They do say that you should never say never.
This profound thought came to mind this morning when I somehow found myself in the "Specialist Bowls Shop" being assisted
by the lovely Dot to find a pair of grey trousers and a white top - my passport into the mystical world of Short Mat Bowls.
Quite how this happened I do not know. One minute
I was minding my own business, happily playing Bingo (yes, dear readers, you will be pleased to hear that I won £5 on a Full House plus a bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon in the raffle last night. This is what is called A Successful Evening
Out) - the next I had agreed to be picked up at 6 p.m. next Monday for an evening of bowls. Of the Short Mat variety which everyone seems to think will suit me down to the ground. Or, presumably, the mat. I have some very persuasive friends...
Mr B says he will come too. At first I wasn't sure if he was planning to accompany me so that he could (a) be silent support; (b) provide a running commentary on my efforts; or (c) have a laugh at my expense
- but it seems I have misjudged him, for which I must, of course, apologise. He plans to join me, he explains, so that we can explore the multi-faceted mysteries of the short mat together. Bless him. I think.
Mr B also says I need to dress appropriately. This is a bit rich coming from the man who always says "people will have to take me as I am" whenever we find ourselves invited anywhere that requires smart attire.
But bowls is clearly a completely different kettle of fish so he marched me off to the Bowls Shop this morning and stood over me while I selected my new "uniform." Though I say it myself, I think I will look the part. Which may be only
half the battle but half is better than nothing, as the optimist within me would say.
Mr B also bought me a helpful little booklet entitled "Short Mat Bowling", written by a man called
Ron Collingridge. Oh, Mr Collingridge - or may I call you Ron? - I think I love you. Was there ever such an aspirational book on the subject of short mat bowls? For example, and I quote:
"...within a very short time you will be playing for your club and later maybe for your county. You may even go on and play for your country, it's played in many parts of the globe."
see what I mean. I am only on page 4 and dear Ron has already marked me out for greater things....