Saturday, 15 September 2012

Twickenham Green, Middlesex.


Twice used in the last year as a platform for the epic rivalry between Messrs Park and Darling, picturesque Twickenham Green provides a challenging surface for purveyors of Freestyle Boules.

The terrain appears flat, simple and somewhat basic at first glance, but offers many hidden undulations and a rare mixture of heavy and firm top soil.

The Green (Prince Blucher End)
It is famous for its inconsistency of bounce, run, and give, not to mention the sporadic appearance of Mansons - often catching out even the most experienced of Boulesman.

Darling is known to favour this varied and unpredictable habitat, and his record on the Green is highly impressive - indeed, he has only ever lost one Bastard there.

Twicks Green was also the scene of Darling's famous 'Pigeon' in January 2011, where he ruthlessly dismantled Park's reputation of high excellence in front of a sparsely populated, but vociferously partisan crowd.

The Green is also famous for its cricket pitch and cordoned square, which adds further discomfort for players timid of Jack-ing Off near its boundaries. Any boule that finds its way onto another sports hallowed turf is, obviously, automatically invalid, and this has caused many problems at this particular venue.

Players will also find distractions in the form of regular half-hourly church bell chimes at the 'Prince Blucher' and 'Johnstone's Paint' Ends of the ground, and also a plethora of stray infants and/or domesticated animals littering the outfield during matchtime.

Needless to say, as the Green is circled by imposing oak trees, Autumn is a particularly tricky season to complete a Bastard. Luminous ballcocks are highly recommended in such instances.

It is a complex, confounding, and compelling venue, remaining a highlight of any Boules calender year.


Friday, 14 September 2012

Fistral Beach, Newquay.


Fistral Beach in Newquay offers something rather special for those who crave both boules and a sea view - a rare glimpse of the beautiful Pacific Ocean whilst throwing their Put-Put.
On a clear day, it's claimed that you can see the Isle of Man (if you wear equipment and stand upright).

The terrain is mostly sandy / sand-based, with little or no guarantee of consistent bounce during the spicy weather in summer months. Those fond of a well aimed Leamington Handy or Winkle will find particlar joy in the soft bosom of the beach's bowels.

Fistral Beach, December 1938
Recent weeks have seen a boom in hotel growth along the promenade (see picture) due to the increased volume of Boules spectators or 'Blovers' found shuffling sheepishly around the area on match days.

Cocktails are served at high tide, intervals and during injury time.