“Well played, Skip,” I offered, strolling down the green to shake his hand.

“Loserloserloserloserloserloser,” I continued smugly, in my head. Although I have been known to think that I am saying something in my head when actually I am speaking out loud. I am fairly sure I did not say this out loud, as he did not hit me in the face with his stick.

We retired to the Village Pub for a celebration.

“The thing is,” I explained to Nigel after my initial euphoria had gone down like an erection, “the winning and losing thing just doesn’t seem to balance out.”

Victory or defeat – it is like splitting up with a beautiful woman. Dumping should give you a better feeling than being dumped gives you a bad one, but it rarely works like that in my experience. Which, thinking about it, is non-existent in this particular analogy. At this point I realised I needed to ask somebody if this was indeed the case, but I was still trying to work it out in my mind whilst talking to Nigel. He looked at me as if I were barking mad.

Big A offered some additional encouragement. “You were only fifty percent consistently bad tonight,” he said, which was high praise indeed from the master. It is but May and a whole bowls season lies ahead – I shall aim to get it down to thirty or twenty percent.

An hour later I realised that I had already got through four pints, and so insisted that I needed to go home for reasons of self-preservation. I walked down the hill with Big A; unlike last time I did not fall face first into the grass verge outside Len the Fish’s. Improvement is possible, if one strives for it; it is a weak man who accepts his own rubbishness unquestioned.

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