Friday, August 06, 2010

Postcard From France: A Rainy Village Pétanque Competition 2010











We were certain that the yearly pétanque tournament in our French village had been cancelled.
The morning sun had given way to heavy rain, so instead of walking down to the pétanque court at 2:30 PM to face the challengers, everyone in my household laid downtown to take a nap.
By 3 PM, our friend Charlène was at the door.

"The whole village is waiting for your team. Where are you?"
Still sleepy, I looked at her in amazement.
"The tournament is still taking place in this foul weather? It's raining cats and dogs." I blurted out.
"13 teams of 3 are already assembled. We need your team to make it even." Charlène chuckled. "The competition is on."

My husband, my son Max and his girlfriend Lucy, the members of this year's Team Brooklyn, quickly got ready and we were off to meet the challengers. Luckily, someone grabbed the umbrellas.

By the time we arrived at the court, some of the teams were already playing against each other. I apologized to the organizer, an acquaintance of ours, for our team being late. Again, I explained that we were certain that the event had been rained out.

"Mais, c'est pas serieux!" he grinned, playfully doubting our commitment to the sport.

Team Brooklyn did not waste time. Boules firmly in hand, they began the first game against one of the best teams in the villages, made up of Michel 1, Michel 2 and Patrick.

The rain was still coming down steadily, but thunder and lightening could now be heard in the distance. And it was heading towards us. Huddled under the umbrella, I cheered on our team.
To everyone's surprise, Team Brooklyn won the first game with a commanding lead.
Glenn, Max and Lucy also won the second game against another team.

By now, everyone was soaked to the bones. Huge puddles formed on the pétanque court, but still the competition went on. The scene looked rather surreal.
Mercifully, Team Brooklyn lost the third game. I think elimination came as a relief, because it meant that we could finally get out of the dampness.
Hands were shaken, conciliatory pats were distributed on shoulders, one more drink was bought and the winners of the competition toasted before everyone hurried home.
Within minutes, my little village was quiet again.

We came back home, made a fire in the hearth and got into dry clothes. How fun it had been, rain and all. Team Brooklyn certainly played well. We never got the official ranking, but as far as I was concerned, Glenn, Max and Lucy came in first.

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raypepe said...

Where in France can I find a petanque tourney Aug. 9-11?

philippe said...

Nice T-shirts :)