Saturday, 9 February 2008

Friends, Roamers and Countrymen

Don't worry. I'll soon get back to blogs on interesting topics such as Maori culture and life in New Zealand. Having friends staying who are roaming around N Z on holiday from Scotland is providing a relief from the routine which has become my life here. The routine is, by the way, a statement of actuality and certainly not a complaint. I have come to accept that even a day in which nothing of apparent interest happens is a day to be valued for its mundanities.

But today has been anything but mundane. I had a match at 1000 with my mentor, Jayne, who took me under her wing on the open day at Merewa Croquet Club when I first discovered the sport. Jayne is one of the most enthusiastic of players whom I both admire and like immensely. The match was to determine which of us would represent the Club at the play-off for the Hawkes Bay Golf Croquet Silver Badge. Unfortunately one of us had to lose. My win had the irritating consequence of reducing my handicap from 6 to 5. Good for the 'image' but bad for the number of strokes I now give to the opponents whom I usually meet.

I played an Association doubles match in the afternoon. Our (Frank and my) opponents included the Club's Handicapper. Frank and I won 17:3. My handicap was immediately reduced from 22 to 16! Bummer.

When the Association match ended Marsha and Callum arrived for a few games. One of the Club's senior players offered to make up a foursome: she partnered Callum and I partnered Marsha. Marsha and I got a drubbing - it looked as if I was played out. Actually the truth is that they were just much better than Marsha and I. Callum is a natural. After Chris left Callum and I had a game. After 6 hoops the score was 3:3. I, with my 5 handicap, was struggling against a player who had had a mallet in his hand twice! Experience and luck however prevailed and I managed to save my dignity and win. Give Callum more experience and the opportunities and he will come back and thrash me; of that I'm certain.

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