Saturday, 27 May 2017

The ballad of Ian Jackson, part two

A full week was promised but, due to weather and the death of bowls, we
only had to drag our little club that can't really but has a go anyway
to two midweek games. With Captain Pete Gangsta Greenhill terrorizing
downtown Detroit, Steve had stepped in ably as his deputy. This Tuesday
though is one i don't think Steve would have sent Pete the result of
right away. A very strong Ward End side showed up and found the
assorted Taverners making up the numbers to be rich pickings. We lost
and only picked up a solitary winner, one lone victor, a point on its
own in a wilderness as once again my tactic of playing the crankiest
marks i can find just that tiny bit less worse than my opponent paid

Wednesday a trip to Wythall was called off due to inclement weather and
everyone cheered. We were due to be playing in the bomber cup on the
Friday but i received word Sutton park couldn't fulfill a fixture they
would have undoubtedly won. Short of bowlers passing away the, Sutton Park not being able to fulfill a fixture is the
most depressing thing i have ever heard at bowls. Well behind the news
That taffy Ieuan Jackson was joining us.

Thursday saw Scotty return and the sides fortunes pick up amazingly
from the week before. Especially as i had put Cj in the draw when he
wasn't playing and i had written Dave Kitten instead of kiffin. I
maybe wrong but i don't remember Kiff frolicking with Mr Mestophales
on stage during Cats but i must have gotten the idea from somewhere.
After last weeks 3 winner loss at home the signs were bad for us but
jaymo and Sheldons own smouldering sex symbol were winners in the
first four. Scotty came back from 19-10 down to give us as many
winners away as at home and with some other close games i think the
overall result was a smaller loss than anyone hoped for.

Hero: a tiny word only 4 letters and two syllables but with Immense and
weighty meaning. It can be overused and misunderstood, what is a Hero?
What makes one? Is it a sporting Hero? Is it someone massive in the
annals of history such as Ghandi? Martin luther King? Martin Luther? Or does it relate to artistic
genius like Michelangelo, or Shakespeare. The possibilities are
endless. One thing i do know though is i witnessed one of the greatest
feats of heroism i have ever seen from a ginger tinged Yorkshire
pudding who was sopping wet in stirchley. After avoiding bowling for
years with excuses such as work, hang nails, headaches, the plague,
leprosy, and losing both legs in a freak shopping cart incident in
tesco's, on a day of a monsoon with everyone scattering and hiding
under any shelter they could Yorkie strode forward. With shoulders thrust back
chest out he strutted to the green bowled a quick fire two ends before
retreating to the club house. Yorkie is now convalescing at an
undisclosed Barbadian get away for a month.

A bit of a catch up

Two Tuesdays past, or is it three, your brave hero's took a trip to the Brookhill with
little more than change for the car park and a hat full of hope. We
returned with an empty hat and no change. We did however double our
winners from our last Tuesday night's foray to the land of Lunchy with
Good wins for Steve, Scotty, some guy called Craggers and another
midweek masterpiece from the maestro Cat Crane. The green was
remarkably quick for a chilly Tuesday evening and is a monster of a
thing. I hope they can continue to keep improving the surface year on
year as it a really fun green to go and play.

Like Ovett and Coe, McEnroe and Borg or Spassky and Fisher some
sporting rivalries last through the eons captivating millions,
breaking hearts and kick starting dreams. Life itself sometimes pales
in comparison to these huge life altering events and rivalries. We
know where we were when Borg beat McEnroe in an 5 set epic, we all
remember Coe and Ovett beating each other and when Fisher played kings
night to d2 we all lost our minds. The Olton verses The Greville is a
bit like that, but it probably only matters to a few Olton players
most of whom died 30 years ago. Still as a traditionalist there was
no way that bunch from up the road were going to come to lode lanes
finest and get anything other than a rather nice but over priced drink.

We Started well with Scotty winning to 8 but it went south from there
with the next 3 cards all losing and leaving us 13 shots adrift.
Thankfully to go along with Steve's close game there were wins for
Handsome Craig Taylor who was swoonsome throughout, another mercurial
masterclass from Dora and some bloke who apparently plays for us
called Ian Johnson, or jockson or something. I think he is from
Newcastle or something like that - has a really strange accent. Seems a decent
kid but his win tonight i think we can put down to beginners luck. A win by 15 but
more importantly a really good night and the conversation where Roy
and my old man were trying to figure out what is where the dolphin
used to be now was classic.

