In 1984, I moved to where I still live. At the foot of the hill is a bowling green. Pleasant enough but it meant nothing at all to me at the time.
Then, one of my nighbours explained that I could fast track membership because I lived within the boundaries of the Trust which owned the club grounds. So, I joined for next to nothing and because the drink was incredibly cheap. I am, after all, a Jock.
I sat in the bar watching club life go by for a month or two and felt at home. I was huddled there one winter night when this wee man came up, said that the Darts team was a player short and asked if I could help out. In fairness to myself, I have never been bad at the game. I was bloody superb that evening.
So, that was me in the team for the rest of the close season. Come the brief Jock Summer and the wee man asked if I would like to give the bowls a try as well.
Hooked within three games and never been unhooked since. Fair chance that I never will be. I am OK at the game and have won a few trophies in my time, either singly or in company.
One of my finest was with the wee man. A knockout competition featuring every Embran club. I was lead and he was skip. I was not that bad and he was brilliant.
Time moved on and the wee man was elected to the Presidency of the Club for Season 2011. Shortly thereafter, he went to his doctor complaining about a loss of appetite and general lethargy. After tests, they told him that he had a lot less than a year to live.
That’s a lot less than six months now. He’s fighting it and I hope that he beats it. He’s certainly not letting it get to him. I’ve taken the morning off work tomorrow because I’m playing him in the Seniors Championship and I can’t ask him to play at night. That’s the only concession he’s getting. I hope that I can thump him but I have my doubts. He’s still a great bowler.
Don’t care about the result. Just happy to have met him and to know him.
PS The wee man died peacefully on Saturday 15th October. As I wrote before, happy to have met him and to have known him.