Everyone needs to belong. It has the dubious honour of not being signposted anywhere in Victoria Park, and bordered on three sides by trees one could walk right past it and not know it was there. In days of yore the club had a wide range of ages on its books. The current membership wants to change this.
They see bowls as a game for all ages, and they want to be able to pass the torch. With the summer fast approaching there will be plenty of opportunity for novices to try their hand at bowls.
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Skill is no obstacle. All players, from novices to national competitors, are encouraged to come in and have a go. Just wear flat shoes. We arrived on a crisp afternoon in early May. There was some mild grumbling about this but the members are largely philosophical. These photos capture an afternoon at the Victoria Park Bowls Club. If you enjoyed this piece you may like our article about the Bow Geezers.
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Bowl - yellow – Alzheimer’s Society Shop
But the young narrators looked at each other with odd intentness across the room and did not laugh at all. Patton had been watching all breakfast time for a messenger and finally saw a boy from the nearest house, the one behind the woods where we had heard the cock crow, and sent him for old Bob with orders for plenty of oats and water and to rub him down and keep him until called for.
This was at about half-past eight so that Bob was not really suffering. We kept thinking that he would come, but it proved later that the wheels had wanted oiling and that the good woman had dried our blankets and everything. Patton looked more and more cheerful and said that she wished that we had no choice but to spend the day with her and our loss of time was her gain.
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We said that she must let us help her if we stayed, and what was she going to do if we had not been there? Finally she confessed that she had some beans that she was in a hurry to pick over for market, and send off, that day or the next, whenever they were called for, and we sat down together as if we had always been work-mates.
I am always thinking of it when things are tiresome," exclaimed Miss Kent. Crosdyck asked with great interest if there were a cat. Only as Frances says there is a secret. Crosdyck who was nearest. Patton said that her old aunt used to have the gift of telling fortunes," said Miss Montague solemnly as she still stood there looking very eager and handsome.
She seemed a little confused, and then told us that she didn't know why she shouldn't admit it, the gift had brought her more pain than pleasure, but anybody might use the good of any gift, and she had warned some folks of what was coming so that they had been thankful to her afterward. One of our ministers went so far as to say 'twas a gift that would lead me and other folks straight to the pit if I continued its exercise, but I made bold to say it had heretofore seemed to lead the other way if I wasn't mistaken.
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Frances and I stopped clicking the beans and watched her. Yes, I can read it plain! Then she told me about my uncle's death in a southern country where the sun was too bright, and that his head would suffer, and that I would have much more money, but wish for the one who had loved me back again and count myself poor without him instead of rich: Patton as a seer, but she sat there quite simply and used her plain country words while she revealed us, to ourselves and to each other.
Then suddenly she gave herself a queer little shake and seemed to wake up into the commonplace world again. You see that there wasn't anything startling about it that she could tell, but we saw plainly that she had the gift. And when she saw me standing in the meetinghouse door that morning she said that she knew; she had a certain sign that made it plain to her that she must give this other green bowl to me.
She stood them together on the table and they looked just alike. We asked her how she understood about them, and she said that her old aunt taught her and she would teach me; the sailor who brought them home to her had been a roving man and had gone into some far province of China, and got his strange learning there. He had meant to settle down and be a fortune-teller, and expected to make a great deal of money, but after he had told the aunt about the bowls and made her his companion in their mysteries, he went away, only for a day's journey, and was killed by an accident. Now I am Mrs. Patton's 'companion,' as she calls it; she said that if there were not two of us companions the life of the bowls would soon be gone.
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She said one very strange thing,— the friend who had kept it for her had been dead two days but she said she could have waited another day if I had not appeared, that as long as the other ["] ' companion's ' ["] soul was in her body or near it, there was no danger. But she was glad when she saw me and got the sign. She said that our souls always stayed with our bodies a little while after we die. I sat picking over the beans, not at all excited, even when Mrs.
Patton took Katie into the little bedroom and shut the door, and divulged the principles of magic. You certainly did look a little pale when you came out, Katie! You see that there isn't any story at all. I only promised to give you a plain account of our travels," she added hastily, for every one began to ask questions.
I have been enchanted at having such an exquisite thing in the house, but I begin to be a little afraid of the green bowl. Patton said that it was like any other bowl except for those who could master it. She was very matter of fact, after all," said Frances Kent.
I tried to make her talk about the bowl to me, but she put on such a droll look and said that I was the joking sort like herself and perhaps she could find some sort of charm that would be fit for me before we came again. We were quite at home together, I assure you.