Thursday we were leaderless, rudderless and hopeless as Scotty took a
well earned break and left us to a home game that we thought we would
be good enough to win. Unfortunately Knowle had a couple of great
performances and with Iain wacksons luck running out we were left
losing at home with only 3 winners. Actually listening to the new lad
more i think he is Scandinavian if Netto is Scandinavian for value Ian
Jackson is Scandinavian for rubbish.

2 years ago Boldmere was the scene of the nicest man in bowls snapping
at team mates, Wiggy throwing a strop of toddler proportions and Chris
Greenhill being the most Chris Greeenhill he has ever been. I quit as
captain putting Wiggy and Killer in charge. in the 3 minutes they were
joint captains we had 3 losers, there were floods in china, protests
in Armenia, two plane crashes, a boat capsized, Cj spilled a mild and
Donald trump decided to be president. For crimes against humanity they
were promptly removed from office and replaced by an aspidistra. This
year, well, we were decent really and held our own losing by 42. There
were no tantrums, no nappies needed changing just a decent day and
good performances. On a personal note it is not a great idea to go
playing 10 pin as a roll up though as I spent the whole game looking for
somewhere to stick my fingers. I can't tell you what the food was like
or how many plates killer consumed as we rushed off to a wedding.

Monday, 8 May 2017

Starring Jamo as Charles Bronson and A.N.Other as James Coburn, with JP and Richie arguing over being John Layton

The Saturday B side took the trip to Lea Hall with two plans in mind.
Win the game and load up on cheap mild and i'll be buggered by the
state of them they managed both. After a slow start to the season the
B team are picking things up with their second away win on the bounce
with strong contributions from the whole team.

For those of you with long memories you may remember my Mexican cousin
who used to post on talking bowls, Chukilito Burrito. He called me last
night to congratulate the side on, and I quote "their Massiiiiivee
Cajones" i don't know what he is on about as i don't speako the lingo
but i know one thing, we showed we have big bollocks yesterday.

The A side has had a rough start to the year being bowlers missing
through all sorts of reasons and with a strong, undefeated Boldmere in
town life looked like it could well be tough. For context the
Boldmeres last two performances at ours were winning by 68 and coming
from a shed load down to lose by 2 at the death.

We went into this game with a further two seniors missing. Kiff was on
on holiday and is probably trying to convince the Spanish they should
take up bowls and Wiggy, well what can i say about wiggy. After his
mini meltdown last week we thought he should take a break and Spindle
very kindly shoehorned him into their Torquay bound short mat team. I
gather they needed someone to roll the mat up after the game. Thank
you Spindle from all at the Olton as we know its not easy but your
services to babysitting should earn you a knighthood. If Wiggy hasn't
bought us all some rock back or fudge then he is in major trouble.
Luckily to mitigate the shortage we had Richie available after a
hiatus and Larry had his operation cancelled and decided to gut out
the day bowling instead of following doctors orders and resting.

The first four was a mixed bag with some very good performances but no
real results for the home team. Larry battled gamely with his back to
lose 19. Cat was brilliant to get 14 against Paul Copson who always
performs on our green. I lost 13 to Jonah who bowled very well but
from 13.11 up it was a poor card for us, especially with my army of
followers watching on with hot chocolates in their hands. Thankfully
despite a late rally Dave Hosgood managed to hold on and win to 17
against Steve Carter. So 13 down after Four the Boldmere had their
tails up and a good card going on the green.

Steve Harper bowled excellently to win 3 and bring the deficit to 31
Messiah endured a bad day at the office with nothing going right.
Thankfully our old stagers found their form of yesteryear with Richie
winning 5 and JP continuing his resurgence in form, winning to 8 to
bring the game back to a two shot difference. Killer showed all the
experience and poise that went missing last week and despite a rough
game for him he managed to keep focused and grind away for some vital
late shots to finish with 12. So after 8 we were 11 down

Dodge had earlier purchased tea from the pub at great expense when it
is free in the club house, proving that he is quite mad, but his return has greatly
boosted us with a timely win to 13 to bring the deficit down again to
the odd few. Sharky smelt blood in the water and went after Andy on
his first senior game in quite a while. Andy worked hard and held of
the predator for a while but Sharkey's experience and class told with
him running out winning 11 to take the lead 13.

