OK so I said that I'd not bore you all too much with croquet this visit but, at the moment, it is taking up a lot of my time because it's the time of year when there are lots of tournaments both at home and away. Last year I was pretty occupied with Golf Croquet alone but now that I also play Association Croquet my games have multiplied.
Last weekend I played in my first Association Tournament. It was at Marton and I came runner-up. In the final I played against a splendid lady far spryer than I and (it's ok she will never read this) with quite a few more years under her belt. She was, quite simply, more experienced than I was and it showed. At the end of the allotted time we were level pegging and it went to a sudden death: first hoop won. She won it. When I, much to my surprise, made the final I wanted very much to win. When I lost I was very surprised to find that having played well and having lost to an opponent who played better - indeed is a better player - I was very happy for her. Sometimes we surprise ourselves.
On Monday I played the second of the best of three games for the 'B' Grade Club Championship. I won by one hoop. We now have one game each.
On Wednesday the day was set aside for the the games (best of three) for the Hawkes Bay Croquet Association Silver Badge. They were timed at 2 1/2 hours each. Fortunately we only played two games and I managed to win 20:8 and 25:8.
Why have I told you all this? Partly to display a tiny bit of the first of the seven deadly sins (pride) and secondly to demonstrate how things can change in our mind if circumstances are right and we adopt a positive attitude. Three or four weeks ago I had decided that I couldn't get back into Association Croquet (after my six months away in the UK) and it was in danger of ruining my Golf Croquet. I decided to give it up. That afternoon one of our best players came up to me and asked me if I'd like an afternoon's coaching then and there. It would have been rude to decline such a generous offer. And in three hours my game and my whole mental attitude had been turned around. I am so grateful.
As Andrew would have said 'It's a funny old world, Dad'.