After lunch with the U3A group last week Jenny, Marion and Amy were going down to Kailzie Gardens to play Pétanque. I had seen the court/pitch/rink, whatever it is called, on visits to the gardens, but had never seen anyone playing there, so when they asked me if I’d like to join them, I thought “Why not?” and did!
When we got to Kailzie, there was another team of players playing on one half of the court, members of the Tweeddale Pétanque Club. However, we were able to play on the other half. Never having played before, I watched how the others did it before having a go myself! The idea is to get your boules nearest to the the little ball, the cochonet (coshonay – it means piglet!). Points are collected for the team whose boules are nearest, before being blocked by one of the opposite team’s boules. (I’m boasting now, but that boule in the front of the group of three is mine! Beginner’s luck, I reckon!) There are great deliberations about the closeness of the boules to the cochonnet. Out comes the measuring tape and great discussions go on – at least they did on the guys’ side of the court! Michel, with his back to the camera, is a Frenchman who learned to play as a small boy with his grandfather in Bordeaux. He’s quite laid back about the game compared to some of the others.
We went back for another game on Sunday when we were joined by Michel, and later another of the guys, who gave us a few tips on techniques. He was much more “precious” than Michel, about this French game! It is interesting to watch Michel though as he gives the boule a flick to make it spin! Something to cultivate?
It wasn’t the best of weather on Sunday – the rain became so heavy that eventually we had to abandon the game, and instead, went back to the tearoom. (They do a wonderful chocolate and beetroot cake there!) This weekend there’s a club match at Cousland, which I might go to - just to watch! I’ll see if any of the ladies want to go before I make up my mind.
Well, when I watched the game being played in France when visiting Ian a couple of years ago, I never thought I would ever be playing it!
Talk again soon.