The Sunday before last (25th May) was the Plateau social event, Bare Foot Bowling, at Manly Rock & Bowl Club. Work has this new system where everyone (if they want to) pays $2.50 a week into a social club kitty and then this goes towards social team building events like this.
I was a bit worried that it would be cold and damp as the weather forecast was not very promising but luckily it drizzled a bit in the morning and then turned into a beautifully sunny day. Despite being called bare foot bowls we were allowed to wear shoes as long as they had completely flat soles with no heel. This I was glad about because I get cold feet very easily and if my feet get cold then the rest of me gets cold – I think I am showing my age!
After taking a while to find a parking space (Manly is horrific for metered or time limited parking, something which isn’t generally a problem compared to the UK) and finally finding the place Mat, Tom and I met up with the others in the club bar. We had drinks and snag sizzlers to start off with while we waited for more of the Plateau crew to arrive.
Not everyone showed up but we finally decided we had better get started and all made our way out onto the green for instruction and a demo as most of us had never played before.
Starting from the left is Glan (fellow office bod) bending down, Nick Lloyd, Me (with my back turned) talking to Tom (barely visible), Wayland (another Pommie climber) and Jenny (another fellow office bod), Ross and his partner Melissa, Darren (aka Dazzler or Dirt Bike) talking to Kat (Nick’s Mrs) and Ant and then finally Sammi (Nico’s Mrs) talking to Lynn (Ant’s Mrs).
I’m not sure where Mat was at this point; we were split up and put on different teams so he was probably off in a corner giving a pep talk lol. I’d better mention that all these pictures are courtesy of Nico, our Plateau photographer, as I didn’t bother to take any and he kindly let me pinch his.
So, for anyone that doesn’t know how to play bowls, what happens is the little ball (the jack) gets placed at the opposite end of the green on a line and then each team takes it in turns to throw a bigger ball towards it. The object being to get as close to the little ball as possible and, despite what I originally thought, it doesn’t matter if it’s touching. Scoring then works by seeing which team has the closest ball to the jack, which gets them one point, and then if they have any more balls closer then the other team. For each additional ball closer to the jack than the opposing team’s closest ball, another point is awarded.
There were six teams in total and after four games the winning three teams went into a play off and the losing three teams went into a play off. I was on the blue team, consisting of myself, Tom, Nick and Alana. Tom started off great and then turned average and I was a bit pants the whole time. Somehow we managed to get into the finals but lost to the orange team who claimed the winning game thanks to Dazzler throwing the closest ball of the whole entire match.
All in all it was a really good day and many of us stayed behind for a while, drinking more beer and playing pool. To finish off the evening Mat, Darren and myself then went back to Ross and Melissa’s house for a barbie where I experienced the best pork ribs I have ever tasted in my whole entire life!