Monday, 7 May 2007

Bowling Along

Me and the other crips went bowling this evening. Five of us; one wheelie, one with a prosthetic arm with a shiny metal gripper on the end, one partially sighted/partially blind, one partially deaf, and one with a stick (I am excluded from the stick category as I was sat on my wheels all evening until I got up with the stick to get to the wall to lean on while I bowled).

This was proper bowling, non of your fancy machines to pick up the pins. Wooden balls of varying symmetry without finger holes, wooden pins, wooden floor, and a wooden chute relying on gravity to run the returned balls to the bowlers. Chalked blackboard for the score. And the able bodied had to do all the picking up of the pins while we propped up the bar.

And I hit all nine pins with my second ball !!!

As there were fifty of us for the annual pre-bowling supper, and I knew of 5 crips, the other 2.14 crips must have been hiding their hidden disability.

I love bowling in Dorset, it was my first introduction to proper Dorset folk over twenty years ago. You can tell the proper Dorset folk by the way they bowl; standing still, on the line, feet apart, ball held in both hands, swing back the wooden ball between the legs then swing forward for momentum; ball released, hands in front and fall to the floor ! On purpose. Then return to your pint. Magic.

Home to take my weekly pills delayed for this special annual occasion. Now sat blogging waiting for the screeching tinnitus to recover from the cacophony of wood balls being flung along the side, and sometimes off the sides, of the bowling room.

Time to take my sore shoulders, stiff elbows and tingling hands to bed. Its alright, I assure them, you won't have to do that for another twelve months. And ... relax.


Blogger Charlesdawson said...

Erm, this was a pleasure outing, was it?

Monday, 7 May 2007 at 19:30:00 BST  
Blogger Sally's Life said...

Undoubtedly, among people some of whom have only ever known me in a wheelchair, and others who remember the champion bowler I used to be (in my dreams). I only had to bowl three times, and keep awake, and it was worth it to put in their place those newcomers who have previously slighted me on the basis of the wheels. Thus is one's devious character exposed. Respect.

Monday, 7 May 2007 at 19:49:00 BST  
Blogger BloggingMone said...

that sounds good fun. Glad, you enjoyed yourself and congratulations on your nine pin strike! You may be pleased to hear that obviously there are strong relations between Dorset and the whole of Germany. The kind of bowling you have discribed is the most common in Germany. My parents are members of a bowling club, as millions of other people are. Skittlealleays like the one in your picture are usually attached to pubs. Only very recently (during the past ten years or so) huge bowling centers were built in bigger cities, offering american 10 pin bowling. Most people do not know what to do with the holes in the ball, however. But it seems to attract younger people, as they have strange events like disco-bowling and so on.

Tuesday, 8 May 2007 at 11:28:00 BST  
Blogger Sally's Life said...

Isn't that amazing ... there are so many links between cultures. I think in England this pub based bowling is a rural pursuit and the conurbations have American style mechanised 10 pin alleys - which I must confess I spent a lot of time in during my teenage years and loved it. As a child in Yorkshire the local village fetes, where my Dad's brass band played, always had the wooden skittle alleys temporarily set up on the grass. Then it was a MAN's game. Only when I came to Dorset did I find pubs with permanent skittle alleys, and bowling leagues's results published in the local newspapers. If only it wasn't so damned noisy !

Tuesday, 8 May 2007 at 11:50:00 BST  
Blogger Sally's Life said...

Teri Adams at Crip Chronicles
puts it well:

"... non-disabled friends ... were able to grasp the fact that I could both need a wheelchair and be able to walk."

Those are the friends to cherish.

Thursday, 10 May 2007 at 15:58:00 BST  

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