1] while standing inside a circle with both feet on the ground. The game is normally played on hard dirt or gravel. It can be played in public areas in parks, or in dedicated facilities called boulodromes. Clic for more
Players who are skillful enough to shoot effectively are called shooters; players who usually point are called pointers. (The French terms are tireur and pointeur, respectively.) As a matter of strategy, pointers play first and shooters are held in reserve in case the opponents place well. Good pointing is what scores points, but national and international championships are usually dominated by skillful shooters, who target any opposing boule that comes close to scoring.

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