Balls!

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Stone the crows, cobber! Can’t a man play bocce without a nosey crow interfering?

My partner introduced me to the game of bocce (in Italian), or boules (in French), today. That’s the game like lawn bowls, except you play on a rough surface at a random distance from the small wooden cue ball, with four heavy steel balls each.

Anyway, we were playing away down at Jindalee beach today and hardly noticed a crow that was taking an interest in us. Suddenly the crow hopped down from the low wall and snaffled our cue ball, flying away with it. It flew up to a nearby fence and sat there, no doubt deciding whether this round thing was good to eat.

My friend went over to the fence to see if the crow had dropped the ball. It had, but it flew down, picked it up and flew away. To add injury to insult, it loosed a poop which landed smack on my friend’s right eyelid!

Cor blimey mate! We’ll have to find another small wooden ball now. Or find another use for eight heavy, shiny steel balls.

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We’ve also been to two quiz nights on Wednesdays at my local pub, just 100m walk away. We call our team “Back for more punishment” because we’ve come last in the two we’ve done so far.

This is a very British migrant area and the questions are too UK oriented, as well as being aimed at people who grew up in the 80s onwards. Typically, “What football team with colours white with red stripe made the European Cup final in 2008?” Or, as a science question, “Which 90s band had a chemist as a member?” or something like that. All the music questions were about heavy metal, or 80s Liverpool bands and so on. We enjoyed the nights and won a couple of beer glasses last week, but it’s lucky we didn’t have to pay to play. It’s also extremely hard to hear the MC and the snippets of music he plays off his iPhone into the mic.

Anyway, last week a group of non-playing guys between us and the MC were shouting their conversations to make themselves heard above the MC’s PA system. That meant we were battling to hear.

Eventually my bold friend went over to them and asked them to pipe down a bit. She came back unscathed, but they were directing dirty looks over at us.

I’d had to walk past them to take our sheets up for marking, and in doing so I’d had to squeeze past a young woman on their table.

So, after a few minutes of dirty looks from them, a tough looking guy in his thirties swayed over to me and said, “Why were you touching people just now, mate?”

“Huh?”, I said, “Touching?”

“Yair”, he said, “Why were you touching people?”‘

“I wasn’t touching anyone”, I said, “I was just trying to get past!”

I don’t think he was capable of getting another set of words out of his skull, because he turned away and swayed back to the group. They packed up and left soon after, to our great relief.

But how about a 30s age group goon wanting to pick a fight with me, an obviously elderly 71 year old? Revolting. My friend was not impressed.

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As you may have gathered, she’s still here after two extensions of her stay, coming to appreciate the climate, the location, the fantastic shopping, the food and the warmth. She went out for lunch with my neighbour, also a German speaker, today at Mindarie Keys marina. Both of them enjoyed it and had some great conversation in their native tongue. Excellent. My friend has another nine days here, but will be back later this year for sure. I’ll probably make a trip up there (Bali) mid year.

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That’s assuming I can get my blood sugar back in control. I’ve been having trouble recently and the leg ulceration is back. It’s not too bad, luckily.

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