The game was in the balance but Boldmere were confident, both their players only had to get to
fifteen to secure the victory. Alan was 7.4 up against Scott and
Jaymo was level pegging with John Daley at about 12-12 i was sure it
was fourteen across but that would mean Jaymo and John would have
played at an epically slow pace that would have had Chris Baker
chanting Boring. The Noise from Boldmere was deafening but slowly we
found our voices as while Jaymo's game seemed to tread water Scotty
abandoned his usual game and started nurdling various marks around the
crown scoring some quick fire twos to go 20-8 up. At this point Alan
pounced and at 20 nine down and jack in hand and with the other game
poised at 16 across a good couple of ends would change momentum. Alan
led okay but he hadn't done enough to change the mark and Scott bowled
in leaving Alan with very little room to play with. Alan sent his wood
and it looked tight from the get go but took an age trundling across
the grass before it was obvious it couldn't count and the game was
done 21-9. Scott had been kicking himself allowing the final shot but
in truth it changed nothing - 8 or nine Chris had to win to win us the
game all that mattered was winning it straight back.

Amazingly Chris was now only 17 16 and was just bowling his lead wood. The end
finished and with two arms in the air he was informed of the situation
win and we win. The Atmosphere seemed to have weighed heavy on
Boldmere's final two - while my double act were Blues brothers cool,
Sinatra and Martin cool and those of us on the side were three
stooges manic. Jaymo managed to run out to 16 to seal the game and an
epic 4 shot victory.

Last week i had bemoaned the team's attitude shift from the week before.
This week all complaints, gripes and worries were answered
emphatically, now we just need to learn to keep that team ethic and
effort at that level all year. It is amazing what can be achieved if
you do. A big thanks to all the supporters today, even the ones who
just stood on the balcony looking perplexed as to why grown adults
would be putting themselves through such torture for fun. This feeling
is why we do, there have been some amazing results since i came back
to the Olton: wins away at places we hadn't thought possible but all
in all this was the result. A historically flakey side coming back
from 31 down against a side that strong shows how much people have
improved. Maybe it doesn't show in the plus or minus column or in the
win lost tally but when it matters in tight games that is when you can
see it. I am a very happy and proud Captain so happy i was even sorry
Wiggy wasn't part of it , well okay i am not that happy but yeah i am
well chuffed.

The ballad of Michael Lynch

Lunchy is a special breed. A Villa fan everyone likes, a considerate
van driver and the slimmest person ever to eat and survive the copious
amounts of breakfast sarnies he chomps through. He is also a living, breathing
rarity as one of the only people to have double chuckled the
Chuckles on the Tavern.

Mick bowled really well to beat your hero and gorgeous younger chuckle. I
expect my fans to picket Lunchy's house and shower him with their tears
and keep him awake at night with their high pitched wailing. Lunchy's
best efforts were in vain as Gangsta Pete G led his homies to a
comfortable victory.

Wednesday Woes

Oh Wednesday's, so much to answer for. Another bollocking for the
Wednesday side this time at the hands of our nearest and dearest at
The Greville. Knowing we were turning up The Breville picked a strong side and despite some good
performances we could only pick up two wins. Nee bowled well and he
put a cherry on top Beating Andy but it was Kiff, finding lifetime
form on the eve of his holiday and conquering Steve Wallace that took the plaudits.I feel a bit
like Ned Stark - a win is coming, or winter is coming i have no clue
which will be first.

Cup time for the Thursday teams and it was an impressive evening for
both sides. The B team managed to put away the villagers from Wooten
Wawen before they could muster their pitchforks and attack. Meanwhile
the A side had the tricky task of taking on Marston green. If you
haven't played Marston Green I would avoid it. It's Bowls Jim but not
as we know it. It's too small for the 4 ends they play on it and in
fact most of my night was spent sending blocks back and giving
people dirty looks for careering into peoples ends while
measuring. The surface is struggling and the new conk, the 19th i think,
hasn't taken at all. That being said it is a green where any score
is possible and i wouldn't blame anyone for any score they get.
Thankfully all cares were eased as Cat was amazing winning 6 and
setting us up for a 1 shot away victory. The home side had to face the
cream of the Marston crop and must have played well to run out very
comfortable winners at home.

Beer Watch - it is just like spring watch without Bill Oddie, the
attractive lady and it has beer. Old Hooky made an appearance and the
Olton have finally given up any pretense that the pricing on the pumps
is correct. If it says its 3.20 just assume its 3.50 its much safer it
was nice though.

