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Well this is us, not with my home club but with our friends from Tivissa. They were having a Petanca evening and had invited us to join them. My wife likes taking photos of club members and winners at the various competitions we go to, so she took along her camera and these are the photos maybe not professional but certainly family, and I think she has done us proud.

Not long after we arrived we were presented with ´team´shirts which, of course,  we promptly put on.  This was an unexpected gift  from some very nice friends. They make us feel welcome whenever we meet and accept that my wife is not very good at Petanca, mind you she has her moments.  But they give her loads of encouragement just as they do to the younger members of their club, which relaxes her so she always enjoys playing there. There were several younger people there some perhaps around 10 yrs, old all practicing, it is so nice to see the younger generation being encouraged to not only join the club but play as well.

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These are the trophies we were playing for and believe me the competition was fierce. You know a game is serious when the tape measure come’s out those few milimeters make all the difference.  After the games were over but before the presentations, out came the tables which were then laid with various nibbles and drinks.  The Alcalde (Mayor) of Tivissa arrived with two other members of his council to present the cups then everyone tucked in.  I could carry on describing things but here’s all of us enjoying the event.

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The games commence, spectators watch and comment, and the measure comes out – which ball is nearer the bouletchi? which team wins the point?

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The Alcalde (he’s the tall guy in the light blue check shirt) and his officials present the trophies, then everyone tucks in, wonderful.

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And showing us how to drink from the traditional jug is our good friend Rocca, bueno bowler and very funny man. Take a good look at him because as well as being good at Petanca he is a master carpenter, although he will not admit it.

We are grateful to our Friends in Tivissa for inviting us to share their evening.  Good fun, good food but above all good friends.

© Michael Douglas Bosc

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You have over the past year heard me talking about my new sport Petanca which I play most afternoon with my Spanish friends.  It was a game that was recommended to me when I was at school learning Catalan.  Eventually my wife and I visited the courts and were not only made welcome but positively encouraged to join so we did.

I will start with a quick outline of the game:

There are two types of teams triplettas (3 people) and doublettas (2 people).  In a tripletta each person has 2 balls making a total of 6 balls per team.  So in a doubletta each person has 3 balls (6).  The winning team is the first to reach 13 points – although in some competitions it’s to 15.  There is a ‘bouletchi’ a small red or green ball which the objective of the game is get as many of your teams balls close to it thus scoring points.  If the other team has a ball nearer than yours you can ‘pica’ (knock the ball off the bouletchi) leaving your team with the points.  Still with me?

The Ball in the middle above would be picered as it is the opposing teams ball and nearest the bouletchi, there is also a lot of measuring when two balls look an equal distance out comes the measure, nearest wins.  As you can see this is a game of tactics and can be fun, lots of shouting some swearing (and yes I can swear in Spanish lol) There are several ways of throwing the ball. 1) the aireal way in which the bowler tosses the ball in the air. 2) bowling along the ground and 3) a short toss with the ball rolling a short distance.  When you see the experts doing it it’s a real treat.

This is our club on a Saturday afternoon getting ready to play.

The rule seemed to be that the men played in the afternoons during the week and the women played on Saturday afternoons, (just as the golf clubs used to do in England) so we joined our club. Everyone was and still is kind especially to my wife who is by no means the best player in the world.  Still she has her moments and can produce some good shots.

In the summer there are often competitions between clubs where we go to play on their grounds or they visit us. We have made some good friends this way and been beaten by the best from several villages. We have also beaten some of these teams, winning coveted dried hams (Hammon) wine and olive oil as well as dried sausages and a cup. So I thought I would share some of our pictures and tell you of one or two events.

We have had a few delightful competitions one where my wife won the ham I cut my finger carving (Silly Old Fool blog) and these two.  The first one was at the club a combination of triplettas and doublettas.  I, my wife and Gregoria made up a tripletta, and believe it or not we beat the champions from Tivissa – the guys in yellow but we were all beaten by the champions from Fayon – in green- with  our friends winning small hammons.  We won a bottle of wine with a large chorizo.

We spent yesterday at Tivissa watching the clubs play in a friendly competition. I call it a ‘fast’ competition as each team of 2 players had 20mins to play their game. Then a whistle blew scores were noted and off they went again untill every team had played their opponents in their group. Then after the scores were worked out and before the runners-up played for 2nd, 3rd & 4th place we had a BBQ. There were various types of sausage, pork on sticks and fresh bread with wines to wash them down followed by hazelnuts, almonds, pastries and good banter.

So well fed and watered the teams went off to play the playoffs and I followed to watch whilst my wife helped clean up.  My wife joined me shortly then in the middle of a game the flood lights went out, it felt a bit like a scene from MASH so we sang a chorus of when the lights go again all over the world he he he.

Then around midnight came the presentations as we watched our friends collect their prizes a lovely end to a perfect day.

These are the prizes waiting to be presented to the winners, by a lady to whom I must apologise to for not getting her name or position in Tivissa. She was introduced by the chairman of the club who made a very nice speech.

I would like to thank you to the Tivissa club for making us feel so welcome, we really enjoyed our day even if we were not playing.

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