Roving Noggin – Boules – Cheney Arms, Gaddesby

15th June 2022

On a warm balmy summer evening, with weather that helped us believe we were somewhere in the South of France playing Petanque, 20 DonMoggers spent an enjoyable evening playing something that probably didn’t resemble anything that the French would recognise as Petanque but having a good time and enjoying a great supper of home-made pies afterwards. It was good as well to see Derek and Kath back with us, and to welcome David & Tracy Ashworth, Keith Brown, and Andrew and Liane Dodd – hopefully the organised chaos didn’t put any of them off joining us again!

Only ever having played boules once myself a few years ago in Cyprus, I’d done some detailed research before the Noggin – well actually asked Mr Google if I’m honest! With 2 pitches and 20 players I took an executive decision to split us into 4 teams of 5, so each pitch / court (I’m sure a more proficient payer than me can tell us what their proper name is ) ran a game of 2 teams of 5. My grand plan had been for the winners of either pitch from the first round to play each other in the second, with the losers from the first also playing each other in the second. If we’d got any time left after that before supper which was timed for 8.30, I thought we could work another pairing out if needed! For the uninitiated, points are scored by the team that manages to get their boules closest to the jack, and each game continues until one team has reached 13.

I’d like to tell you that some of our players were pretty proficient, having either their own boules or having played before, but I managed to nullify a lot of that expertise (if there ever had been any), by providing plastic as opposed to metal boules sets. I do have it on good authority those who played with the metal sets had an advantage – I’m not so sure myself!

We split into the following 4 teams – A = Roger, Linda, Andrew, Liane and Graham; B = Richard, Jenny, David, Tracy and Derek; C= Frank, Linda, Sheila, Peter and Phil and D= Colin, Pauline, Kath, Keith and Liz. I have to say that I think team D were definitely hampered by having me on their team. We started slowly as each team got to grips with what was going on and the general way we were playing – I can’t say rules as I rather thinkthey were the DonMog version! The sound definitely increased in decibels as the games progressed, people settled in and played the game – some of us having to be reminded when it was our turn because we had got too engrossed in chatting and catching up with people. There was a fair amount of chat and laughter as the games progressed, and when the first leg was finished teams B and C were the winners of the first round, and so played against each other for the 2nd round, with teams A and D doing the same. Now I’m not going to say that Morgan owners can get competitive but ……suffice to say a casual observer may well have thought that they were, especially when I had to use my specially provided piece of string to measure who was closest to the jack! As time was moving on and we had a deadline of 8.30 to meet for our supper we agreed the overall winning team would be the team with the highest score when adding the scores from round 1 to whatever their score was a 8.25.

8.30 found us settling down to a good pie and veg supper that Pauline and Colin thought was so good I’m pretty certain that I heard them say they were going to suggest that Foxmog go there for one of their lunches too. The Cheney Arms were very welcoming and when there was a mix up over one meal they sorted it out very quickly and we all had plenty of good food to eat. I think a good time was had by all – well put it this way a number of people asked if we could do it again next year!

Oh yes, and just in case you were wondering which was the overall winning team – it was Team C, i.e. Frank, Linda, Sheila, Peter and Phil – who very magnanimously shared the prize of Lindor chocolates with everyone else.

Sadly, I was so busy during the evening that I only thought about photos right towards the end of the evening, so I’m afraid you will have to let your imaginations picture the scene.

Liz Ellis