Monday, 1 May 2017

Home, home on the Tavern where the sheep and the goats used to Graze

Tuesday social at the Ale rooms in Knowle went pretty well. Good beer
amazing gin and stopping in at tesco on the way home for 4 pints of
semi skimmed. It may not be rock and roll but it proves we are a
classy lot at the Olton. It wasn't Tesco's own milk it was Cravendale
all the way.

Wednesday was cold wet and thoroughly unpleasant evening. The green
however was surprisingly quick and fun to play. This didn't help our
cause though as we slumped to another defeat but we did double our
winners from last week and again most of the games could have gone
either way with decent performances from most of the team.

Tavern Beer watch - we didn't go in Wednesday so don't know what was on.

The Thursday night delights won at home with 7 winners against the
Maggies. News of the delights of the delights must have spread as
there were four spectators pitch side and two up on the balcony
impressive performances from Scott and Kiff led the way and Jaymo
produced a second biblical resurrection in a week. Congratulations
this week also go to the B team for an impressive away win.

Tavern Beer watch

The American Etta ale was pretty good but all the mild had gone and
the vast array of pale ales was doing nothing to stir the excitement

After last weeks wonderful effort and team ethic this week we got
discord and disturbance. As follow ups go it was like speed 2 or
Exorcist 2 the heretic. For some reason there was tension in the air
from the off - it could have been because we were heavy favourites and we
are used to being underdogs? It could have been the oppressive
overcast nature of the day or it could be that half the team are as
mad as a box of frogs or their performance is akin to Forrest Gumps chocs.

The first four went reasonably well, finishing 18 up although this is
about 10 shy of where ee could well have been after 4. The middle four
continued the trend of playing well but some spirited comebacks from
hall green meant we were only 31 up when we were looking for 50. Then
inexplicably the wheels didn't just come loose they exploded from the
car like it was in a Michael Bay film. First Young killer, seemingly
before his first bowl was sent, decided this would be a bad day and no
amount of cajoling or calming seemed to work. He bowled like he was
using his wrong arm and then acted like he was Wurzle Gummidge with his
arsehole head on. Chris has grown a lot and the measure of this is
that this was a remarkable event, in years gone by this was a weekly
occurrence and we look forward to welcoming our human Chris back into
the fold next week.

Wiggy must have been watching and decided that Killer's implosion
shouldn't be allowed to upstage him. He had wound himself up into a
frenzy in the roll up and started off in fine fashion. As the sugar
rush started to fade however cracks were starting to show and when he
sent his second wood of to only count 1 when Dave had sent both of his
off everything went south for the day and Wiggy crumbled like castles
made of sand falling into the sea to leave us 11 up.

At this stage Scotty was 10 across with Martin Fowles and Jaymo was 12
across with Martin Sylvester and momentum was going Hall Greens
way. Whenever Jaymo and Scott have been together at 11 and 12, however, if
we have been in a hole or in with a sniff they have both always
delivered. Jaymo made it home against Martin and Scott in game of the
day just fell short against the other, (better-Ed) Martin.

It proves once again no value should ever be put on averages. Jaymo and
Scotty have both struggled this year for results but both play at the
business end of a game where wins and losses are irrelevant - the job is
about getting enough to win the game and they have constantly
delivered under pressure. A win then, but not the score we were hoping for.
With key members out next week and against a very good side any result
for us would be a bonus. The most important thing next weekend is the
effort, the temperament and the team ethic. The result either way is not
the end of the world or the dawning a brave new world.

The juniors won away and considering they only won a handful of games
last year and are still under strength that is no mean feet no matter
the opposition.

Tavern Beer watch - for those interested the beer line up was the same as Thursday, here
is hoping that a stout shows up sometime soon.

Wednesday, 26 April 2017

In our League

In our league, in our league,
In this league onward,
All in the valley of Death
Bowled the 8 Taverners.
“Forward, the Wednesday A"
Charge for the lights they said.
Into the valley of Death
Bowled the 8 Taverners.

Okay so i am not Tennyson. I am probably not even a twoyson, but honestly recent travels to The Valley have felt like the charge of the light brigade. Men sent in to battle in hapless fashion, a beautiful but futile struggle against overwhelming odds. While this outing only yielded one winning card there was a litany of losing cards from 15 up that could have all gone either way. Once again its a massive hats off to the Boys and Girls of The Valley who play at what should be the best bowling complex in the country, but instead have to play at a shell of a venue.

