Well, it rained heavily all day but come the evening it thankfully stopped and we were able to play. Holidays nearly over - 16 people turned out for fun this evening and we managed to secure 3 pistes. We had four visitors and one new member. A very successful and enjoyable evening.
Not a fantastically busy day - right in the middle of the holiday season. However 9 stalwarts turned out and had a lot of fun playing some games. Sarah and Christiane shone by winning the fun doubles. Well done.
On Wednesday, our Club night 16 players turned out and we had our first serious match. We used a random pairs system and started at 6.25 with those who arrived early, because we had to be done before it got dark! Although we had lights from the hockey pitch, they were not meant for us so the pistes were not that well lit. And we succeeded. So, in the spirit of the Olympics, we had our own 'petanquiad' ceremony to crown the winners who each got a medal presented by the President of the Club, and a bunch of flowers presented by Julian Sankey, acting as the assistant. As we had no orchestra present to play the music, we hummed and sang the National Anthem as tunefully as we could and applauded vigorously. (See VIDEO button for the full ceremony!)
The 'Gold' was won by Roger Perrin
The 'Silver' by John Pellegry
The 'Bronze' by John Johnson
Congratulations to everyone!
The people knocked out in the earlier rounds all played triples or doubles on the remaining pistes, or watched the finals playoffs. All round everyone had a really good time and enjoyed playing a match. And thank you to Bobby for donating the medals. When we have a trophy Roger's name will be the first to go on it, but meanwhile he can cherish his 'Gold' Medal.
We went to play petanque at the Bear on Saturday lunchtime. No sign of Dave the Dove; we suspected he had found a girlfriend who was more interesting that us humans.
During a lull in proceedings Gerry, who is taller than the rest of us, could see over the fence where Dave had lived. And there he was - his 'human' was sitting in the hot tub (everything concealed by the water). Dave was sitting on his head. Now that would have made a funny picture!
Sunday saw four Petanque Wallingford players (Adrian, Christiane, Roger and Thérèse) in Little Marlow at the Kings Head, on the purpose-built terrain to play for the Memorial Trophy in the Thames Valley Petanque Association Triples Charity Melee. There were 12 teams in total (35 people). Snowy did a super job organising the whole event and everyone had a lovely time.
Two of the PW squad (Christiane and Thérèse) were chosen to play with 2 extremely good players (father and son - Paul & Dean) whom Thérèse had first encountered a few weeks ago in the Regional Triples! So Christiane was in the team with Paul, a terrific shooter and Louise a young fine pointer. Thérèse was in Dean’s team (him a fiendish shooter) and Brenda a sharp pointer. Christiane and Thérèse had to make sure they did not disgrace themselves.
The piste was pretty fast as we had had a fairly long spell of sunshine so the light drizzle at the start of the morning had no effect. It only lasted 10 minutes. Three games were played, then everyone broke off for lunch in the pub – while the sky ominously got darker and darker. Lunch was just finished when the heavens opened and we were subjected to a MEGA downpour. Everyone grabbed their chairs and rushed for cover on the verandah. Some hardy souls, including Thérèse and Adrian stayed under the umbrellas in the garden, when suddenly Adrian remembered the kit had not been covered at the terrain! He rushed back to do something about it. When Adrian didn’t come back Thérèse took up the big red umbrella and went to see what was going on.
When she got to the terrain Adrian was huddled under the brown brolly with all the boules bags and jackets in a pile in front of him and the rain cascading down the umbrella. Unfortunately she couldn’t take a picture as she had no free hands! However, the rain only lasted about 20 minutes and passed as fast as it had arrived. Snowy and some of the others moved the ropes to redefine the pistes from 4m each lane to 3m, so as to avoid the lane on the end which was knee deep in water (well, not exactly knee deep, but the cochonnet would certainly have floated), and everyone got on with the next 3 games for the second half. The thorough soaking changed the nature of play, but it was still great fun.
And the end result of the day was Paul, Christiane and Louise got first place and their names on the Memorial Salver (plus 2 bottles of wine each). Adrian and Christiane also each won a bottle of wine in the raffle. The Petanque Wallingford squad went home with weary limbs, happy hearts and a clinking backpack.
Prizes won by Christiane at the Kings Head
and 2 raffle prizes as well (C and A)
Members already know that the club aspires to have its own purpose-built terrain so members can play whenever they want to; so we can organise events, matches, training, fun for the kids, open competitions, encourage more people to play ... Plans are in hand. Watch this space, as they say.
Our next serious outing will be participation in the Thames Valley Petanque Association Triples Charity Melee at the Kings Head in Marlow on Sunday 5th August. Set off at the crack of dawn (well 8.30). We will probably get trounced again … but will make someone happy. Every time we get a bit better. We can live in hope. One day …. perhaps petanque will be an Olympic Sport!
.... one week ago – how time flies. We arrived on the Crowmarsh Recreation ground at 2pm to set up our piste on the grass, like we did for the Wallingford Carnival. Weather was just perfect – overcast, cool, slight breeze. Much activity going on with technicians setting up the big screen, people building the climbing wall, gazebos and tables going up all around. A really jolly atmosphere – all the fun of the fair.
Our space in front of the cricket pitch was beautifully prepared – nice and hard. Everything was lovely. So, having set up our stall, we settled down to wait for the first players to arrive to ‘have a go’. And the clouds vanished, the humidity shot up and it was as hot as can be. Oh dear.
Well, nothing daunted, we made the most of it. And throughout the afternoon until about 6.00 we had a constant stream of people coming to play. We had teams playing doubles and triples and in all had 12 people play with the ‘proper’ boules, and 6 kiddies played with the soft boules. All together a very successful day. All we need now is for them to come and join us.
We packed up at 6.00 and went to friends for supper, and then on to the Corn Exchange Theatre in Wallingford to watch the Olympic opening ceremony on the ‘big screen’ in the cinema. Highlights for me were James Bond, the Queen and the corgies, and Rowan Atkinson and the orchestra, conducted by Sir Simon Rattle no less, playing Chariots of Fire …
They want to do this 'have a go day' again next year. We will have more pistes, so more people can play at the same time.