Category Archives: Lawn bowls

Distracted somewhat

Yes we did return from that cruise & the Bromptons have been in action but blogging hasn’t been top priority for the last four months. You see, I’ve been somewhat distracted with the lawn bowling Pennants season & this weekend was to be the culmination, with playoffs to decide the Zone winner for progression to the State Finals in late July. The season has gone really well; trial matches & then an unbeaten run to be top point-scorer for an automatic place in the final. As you may make out in the pic, our Pennant Hills team won our section & the semifinal would be between Burwood Diggers & Wenty Leagues. Woohoo, perhaps repeating our Pennants flag win of last year?
However, particularly nasty weather this whole weekend (see the blue spot for our location in the pic) has seen all attempts to play the games defeated & the next scheduled date in the calendar is a few weeks away.

“Who left the wheelbarrow out?”

Unfortunately, I shall be away when the rescheduled playoffs take place! Fortunately, Mrs Aussie has been doing lots of planning & very soon now we’ll depart on our BWC sojourn! Lots of packing/preparing to do… (& catching up on the blogs?)

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Battle news

My previous blog posting mentioned the lawn bowling singles final coming up. The news from Sunday is that I didn’t win but it was a close battle over a few hours & now I can look forward to trying again next year (along with some genuine Brompton blogging?)

The combatants: myself & our club president.
  

Fun times

Wowee!? Mid-March already!? Doesn’t time fly? This year’s “fun & games” have been rather engrossing but finally it’s time to attempt to catch up on blog postings.

First off, Mrs Aussie is recovering well from her broken elbow (very well, according to the Surgeon) although full rotation & extension will take time. My pre-Christmas elbow infection was slow to disappear & took almost all of January before medications & dressings could cease.

Our ailments didn’t deter our Tardis trip to Adelaide in January. We took along Clarence & Peregrine & took 4 days to drive about 1400km (& the same on return). Our Adelaide accommodation was apartment-based & the Tardis became our lounge-base when driving out to spectate at the Tour Down Under cycling stages (but much more on our escapades in a separate blog post – soon? – refer pic).



Local Brompton activity has been rather limited for various reasons. Lawn bowls is my “excuse” (see below) & for Mrs Aussie, she’s now “back to school” in continuing her Graphics Design degree course. I’m sure there’s a blog post coming on our recent rides? Another posting may say more about the recent Australian Brompton distribution changes (I’m sure there must be a story in there somewhere?) but for those unaware, Kobie Cycling is no longer handling Brompton distribution & there is now a separate Brompton Australia team – with their website being “http://www.bromptonaustralia.com.au/” (check out all the lovely bikes & parts).

Immediately on return from Adelaide my lawn bowling activities resumed (even before the lawns were attacked?) & club trials for the NSW Pennant season got underway. After 4 weeks of trial games against other clubs, we’re now 3 weeks into the 10-week season. Along with this, my club Singles championships have commenced; first with the Minor Singles (eligible to those who haven’t won a Minor championship previously) & after Easter with the Major Singles. I seem to have been practicing & playing rather a lot lately & still it continues – because I play in the Minor Singles Final next Sunday! Five fun weeks although with increasingly higher stakes? The physical & mental demands in bowling are quite demanding & can be quite some workout. Along with a Triples team tournament last Friday (for which we took home a few hundred dollars for 3rd place!), my last 3 days have involved almost 120 ends of play (5km of walking?) & delivering over 320 bowls (total weight about 500kgs?). All good BWC training?

Serious considerations here, to visiting the UK this year & including the BWC. Unfortunately/frustratingly the news out of Brompton HQ on this year’s (10th anniversary?) race has been zilch (beyond saying they’ll email when plans are announced?). Intriguingly the news from unofficial sources are hinting at an early August date & at an “iconic location” (in London?). Anyone familiar with London cycling events in early August could be raising their eyebrows & starting to speculate? However, we need to “Stay calm & Brompt On” (as Mrs Aussie would say) & so we await the official word…

New challenges

A lot has happened in the last few years. Bromptons, retirement, the Tardis & now Lawn Bowling. Lots of other things too but the last year of bowling has been a rather surprising activity.

My only practical experience had been a workplace Christmas function many years ago, when a large group hit the greens for a “barefoot bowls” session. That had been fun but the post-retirement intrigue of seeing bowlers at my local club lead to inquiring about “proper coaching”. Some weeks of coaching & I was joining up as a registered bowler; all very whirlwind I suppose but it’s been an ongoing learning experience.

The early surprise was the workout on leg muscles that I’d forgotten about. Once I started playing social games I realised it wasn’t just a walk in the park: more like a 4 hour walk, with bending & stretching & regular weight-lifting of 1.5kg lawn bowls. This physical involvement has an accompanying mental effort as well, with continuing concentration on the bowling action, the game aspects & changing conditions throughout the time. In addition, I’ve gained an appreciation of the social structures of the game (team selections & socialising, play etiquette & player support) & how the game is an ideal exercise for the “senior body”, as well as participants of all ages (& gender). All very surprising & unexpected?

I suppose I was expecting a challenge when I started, of the game requirement to deliver the bowl along a curving trajectory to a target point on the bowling rink. The challenge is even more immense than I expected, with variability in weather & rink conditions endeavouring to counter any personal effort for consistency? In truth, “it’s bloody hard” – but addictive?!

I’d often seen bowling green maintenance being undertaken but now I’ve got a much better appreciation of what goes on. Here’s our club Greenkeeper/magician, Fred, whizzing about on his mower.
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The last few months has even seen a ramped up involvement, with participation in the Zone Pennants championship play & in various club championship events. Throughout this time I’ve been getting a better feel for how I’ve been delivering the bowl (as compared to the early self-questioning such as “how did it end up there?”) & progressing successfully through various championship rounds. This busy time has seen some periods of 7 days play per week! As you can imagine other activities have suffered & my cycling has often been limited to riding Ralph to the bowling club to practice. Unfortunately our club Pennants side hasn’t won our section so that’s our season over for this year & unfortunately again, my Minor Pairs final was unsuccessful (although my partner & I have been rather pleased to even make the final against some very experienced players) & so now it’s time to escape for a bit in the Tardis?

Actually, this escape trick isn’t quite what it seems, for the Tardis is carrying a spare set of bowls along with Ralph & Peregrine. With almost every town possessing a bowling club then it’s likely there’ll be a little research along the way? Here is a very recent escapade at Lennox Head: note Ralph & Brompton C bag waiting patiently to carry about 7kg of bowling equipment back to the Tardis.
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No play today

Lovely sunny day for a lawn bowls tournament! Ready to head out the door at home & last-minute check on the weather radar? Whoops! Storm coming early, maybe it’ll pass over quickly? Start walking anyway…

Arrived at the bowls club just prior to the rain. Anxious looking faces about? Lots of rain now coming down, greens starting to flood? (greens should drain fast once rain finishes?)

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Settle down to await official decisions! More rain coming along on the radar, so “Sorry boys, no play today!”

Brief video: No play today