Thursday round up

So close and yet so far was the story to Scottys debut as captain of the Thursday night delights. Four winners apiece and falling short by the fingers on one hand, probably my bowling hand :( in my defense my opponent was great and i was walking like walter brennen in rio bravo.

(If you think I'm using another picture of Walter Brennan when Angie Dickinson was in this film you are mistaken!! Ed)

Good wins From Scott, Wiggy, Karen and Cat couldn't overcome my handicap but it was a good start to the season in a new division.


Well what can be said except it was a very strange day indeed. The Olton tavern had a mild on for the first time since Cj got his last one pound note out of the wallet. The juniors bounced back from an epic defeat to register their biggest win since the Falklands War and a horse a horse my kingdom for a horse! Or alternatively for 1 or 2 of the four seniors we have lost from last year.

For the seniors it was a day that had so many positives but a couple of glaring negatives. The effort and team ethic was the probably the best since I returned. Unfortunately we are lacking in experience and depth. Much like last week we got close but never quite got enough of a lead to defend and didn't make the most of a few opportunities. Highlights included Kiff pulling out a lazarus like comeback and Jaymo's fightback should have been by portrayed by Robert Powell on Easter Sunday. Wiggy's brooding intensity was overflowing as he continues his volcanic form with another single figure win. This year Wiggly has been more Charizard when last year he could barely manage a Jigglypuff. The Steve Myatt renaissance continues with Donatello like masterpieces being bowled regularly and Cat has seamlessly segued into life in the seniors.

We arrived back to surprisingly find the mild was still on and the juniors had won with 10 winners. In an even bigger surprise Cat and Killer, the two players with a social life were at a loose end and stayed for the evening. After a good few drinks Cat turned to Chris with love in her eyes and uttered the immortal words "I am sorry I have eaten Raspberries". I love drunk people

Like all clubs we are short on players, we have taken steps to rectify this and have had some success in attracting new bowlers to the game, this however is a shout out to all those lapsed bowlers out there shopping on a weekend, get back out contact your local club or better still contact me and join the tavern your game needs you.

(If lapsed bowlers need any more incentive to play, here's another picture of Angie Dickinson. Ed)

Monday, 17 April 2017

Are Marillion the Worlds most dangerous band?

While searching under my bed in boredom one sleepless night i came
across a half eaten Red Devil gobstopper circa 1984, a spoon with the
likeness of Charles and Di on it and an essay written by my younger
self. A pre blog blog if you will, back in the time my blog writing
actually was just scrawled in crayon on a sheet of paper and doesn't
just read like it. I know you are all sitting there wanting to read
the essay so i have lovingly recreated it below - if you are patient and
read it all the way down there will be some bowls talk somewhere and a
round up of the week, including for all you face book tarts out there,
how the power of someone else's profile pic can get you likes? Oh! and
be kind i was about 10 when i wrote this.

The scariest and most dangerous things are never the overtly
threatening or obvious. The devil holds no fears: you can see him a
mile off with that stupid tache and humongous fork, that guy brandishing
a gun over the road he is no bother unless you are stupid and walk
toward him. The real scary things are insidious. They work their way
into life and are accepted and liked. Fire for example is an obvious
one. Invited in to your home to help heat and cook your food and what
does it do when you try to hug it thank you? It burns you, bend down to
pick something up in front of the fire and it burns your bollocks, its
a hateful thing masquerading as our friend. That is where Marillion
come in. Fishes lyrical content manages to convince you that sitting
in a bar getting smashed on whisky or whatever else is served in these
places i have never been in is romantic and wistful. Cirrhosis of the
liver being a sign of a well lived life, buying one time friends and
confidents with a shouted round. Well no thank you Mr Fish i am never
going to drink or set foot in a public house. A life of sobriety and
success for me.

So there you have it how dull was i going to be before bowls, cans of
heldenbrau and pints mild in the Ring o Bells saved me.

And now the round up of the week

Saturday away at the broomfield could be summed up in haiku form

nice weather, good start
couldn't punish middle four
lost tamely in end

A good start led to a chance to exert pressure on the broomies but we
couldn't get winners off when needed and instead of going into the
last four 25 up we went in 6 down and were from then on never really
in it. It was my first visit since the club was knocked down and its a
pretty neat set up. I enjoyed a good conversation about the lack of
quality on show while looking out over the cricket pitch. It was such
an idyllic setting you could almost hear the leather on willow. Or
maybe it was leather on an old mans arse being carried on the wind
from one of the sex dungeons on the Portland Road.

