So eventually the fine weather reappeared in late May and so did the smiles. For me this meant a period of creative inactivity, hence the lack of posts on this blog. For Ginny it meant a period of recuperation following delicate foot surgery. The first fortnight was probably the worst time for her with some pain, but moreover a period of inactivity in which, she could do very little except sit with her foot up. We used the initial few weeks relaxing at our naturist club, Arcadians of Greenglades in Essex. The weather stayed fair if not all together scorching, but it gave us good opportunity to use our recently acquired Resol Sun Loungers.
All in all we visited the club over twenty times,this included three “long weekend” camping visits. These three weekends, were for three entirely different events,that the club had organised. They were the “Strawberry Tea” weekend, the “French” weekend and also the “BN/Club Open” weekend, the latter being a two days event, during which the club is open to visits from other clubs and also BN members. The “Open” weekend and “Strawberry Tea” weekend were pleasant enough but the most enjoyable for me was the “French” weekend (last weekend) in which we played Boules/ Pétanque for the first time.
The Rules of Petanque are as follows and are fairly straight forward:-
The Place to Play
Petanque is also known as Boules and is played outdoors on any reasonably firm surface: your yard, the park, a field, a gravel parking lot, cinder running track, etc. Hard surfaces like concrete or asphalt or very soft like a fine sand beach or long grass are not recommended. The ideal surface is hard packed earth with course sand or pea gravel approximately 1/8″ – ¼” deep covering the surface. Find a place that is open and fairly flat. If there are a few bumps and hollows that’s fine and can even add more challenge to the game.
Divide up into two teams. You can play Singles with one player on each side, Doubles with two players on each side, or Triples with three players on each side. For leisure play a good way to choose teams is for one person to take a boule from each player and throw them out all at the same time. The owners of the boules that lies closest to the thrower make up the first team.
Both teams select their boules. Each team’s boules should have groove Patterns that distinguish them from the other side’s boules: that way, they will be easy to identify when counting up points. When playing Singles or Doubles, each player uses three boules and for Triples each player uses two.
Decide Who Goes First
Toss a coin to see which side goes first.
Toss the Jack
The team that wins the coin toss chooses the starting location and then selects one of their players to throw out the jack. The starting location is indicated by a circle that is 14 to 20 inches in diameter and at least three feet from any obstacles. The circle can be drawn with chalk, etched in the dirt with a stick, or made from a piece of rope whatever works. Once the circle is drawn, the player then stands with both feet inside the circle and throws the jack. The jack can be thrown in any direction but must land within 20 to 30 feet of the starting circle and three feet from any obstacle.
Throw the Boules
All boules must be thrown from within the starting circle and with both feet on the ground. The player attempts to throw the boule so that it lands as close to the jack as possible it is okay to hit the jack. The player must remain inside the circle until the boule has landed. A player from the opposing team then steps into the circle and attempts to land his boule closer to the jack even if it means knocking his opponents out of the way. The boule closest to the jack leads or is said to be “holding the point.” The other team must continue throwing boules until they take the lead or run out of boules. There is no order that team members must follow when throwing their boules however, they must only throw their own boules, and they must go one at a time from within the starting circle. If they take the lead, the other team then tries to recover by landing a lead boule.
Winning the Round
Once a team has used all its boules, the other side is allowed to throw the rest of its boules. When all boules are thrown, the points are counted. The team that has the boule closest to the jack wins the round. In addition, they also receive a point for each boule that is closer to the jack than their opponent’s closest boule. Only one team scores points during a round.
Beginning a New Round
Once the points are counted, the next round begins with previous round’s winners drawing a new starting circle. This starting circle is drawn around the final position of the jack in the previous round. The winning team then selects a player to toss out the jack from this new starting circle and then throw out the first boule.
Winning the Game
The first team to earn a total of 13 points wins the game. There is not a required number of rounds that must be played
Overall we seemed to win as many games as we lost. On the Saturday a “Bouleathon” was staged, then on Sunday a “Melee” took place. The good thing too was that being naturists, we obviously played in the nude and during this scorching weekend, where temperatures reached nearly 30°C, we topped up our already established all-over suntans in the process. Ginny after convalescing for seven weeks, went back to work this morning, leaving me with a house to clean, washing to do and of course the odd blog post to write, before she returns home in the early afternoon,probably at around three.