Captain, Our Captain has decided to remove his hearing aid for the duration of his Finals Pairs Match.
This means that he
will not be disturbed by the howling wind which is swirling around the bowling geen but also means, sadly, that he cannot hear our cries of encouragement, shouts of applause, occasional cat-calls and the odd vaguely ribald comment on his performance. On second
thoughts, maybe that is why he has opted for a Life of Silence, at least for this afternoon.
Despite the chilly wind and a rain-drop or two, there are a fair number
of us taking up our ring-side seats to watch three separate Finals. On Rink 2, the Ladies Pairs Finals – Mr B and I have a special interest in this match because the winners will receive the Frank Ball Memorial Trophy which we donated to the club a couple
of years ago in memory of Mr B’s bowls-playing dad. On Rink 4, the Men’s Pairs Final on which Captain, Our Captain and his partner are fighting a rear-guard action to claw their way back into the game. On Rink 3 a strange match called something
like Two Woods and a Yardstick in which the players only score of they get their woods within a yard of the jack. OK, I made up the name but I think it’s quite catchy myself.
Mr B and I have nabbed a place on a bench already occupied by another couple whose names I don’t know. We had to ask them to budge up a bit to make room for us and I am not sure they were too happy about it so I have been turning on the charm
and trying to make them think that they would rather share this park bench with us than with anybody else. I am not sure if my Charm Offensive is working; I probably need to work on it.
The gent on our bench keeps calling Mr B “Bob”. Mr B’s name is not, and never has been, Bob. I find myself taking crafty peeps at him, sitting by my side, to check that I haven’t acquired a different husband
(as in, one called Bob) while I was otherwise occupied watching the bowls. But no, it’s the same old, same old. I’m very pleased to say. The Competition Secretary trots past us, carrying a tray of tea cups to sustain the scorers at the other end
of the green. He tells us that tea for the rest of us will be served shortly. Mr B arises with alacrity and heads into the clubhouse. Either he doesn’t understand the meaning of the word “shortly” or he is determined to be at the front of
the queue when the Serving Out Of Tea begins. He emerges (shortly) bearing two cups of coffee which warm the cockles of our cold hearts. I can always rely on Mr B to look after my creature comforts.
We watch the end of the Ladies Pairs by which time the effects of the coffee have worn off and Mr B suggests we head for home. I feel as if we should stay for the last few ends of the Men’s Pairs, just to see whether
Captain, Our Captain emerges victorious – but I’m feeling chilly too. We say goodbye to our bench companions. “Cheers, Bob!” they say.
we arrive home, I realise that Kent is playing Gloucestershire on TV which has probably had even more bearing on Mr B’s decision to leave the bowls at such a critical point than the weather. I ask him who the couple sharing our bench were, but he has
no more idea than I do. Did he hear that the chap kept calling him Bob? Yes, said Mr B, but it didn’t seem worth the bother of explaining. As my dear Mum would have said: “You can call me anything you like, so long as it’s not too late for
dinner.” Like me, she was Always Thinking of her Stomach.
Later: Mr B was in such a good mood when we arrived home. He was obviously pleased to have
me home again, after my short (but thoroughly delightful) visit to the Youngest of the Darling Daughters’ home. Unfortunately the good mood lasted only as long as it took to try to book train tickets for our forthcoming trip to Cardiff via Great First
Western. At one point he was threatening to hurl a boot through the computer screen and also confessed that he had been "a bit rude" to the on-line help.
I decided to resort to the telephone,
which is what I did last time we found ourselves in a similar pickle. I kept my fingers crossed that I would not find myself talking to the same person who had been at the other end of Mr B's sharp tongue.
"Oh no," I would say, "That wouldn't have been my husband..."
It must have been Bob.