What does one do in England (to be more precise, in Hampshire) when you know it is going to rain. You could either spend your days indoors at home or find amusement indoors elsewhere. We opted for the latter option and went Ten Pin Bowling. That would be us and all other 20 lanes occupied by groups of over 70s. It was obviously pensioners day and my parents hadn’t even come with us. And what made it even more scary is that they all came with their own bowling ball (or two in the case of the people next to us), ball spray (who knows what that does) and cloth to (I assume) keep the ball as smooth as possible. We just got our shoes, figured out how the computer worked and started bowling. What made it even stranger was that we easily outscored the regulars with their own bowling balls.
Lara told us she was a useless bowler and then proceeded to be ahead of me in score until the 8th frame (I would never have lived it down if she had beaten me). Daniel was throwing the ball with such vigor and from such a height that I thought he would dent the lane. I had to explain that he wasn’t trying to bounce the ball into the pins. Stephen took the first game and then fell for my oldest trick – a little wager on the 2nd game of £5. He has lived with me for almost 16 years now and he still hasn’t learnt his lesson. I started the 2nd game with two strikes and never looked back after that and finished a good 30 points clear of Stephen. Daniel and I also had a little wager going over the 3 games – he took the first (I was warming up), I took the second (he fell apart), Daniel took the 3rd (I fell apart).
We then went to do the only thing that we could do in Bournemouth and that is shop. Lunch at Sainsbury’s Cafe and then some shopping. Boys into HMV, who knows where the girls went but we are pretty sure it involved a clothes store. Boys (teenage ones) then went to H&M do some clothes shopping of their own which ended up with all 3 buying something and M & D both buying the same jacket (just as well they live on different continents). Michael immediately wore his. We then also found the girls in H&M and waited while they tried on and made their purchases. By this stage I was thoroughly bored and having cleared my Gen Re emails I decided we should head home (it was 3:30pm at that stage anyway).
The rain was pelting down again and it looked much like yesterday. Misty and miserable. All that was left to do was loaf around my parents home (or in my case do some work and reply to some emails). The rest watched tennis, went into Burley to buy fudge (a local specialty) and in M & H’s case – slept. Just before dinner a miracle occurred – the sun came out, the clouds cleared away and we could see blue sky. That prompted Helen and I to go for an after-dinner walk in the New Forest (where my parents live). It was a beautiful evening and we managed to do a brisk 3.3km walk. It was extremely muddy and so we stuck (in more ways than one) to the gravel/mud roads. It was beautiful though and at last we got to see the sun. Evidence of the improving weather can be seen by the two photos to finish off today’s blog. The one is of the New Forest; the other of my parents home. Tomorrow we leave England for France. We’re hoping for better weather.