Today was something of a momentous occasion. For the first time in my entire life I was selected to play in a sporting contest. In a league match, wouldn’t you know. Against another team and everything.
OK, I realise that lots of you take part in football matches, hockey matches, netball matches, tennis matches each and every weekend without batting an eye-lid. Some
of you may even have been voted Man or Woman of the Match on occasions, for which I commend you sincerely. But you have to see it from my point of view...
the girl at school who considered a good game of hockey was one where that nasty, hard, dangerous ball never came within an inch of me all afternoon. When it came to picking sides for anything sporty, I was always left till last. It was most humiliating but
was undoubtedly a good, if painful, Life Lesson which taught me to be humble and to Know My Place.
However all that is behind me now for today I turned out for
Southdowns Short Mat Bowls Club in an away league match against Arun Short Mat Bowls Club. I think there may have been a bit of a shortage of players putting their names forward for selection but that’s not the point. When I came to consult the
notice board at our club meeting last week, there was my name on the team sheet. I had been selected. Picked. Chosen...
Arriving at the Jubilee Centre
where our match was to be played, Captain, My Captain, aka Reg, called me to one side. Perhaps, I thought, he wanted to talk tactics. Actually it turned out he wanted me to collect everyone’s £3 match fees. What is it about me, I wonder,
that these tasks always come my way? Yesterday it was taking the Minutes at our Art Project Meeting (see yesterday’s blog), today I am collecting the match fees. Is it perhaps because I appear sensible, responsible, a person to be trusted? Mr B says
it is because I am a mug. He isn’t talking about the china variety.
I do my best with the collection of the match fees. One of our members tries to pass
off a dodgy foreign coin which looks like a fifty pence piece but has crinkly edges but I am having none of it. I borrow Mr B’s biro and tick off everyone’s names on Captain, My Captain’s list. I feel quite proud of myself. I am a proper
team member now. Mr B asks for his pen back and I have to confess that I seem to have lost it. He is not a happy bunny.
We start to play. We are one of three
teams and we are playing on Mat 3 which is nearest the kitchen. This means I can sneak into the kitchen and fetch refreshing drinks of orange squash for Mr B and me, while exchanging pleasantries with the "Knit and Natter" group meeting in an adjacent hall.
On our opposing team we have two sisters. They live just three bungalows along from each other. They have always lived near each other. When they were young mums, they used to push their prams along the same roads, together. They are “hipsters”,
says Captain, Our Captain, as in “joined at the hip.” I tell them I wish I lived that close to my lovely sister. We would have SUCH fun.
It is a really
close game but we win by 23 – 19 points. We nearly throw it all away on the last end but Reg comes to the rescue, as a good Skip should. He isn’t too pleased with the rest of us for bringing the team to the brink of disaster. However,
leaving aside that last end, and considering it is my first match, I don’t think I have done too badly. Captain, Our Captain says I need to relax more and then I’ll be fine. This suggests that maybe I will be selected for another game sometime
in the future – perhaps when everyone else has gone on holiday / fallen sick / is visiting relatives. I will look forward to it.
We have a lovely tea of
egg sandwiches, little cakes and coffee or tea. There is a raffle which I do not win, but you can’t win everything, can you?
As I collect my coat from
the main hall, one of the away team asks if anyone has lost a pen. He holds it up for inspection. It is Mr B’s missing pen.