This week I was insulted at work by being likened to Al from Toy Story Two. It was
bubbling along getting no interest on face book until an ex co worker
commented. As her profile pic features her and very little clothing
I was suddenly the most popular guy in the world, drowning in friend
requests from hormonal teens impressed buy the nature of my facebook
friends. Relax boys its a fake pic - she is actually a 50 year trucker
named Keith.

The teams for next weeks midweek games are up. Please show up as we
have pretty much picked everyone left at the club.

On our free Saturday we played "the winner gets to pick a trophy round
robin competition" which was won by an aflame Dave Hosgood. Looking
at the honours board we gave Dave the choice of the cups we hadn't
played for in a while and a worrying trend appeared. Presidents Cup
last played in 2006 winner Dave Hosgood, the Gary Stokes Comedy Cup
last played for in 2007 winner Dave Hosgood, The Albert Finney was the
Best Scrooge Cup last played for in 1999 winner Dave Hosgood. It would
appear when a cup is won by the Wiz it loses all value and is no
longer played for. Thank god he has never won the senior averages as the
club would just fold on the spot. Maybe his place atop the averages
will have people running for the lifeboats, certainly Lowey had nearer
my god to thee playing during the friday morning game but that may have had
more to do with his recent and over 9000th hospitalisation. As an aside,
the Friday over sixties lost having two winners but did seem to
really enjoy their morning even if they did have to put up with the
Old man.

The wrestling. OMG the wrestling. As well as being Scotties
Birthday good friday was Fightclub pro friday. We arrived early and
found a lucky spot in the queue under a butchers hoarding that at
least kept us out of the rain for twenty minutes of the one and half hours we were kept
waiting outside in the rain. The good proprieter of the Bodrun Delight
Turkish restaurant came out to take pity on us, providing the cold wet
and hungry crowd some grub and stave of a riot. Eventually we got in
and were seated and after a further delay while the promoter and
recent WWE performer Trent Seven tried to get everyone the seats they
had booked the show began. The wrestling was amazing and thank god for
Nixon Newell and the cutest smile in wrestlng for reminding me i am
straight. That one simple thing averted the inate charisma, charm,
talent and pert buttocks of Kenny Omega from turning me. I know
wrestling isn't everyones cup of tea and people will look oddly at me
when i say this is nothing like what you see on Sky, but live this
group of amazing performers is incredible entertainment. It's rough,
athletic funny and if you sit as close as we did you have to move
every 30 seconds or be crushed by a space flying tiger drop. Oh, and i
have bought the shirt of all shirts.

Saturday, 8 April 2017

Sod it dude, let's go bowling!!

The first shots of the season were fired in front of a backdrop of
April fools day, weather they sang about in bambi and everyone being
as criminally undercooked as the omelletes on that insidious, insipid
and inadequate Saturday Kitchen. Christ, the Egg jokes on there make
even my most hackneyed of efforts look cutting edge. Compared to that show I'm like
one of those new comedians like Eddie Murphy, Richard Pryor, Bill
Hicks or even Colin taylor with a wood in his hand.

It was a big day for the Olton. We had a terrible start to last
season and with the Broomfield being a strong, experienced side and the
dreaded first game at home draw it was looking like a tricky afternoon. In
truth the game never really got going and despite a really good win
for us the atmosphere, whilst happy like Russ Abbotts masterpiece
was also decidedly flat like Russ Abbots singing. There were a lot of
good bowlers on show for both sides but save for a few standouts for
both teams most of the bowling ranged from meh to terrible. With six of the
first nine winners including two 7’s and an 8 the game was done but
the Broomfield's excellent last 3 performances brought a hint of
tension into things. Standing out for the Olton was a spell of leading
from Richie that echoed his glory days and Cat played out Game of the
Day against Helen Williams. The result has made it easier for me to
say what a pleasure it was to get reacquainted with the Broomfield
boys, many of whom I have known for nearly 20 years now but hadn’t
played against for 6 or 7 years. The day was so friendly and
enjoyable I think even Dan Chilton smiled.

