Very Short Grass

Yesterday was the holiday party at work & the venue this year was the Mt. Victoria Bowling Club — as in lawn bowling. Very educational ! Here’s the gist:

You divide up into four-person teams. Then you chuck a little white ball, called the jack, out onto the green. Then you take turns rolling other larger balls at the jack, and the team with the ball closest to the jack at the end wins. (There’s a point scoring system, but that’s the basics.) The trick is that the balls aren’t round. And they’re weighted on one side. So you can’t roll them *at* the jack, like in ten-pin bowling; you’ve got to roll them off at an angle, with *just* enough power so it doesn’t go zipping into the gutter at the back, but curves in a gentle arc around just to where the jack sits. It was fun ! And I didn’t completely suck. The same general situation applies as with ten-pin bowling — you get a bit of beginner’s luck, then you start thinking about it too hard and get worse, then you have another beer, laugh, and get better again. I scored a couple points for my team, so.

This morning it is jellyfish weather, which is to say it is sunny and still. I don’t know if the jellyfish are always there along the waterfront, and you can only see them when the water is still, or if the combination of still water and sunlight brings them to the surface. There were two kinds this morning, the clear glassy ones and some pink frilly ones. Plus since the tide was out, you could see the big starfish on the rocks amongst the mussel beds. Toss in the cormorant sunning itself on the pier outside Ferg’s Kayaks, and it was a sealife-riffic morning.

It is supposed to rain again this afternoon, but I hope it doesn’t, since tonight is the Wellington opening of King Kong. As (is becoming) usual, Weta has decked out the Embassy, they’ve closed off Courtenay Place, and there’s a street party scheduled from 3PM until whenever, with stars on the red carpet and all sorts of busking and bands and stuff. The screening of the film is invitation only, but they’ve set up giant screens outside that will be showing the red carpet entertainment to the crowds.

Today’s Wellington observation: People hold hands here. Like, grown-ups do. And not just tourists — couples on their way to (or from) work in their business clothes hold hands as they walk along. (Gay couples, too !) For some reason I find this phenomenon completely charming.

3 thoughts on “Very Short Grass

  1. Angus says:

    Ahh, the British influence comes through again. Was it flat or crown green bowling? (The difference is that in the latter the lawn itself isn’t flat – it has a bump in the middle, which makes it even harder to work out where the heck the bowl is going to go).

    Competetive bowls can be quite exciting when a competitor decides to “fire”, which basically involves flinging the bowl with high rapidity towards the other bowls resulting in a perfect example of transfer of momentum, loud noises, and broken ankles should anyone be in the way. It uses to be the preserve of middle-aged men with pipes, but has now gone the way of all televised sports – younger men in advertising-covered shirts.

  2. Tam says:

    It was a flat green. There were a couple of us there that actually played regularly (you could spot them because they showed up in full “whites”). The first team my team played had a ringer on it, and you could tell he was getting a wee bit frustrated at the rest of us not taking it quite as seriously as perhaps we ought. (“No, no, the mat has to go in ine with the number post ! Two meters out !”)

    We didn’t see any “firing”, I don’t think, but we did get to see a bit of strategic playing, like where instead of aiming for the jack, you aim to knock one of the other team’s balls away so that your team has more point-scoring balls.

    All in all, yes, very British. It’s cricket season now, too.

  3. Angus says:

    You have to watch those people who are taking it seriously at these “fun” shindigs. Always beware of anyone who turns up at a go-karting shindig with their own helmet; they’re going to take it waaaay too seriously.

    Mind you, last one I was at I managed to knock the tyre off a “too serious” person’s rear left wheel thanks to a bit of what the marshalls termed “attempted vehicular homicide” – to which I still maintain that the gap was there when I started the pass…

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