Well it's been an interesting weekend. And I use the word 'interesting' advisedly. I shall probably do a short article for the croquet news but as it would mean little to most of you who may read this I shall confine myself to a summary. The first thing was that the very late start of 0930 turned out to be 'time for a cup of tea' with a start of croquet at 10am! Most tournaments are on the lawns at 0830. We could have gone to the country market after all. Like most we arrived half an hour before the advertised time and kicked our heels for an hour!
Then we discovered that the format was a melée and Jayne and I wouldn't be partnering each other but would play 5 games (one would expect at least 6 - the last tournament was 8) with 5 separate partners. Three of us ended up with an equal number of wins and to determine the winner we had to each stand at a separate corner of the lawn and on the gun see who got their ball nearest to the centre. I didn't!
At least on Sunday I was lucky and drew 5 good games. Two of NZ's senior players cleaned up first and second but I really enjoyed the day and came away with a net plus on my index card.
I don't think we'll make the journey next year!
However I have now seen Thames and a little bit of the Coromandel Peninsula.
The Thames Croquet Club itself is excellent and even if the lawns were less than perfect the other facilities were first class. The club was started in 1906 on that site as an addition to the bowling club (which is no longer there) for the wives of men who bowled.
It's hard work this croquet!