Everyone seems to have a smile on their face today.
It is the sunshine, of course. That and the blue skies, with not a hint
of a cloud to be seen. Out on the bowls green, smart figures in white trousers and shirts are marking the first outing of the new season with a Men versus Women match. Seated on the benches around the green are lots of spectators, basking in the sunshine and
enjoying the sight of something quintessentially British.
While Mr B is strutting his stuff on the green, I take a stroll around the park, noting all the commemorative
inscriptions on the benches. It always moves me to read about the gentleman “who loved this park” and the couple who were “reunited at last.” None quite matches the heart-tugging notice in the Births, Marriages and Deaths column of
our local paper this week: “Husband Alf will be waiting with open arms” it read. I don’t mind admitting, I wept, even though I didn’t know Alf or his wife. I’m sure I would have liked them if I had.
I stop to talk to a couple who for some reason seem to think I am a World Expert on bowls. How they came to this conclusion is difficult to say. They ask me if it is true that there will be no
National Bowls Championships in Worthing this year and I say, oh no, it’s not till next year that the tournament is leaving us for pastures (or, presumably, greens) new. Then I start to wonder if I am right – you know that feeling
you get when you realise you have made a statement which might not be completely accurate. I hedge my bets, saying something like: “Of course I might have that all wrong...” I am on safer ground when they ask me what is happening at
our bowls club today and I trot out everything I know, courtesy of Mr B. They must think I am a veritable mine of information. I say cheerio and head off, hastily, before they ask me any more difficult questions which I will be unable to answer.
Back at the Pavilion I come across my friend Betty. She is turning her face up to the sun like a winter pansy hungry for warmth and light. Hasn’t it been a horrible,
depressing winter, she says, confessing that she had hibernated for the duration and was only venturing out today for the first time. We stand and chat, for all the world like two tortoises who have just woken up and are stretching their wrinkled necks
in the sunshine. Bowlers keep arriving with their kit, broad smiles on their faces, saying hello and isn’t it a beautiful day and remarking on the fact that I have volunteered to be Assistant Secretary to the Bowls Club. Everyone seems very pleased
with me which is encouraging. They say that you can’t please all the people all of the time but, so far, I am making a pretty good job of it without so much as lifting my little finger. Let's hope it doesn't all go horribly wrong when I actually
have to do something.
You probably think I should have been more supportive and stayed to watch the whole of the Men versus Women match. I have to confess that
I left Mr B in his element and drove to the health club where I swam up and down the pool in my customary fashion before enjoying a medium skinny latte and a read of the papers in the cafe. I timed my return perfectly, with just four ends to be played.
I sat in the sun, sheltered from the wind by the Pavilion, and watched the Men beat the Women. It was all extremely good-natured and, all things considered, there was very little crowing.
Mr B will probably feel it tomorrow. It will be like the old days when he used to play cricket and the morning after his first session in the practice nets he would wander around in a haze of Deep Heat, whingeing and
moaning about his aching legs, back and shoulders. I shall, of course, be sympathetic.
"Summer's coming!" I shall tell him. There's nothing quite like
a bit of sunshine, is there, to cheer the heart and lift the spirits? Long may it last!