The evening is unexpectedly beautiful; I smile contentedly as I slam the car door. Lugging my bag with me, I step through the gap in the fence and into the arena.
“You’re looking fat this year,” are the words with which I am greeted. I take this with cheery good heart. It is a competitive environment after all – people will take any advantage that they can.
The chickens have taken over my life a bit recently. This is fine, as they are chickens, but I have been getting a bit concerned that it might be getting boring for the readers of my Private Secret internet diary. Fortunately, just in the nick of time, the bowls season has started up once more, bringing with it an injection of fresh excitement.
The pre-season roll-up is sparsely attended; worryingly so. I join Ned, who has a beard, in playing a friendly against Big A and his mate, but if we are to get a strong team out to challenge for the title this year then we may have to recruit new blood. I am hoping that what with all the excitement in the region about the Olympics being held in London in years and years time, I will be able to persuade some more hopefuls to join us.
“Evening!” – a couple more players have arrived. “You’re looking a bit porky!” they call across.
It is worrying. I put on a lot of weight anyway over the winter, as I do not really do any exercise during the bowls close season. Also I am having two dinners a day – one with the Toddler and one with the LTLP. We play a few gentle ends, but I do not find myself out of breath at all, which is encouraging. Maybe I am fitter than I thought. AND there is a slight slope on our green.
The competitive season begins in earnest on Friday. I hope to write up full match reports here, which I know will cause some interest worldwide. For too long the followers of bowls have been starved of information about their favourite passion; web 2.0 will change all that.
It is good to be back in the saddle (which is a metaphor for ‘on the mat’ as you do not use a saddle for bowls, the expression is from riding horses).