enitharmon: (bowls)
Kay, the skipper of my bowls team, phone this morning with the sad news of the death of fellow bowler Jean "Hippo" Hipson. While few if any reading this knew her in life, I'd like to introduce her here.

The world of women's crown-green bowls can be a fiercely competitive place (I'm not even going to try to comment on the men's world, which can be vicious) and there's certainly a lot of bitchiness flying about sometimes, but Jean never had a bad word for anybody. She was gentle in personality and ruthless with the woods; I never knew her in her prime but I know she was a fine player by any standards. She was free with encouragement and economical with criticism, which was always constructive anyway. As a friend she was supportive and warm. In her last two seasons following a heart attack she slowed down a lot and towards the end needed to take the full amount of rest the rules allowed in her games, but even in her final illness she never gave up and never gave less than the best she could. For quite a while last year she topped the team rankings ahead of younger and fitter players.

The world is a poorer place for being without her, but a better one for her having been in it. Hippo, wherever you are now, may the greens be lush, fast and true!
enitharmon: (bowls)
This evening the twice-postponed Night League match against Kirkby finally took place at Barrow Island Bowling Club. In perfect conditions and on a green that was really running for the first time all season, we started at 5 pm without the customary roll-up and it still took us up to 7.45 in gathering gloom. Funny how, only four weeks ago, we were finishing at 9 with the sun still above the horizon.

It took me a few ends to get used to the speed of the green, by which time my opponent had raced to a 7-0 lead. But then I got my eye in, and played as well as I ever have done all summer. It was good to finish with a win, 21-18, even if the team lost the match. Without my main antagonists present it was a happy and relaxed evening. I may even change my mind and stay with the Islanders next year.

But for now, it's time to put my woods away until the spring.
enitharmon: (bowls)
Bowls versus Hawcoat Park (still commonly known as Vickers Sports Club) is off tonight, on account of the waterlogged Barrow Island green complete with large puddle in the south-west corner.

I can't say I'm exactly dismayed. I have things to do and, although I really enjoy playing bowls, I'm pissed off with some of my teammates. Maybe it's a horrible thing to say but Barrow Island is a very working-class district and I have to say that I get given a hard time sometimes by these people, who seem to have me marked out as "not one of us". Even this afternoon, our vice-captain managed to get in the kind of sly insolence that I have to put up with now and then. (Years ago when living in Bristol I was given a much harder time in working-class St Werburghs than I was in more well-heeled Redland.)

Don't get me wrong; I'm not feeling angry or upset, just disappointed. I think this season, my first playing for Barrow Island, will also be the last. Next year I plan to play my bowls with West Mount, the club where I began. Even if it is a bus ride (or a walk up a very long hill) away. Apart from anything else, fuchsia and white suits my colouring much better than bottle-green and beige!
enitharmon: (bowls)
Lost my game against Furness Abbey tonight, 21-15. For the first time I didn't go in at the bottom. If I had, an easy win awaited but there you go. One of the few from West Mount to lose against the bottom team in the league, alas, so I lose my place again for tomorrow night's match, unless somebody drops out.

It was a lovely evening to start with, as it had been a lovely day for once. Towards the end, as my game was coming to a close, a great big black raincloud came over. It didn't drop much on us, but as I came off the green at about 7.40 the sky to the north was spectacular; the setting sun reflecting off the bottom of the cloud. And something else, that I've never seen before. A tornado funneling down from the cloud, followed by a second even bigger one. The didn't pass over us, rather over Askam to the north - something to be thankful for. From a safe distance they were amazing!
enitharmon: (bowls)
Today's run wasn't quite enough then.

Tonight was the return match against Glaxo. In the home tie back at the beginning of June, on a parched green in bright sunshine but a chilly wind (was that really only June?), we whitewashed Glaxo and I gained my first win in only my second appearance.

Tonight was a different proposition. We were on their well-kept but tiny green for starters, and although it was a fine evening the ground was heavy from almost incessant rain. It could have done with a cut too. And I was faced with an opponent who knew how to play! It was a good game which could have gone either way right up to the last end, but I went down 21-18 with my dignity intact. The games were tied 6-6 at the end and the match was decided on aggregate. That 18, which was the highest losing score on either side, might have settled the match but it was not to be and we went down 6-7.

On to the next match then.
enitharmon: (bowls)
Yesterday's practice and today's run must have done me a power of good. I felt full of confidence when I stepped on to the green at about twenty to eight this evening. And then when my opponent raced to a 6-1 lead I kept my head, found my line and length (mostly), and won my game by a more than respectable 21 to 11!

I think that guarantees me a game next week too, but we shall see.

Go me!
enitharmon: (bowls)
I meant to go running today but I didn't. Bad girl!

Partly this was because I had an Inbiz meeting this morning. Then this afternoon I felt I needed some bowls practice (good for the glutes as much as anything) so went up to West Mount to work on my line and length for a couple of hours.

At first I was pretty wayward but by then end I was placing the woods thereabouts each time. Let's hope I can maintain that tomorrow night.

Thanks to everybody who passed on good luck messages for tomorrow by the way.
enitharmon: (bowls)
Well, who'd have thought this morning, or even early afternoon, that this would be the balmiest evening for bowls I've been at all season!

I got a game again. Actually I have two games this week as it seems lots of people are on holiday. We were playing at North Scale, one of the original settlements on Walney (but now a focus for new housing development) on their pretty but decidedly eccentric green which I'd been warned about. It's both tiny and hilly, and thank goodness for all the rain it had earlier today because when it's dry apparently it's also very fast. So, I wasn't expecting any heroics and they weren't being expected of me.

And when, after the third end, I'd raced into a 5-0 lead, I suddenly felt confident. And then I put the jack into the ditch By the time I got it back I was 5-11 down. I pulled back but then, just as I was about to draw level, with one wood on and the second on a perfect land, it was a tad too heavy and took the jack into the ditch for a dead end. I never really recovered from that and lost my game 21-10. Still, none of us (with four honourable exceptions) did much better.

Thursday is against West Shore on our home green - big and subtle and much more to my taste. Watch this space.

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