I have had many email enquiries from members, fans and the general
public who are all slavering over titbits of info I drop from the
table. Both of them have asked; "Mr Craig, would you like to help an
african prince store his money offshore" my answer is always yes, yes
i would. I then ask if they would like regular updates about the Olton Tavern? They
never respond but just in case they are reading here is the news, film
at 11. Wiggy has a new beard. Well we thought it was a beard but some
strange things have been happening with Wiggy recently. Previously,
Wiggy had an IQ akin to Fry from Futurama or Stan Laural but recently
he has made a tremendous leap. He can work out how much change he gets
from a fiver for a beer and he can even now mark a card on his own
without taking his shoes and socks off. He has gone from a 20 watt
super energy efficient bulb to a 40 watt bulb. What is behind this
wonderful explosion of intelligence quotient? It turns out the beard
isn’t a beard but a parasitic life form from another planet that
attaches it self to your chin and controls its host. The only downside
is it happens to look like a 14 year olds attempt at facial hair. The
parasite is called Pruik and is reasonably charming, he may well be
sucking Wiggys lifeforce but hey ho! the parasite can bowl and as long
as we keep him away from the barley wine he is much less argumentative
so it's a win win.

In quick news from around the club, Donald trump has tweeted his belief that stories of my receeding hairline are fake news, its not
receding or retreating just beating a tactical withdrawal.

Miffed he never gets to hear the words “well bowled Chris”, killer has
persuaded Chris downes to bowl again and will only be on the green
when Chris james and Chris downes are also bowling. Reports he applied
for deedpoll name changes for Cat and kiff are unsubstantiated.

Our local Lancashire lad Ian "two sheds" Jackson has promised to stay
longer than an hour at a bowls game at least once this season. Of
bigger concern to me right now is his inability to bowl for more than
30 minutes before losing. if only he was from Yorkshire and could show
some Bob Horn style grit and downright rudeness. And yes, Ian does have two sheds.

The club have slowly, painfully clawed its way in to the 20th century
at a pace akin to that of sadako from the Ring climbing from a well to induce the
releasing of your bowels. We now have a whatsapp group to go with the
facebook, twitter and this blog. We have also purchased a verticutter
to replace the 3 goats and a sheep we used to graze the on the green
last year. If you would like to join the whatsapp group, download the
app and send me your number and I will add you. Please join the Olton
bc facebook group and follow @OTBC21 on twitter. If you can share the
blog the more readers we get the more jokes about you I can make. I
will make you famous.

Thursday, 6 April 2017

A resurrection Nabakov would be proud of.

“Lolita, light of my life, fire of my loins” is a very famous first
line to a book and can be easily spoiled by the transposing of a
couple of letters. I was searching for a great opening to this, the
first blog post of a new season but failed miserably so you get this.

Of course Lolita happened to be forbidden fruit - a young girl nowhere
near legal that was stirring passions of all around her. This is a
stretch so stay with me but Bowls is my Forbidden fruit. A game so un
cool, so universally unpopular and frowned upon, a game that spreads such
disgust among the general populous that I hide my love for it. I walk
the streets hiding my shame as every patch of grass cut to 5mm stirs
something in my special area. My heart beats faster, perspiration
gathers in the crevice of my upper lip and my limbs shake
uncontrollably, which at least explains my errant woods. The time, however, has come to break away from my Humbert Humbert-esque machinations. Bowling
greens float my boat! There, I have said it and its out in the open.

The one thing that gets me going more than a freshly cut bowling green are woods. Lovely
beautiful spherical woods. Tactile, shiny, smooth woods. The way their
curves fill your hand, their hard cold sheen teasing my finger tips.
Whenever anyone comes toward my bag my eyes narrow Lee Van Cleef like
as i glare intently, my brain working overtime to convince me they are
after my bowls, after my lucky charms themselves. Everyone is a
thieving magpie, a Clare Quilty looking to cuckold my woods,steal my
precious and part me with my beloveds.

Explaining my fixation, my beguilement with this stupid bloody game to
the general unwashed public is a tricky thing. People look at you
reaching for some unattainable understanding, they gawp perplexed as if they are trying to
follow a science or maths documentary on BBC 4. Their eyes droop as
the conversations length verges on Heavens Gates running time (this is
something you should avoid with apostrophes) and they struggle to
understand the complexity of large marbles. The conversation always
includes pearls of wisdom like, do you wear white? And is that where
you have to get close to the little white one? Or the instant classic,
is everyone you play with dead? I am fed up of having this
conversation, so through the power of this blog I am putting out an
open challenge to everyone, to not only come and watch a game but come
and try it. There might even be a drink in it for you.