So, another year and another tour, to Bournemouth this time, a smaller group of 28 but still a formidable unit, led by our excellent organiser, Alan Mabey. It was another very early start, having to meet at 7am to catch the 8.30am ferry from Yarmouth, which was the only one available when our coach company booked it a few weeks ago, despite Alan’s advice to book early due to the festival!
We had to stop in Christchurch for a couple of hours because we were too early for the game against Boscombe Cliff at 1pm, so everyone dashed for a cooked breakfast or coffee and cake, although a certain group of five accidentally found their way into the pub for a drink. They stated that they were only going to have a soft drink but were forced to drink alcohol by the barman (as if!) The Fines-Master (Fred) was already eagerly writing out pages of names during his breakfast for the fines to be given out in the evening.
Our Captain of the Day, Rog Hendey, was an excellent ambassador for the club at the game in the afternoon, and set a high standard for the other captains to follow. There were some very close games on an excellent, fast green, with no wrong-biases for a change, although Graham discovered that someone had accidentally (!) put his bowls stickers on the wrong way before the game. Our hosts were a hospitable group who had a laugh and joke with us and it was lovely that we ended up with a draw overall.
The winning rink was John Kidd, John Abrook, Alan Mabey & Paul Allo (guess who selected the rinks?!) but, unfortunately, the rink that lost by the most was Steve Lewis, Cate Kidd, Rob Poynter & Phil Smith, who were awarded with Eeyore & each one has to wear their loser’s wooden spoon until breakfast. Rob says he is hoping to break his record of three spoons last time to receive it every game on this tour! There is also a rumour that Phil loses on purpose so that he has Eeyore to cuddle up to in bed because he misses Jan so much!
We had a few drinks with our hosts, just to be sociable of course, and certainly not because we are heavy drinkers, although certain players drank the bar dry of Fosters! We then went to the hotel to be allocated our rooms. Alan pointed out the usual store-cupboard sized room to Fred on the top floor when we arrived. Rooms are good, have obviously been refurbished during lockdown and the evening meal was lovely. Then came the issue of fines: as always, Graham seemed to come off worse but it was all a bit of fun and the money raised will go to a good cause – the Mountbatten Hospice. Most people stayed in the hotel for a drink afterwards but four people went off in search of the closest pub. Robbie had done some research a few days ago and found out where the nearest Wetherspoons is.
Questions for tomorrow: will Graham do as good a job as Roger as Captain of the Day? Will Pie Green miss breakfast as usual? Will Jackie find a new handbag (and be sober with Sue when we return from our game?) Will Robbie get his second loser’s spoon in two games in a row? All will be answered tomorrow!