There was a work Christmas do today. Not the Christmas do (for that was last Friday, and surprisingly non-eventful), but just one for my department.

It was held at the Balmoral Bowling Club. We discussed how bowling clubs have started to get a bit of hipster chic to them. It’s come about a bit like this:

  • That period about four years ago when old-people style became cool amongst the very hip in New York. The Beastie Boys started dressing up like old men, orthopaedic sandals became fashionable, as did other old-people clothing items (found in abundance in second-hand shops).
  • Through his TV shows, Mikey Havoc popularised that kind of neo-patriotism, where icons of our country that were previously considered naff, suddenly became kinda cool. Also note that Mr Havoc named his nightclub the Wyndham Bowling Club.
  • Shayne Carter discovers the Grey Lynn Bowling club and suddenly it becomes a cool event venue of choice.
  • The first Public Address shindig is held at the GLBC, inspiring Russell Brown to declare that “bowls is definitely the new nightclubbing.”

Ok, so with that aside, I can declare that bowls is pretty choice.

The bowling clubrooms smelt like someone’s grandparents’ house. There was a bar, a little nook with a few evil poker machines, pool tables and a darts board, there was a good ol’ barbecue with plenty of sausages, but that’s not what we came there for. Oh, no. We were there for the big black balls and the little white ball.

Teams were decided and the games began. Initially I was quite good. I immediately got the idea that the ball is weighted to one side and therefore has to be rolled to the side of the kitty, as it will then curve in towards it. My team did ok, but somewhere along the line a general vibe of boredom set in and my technique suffered.

By the finals play-off, I was shocked to find myself playing off with another team for last place. I knew things had turned terrible when the game had been all-but-ignored in favour of a discussion about the political situation in the Ukraine (that’s pretty bad, oui?)

But it was lots of fun. My earlier good form has inspired me to add bowls to me list of things I’d consider doing as a hobby. (Though all that white clothing scares me. Is there a goth bowling club?)

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