At ten to two tomorrow afternoon, the Nomination Whist Gang will start arriving. Some will come via the Pulse bus which stops just round the corner; some will arrive in their cars and fight for a place to park on the road
outside; some will use Shanks's pony and, quite literally, hot foot it up our drive.
Maree is one of the walkers. She invariably arrives on our door-step clutching a large plastic bag in which is stowed her
latest "couldn't resist them" purchase of toys from the Macmillan charity shop which she has to pass on her way to ours. This shop is, indeed, a veritable treasure trove for grandparents looking to stock up on board games, DVDs, books and toys in anticipation
of visits from the grandkids. I have indulged myself, most notably this was where that most special of games, "My Dog Has Fleas" was found. It only cost £1 too, and came complete with fleas. Bargain!
will be the last session for our Merry Band until we reconvene in September. We will celebrate the completion of our second successful year with glasses of fizz and a slice of my latest cake which has just emerged from the oven. One day, I will make a different
kind of cake; I have found myself rather stuck in a Victoria Sponge Rut. It's the fear of failure that stops me trying something new and keeps me loyal to my Tried And Tested.
It's the same when we go out
to eat. It would be such a waste, I tell myself as I study the restaurant menu, if I order a dish that I might not like - so I opt for the same old, same old. I need to be more adventurous and there's no better time than now, my having reached a Great Age.
The Main Event at our meeting, leaving aside my cake of course, will be the presentation of prizes. At the end of every term, we award prizes for the best overall average, the most improved player, the highest score.
This takes quite a lot of preparatory work with the fortnightly score sheets and a calculator so I set aside a couple of hours this afternoon to make sure I was getting it right. Also to hand was the last set of results for comparison purposes.
This afternoon's endeavours were not without their trials, mostly due to the fact that the calculator was being difficult. No, it was nothing at all to do with my fingers slipping and hitting the minus button instead
of the plus one. Well, not all the time, anyway. I was rather pleased with the way I managed to stay calm in face of adversity, merely heaving a sigh as I zeroed the total and started again. And again.
B wanted to know what his average was. We don't count his score when awarding the prizes because (i) he, along with me, is the group convenor and (ii - and more importantly) he always wins. I told him that there will be an Extra Special Prize for the first
person to beat his average. He is still ahead, but only by five. He pursed his lips and a look of sheer determination spread over his face. He will be concentrating even harder than usual, I foretell, when we meet again in the Autumn.
I cannot reveal the "scores on the doors" because I don't want to spoil the surprise for those who may read the Daily Blog. Not that anybody takes the whole Awards Ceremony seriously. Except for me, that is. One of our number has had
an amazing year, totting up the highest ever score (159), the most scores over 140 (6) and being one of two "most improved" players. I found a small silver cup in the garage and thought she would be a most worthy recipient - but when I gave Mr B the task of
polishing it, he declared that it was Beyond Refurbishment. Such a shame, our stellar performer will just have to receive a Chocolate Related Prize, as per usual.
Our U3A branch finds it hard to encourage
people to become Convenors of activity groups. I can only assume members don't realise just how much fun it can be to welcome people into your home to share a common interest, whether that be cards, or knitting, or play reading or discussions. In just two
years the members of our Merry Gang have become such good friends. Life would be all the poorer without our fortnightly get-togethers.
I am looking forward to tomorrow already. I won't be getting a prize,
I know that much for sure.
But when it comes to fun and friendship, I reckon Mr B and I are very much the winners.