Petanque, 3rd birthday!


And there was me thinking Petanque was a game played by your average bow-legged Frenchman with his Breton beret and Gauloise fag and general aroma of garlic sausage…

How wrong I was.

There may have been a beret here and there among the forty-odd Rutland Red Hatters at the White Hart, Lyddington, for our third birthday on Wednesday night, but no Gauloise, no garlic, and certainly no bow-legs – just a colourful tide of red and purple washing back and forth in the advancing twilight, hurling, lobbing, pitching or rolling their steel balls in the general direction of an inoffensive little yellow jack, to the general accompaniment of shouts, groans and a good deal of laughter.

Which just goes to show that there’s more to a game of Petanque than ptunk!

In fact, so engrossed were one or two of the teams that they played on till the jack became invisible in the dusk, and only then did they (I should say we, because I was one) think about the dinner waiting inside.  There were speeches once we had all settled down, and lots of applause – a bit like Bilbo Baggins’s birthday party – each time Queen Tess finished a sentence, so by the time food actually appeared at the table we all fell to eating with gusto.

Our birthday gift to our Queen was something purple (a fruiting bush) and something red (a strawberry plant) and in response she gave us the great news that our membership numbers are have now increased to seventy, which is a fantastic pat on the back for our chapter.

So here’s to our fourth year of fun, fitness and friendship – oh, and lots of ptunk! 

Lady Geri Hattrick

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