1 EAGLETON NOTES: The Riotous Oldies

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Saturday, 2 November 2019

The Riotous Oldies

It’s 1030 pm. This, you understand is New Zealand 10.30 pm. All self respecting 60+s are in bed and asleep. I’m in a motel unit with three croquet ladies. The next but one unit is occupied by another 4 croquet ladies. This is the Veterans Tournament (The Vets) so all are over 60 and anyone in their 60s is probably on the young side. But these are fit people able to play for 8 and 9 hours a day on their feet concentrating and walking many many kilometres during the day.

And in the evening they ‘relax’. A small libation may be taken…..many times. A large libation or two as well perhaps.

So picture the scene. A group of six or so, an hour after everyone’s usual bedtime sitting in a smart motel unit making enough noise to keep the rest of the smart motel awake. Croquet person turns up from another motel. It’s his first ever croquet tournament tomorrow. He’s forgotten his handicap card (golfers will understand). He’s come to see what he should do. As if anyone can sort the problem at this hour of the evening. But... he’s taken a sleeping tablet and is half asleep already. It’s decided that he should be taken back to his motel. He’s a teetotal, good-living retired methodist minister and he’s being shepherded down the hight street by an extremely ‘happy’ gang of veteran ladies (some in their night attire). 

Who says the over-sixties are dull. 

Oh and by the way I retained my Veterans'  Association Croquet Handicap Singles title. So I'm happy too.

(From A Hebridean in New Zealand, November 2013)

21 comments:

  1. Congratulations! That is a humorous image.

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    1. Thanks, Maywyn. I certainly thought it highly amusing at the time.

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  2. Did the sleepy former minister remember the events of that night or did he believe it had all been a slightly bizarre dream?

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    1. Meike, I have absolutely no idea. I can't even recall if it was mentioned the next day.

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  3. Oh, lordy! I wish I could have been there! (I think I could have converted the minister...)

    Congrats on your VACHT! (When do you haul anchor?)

    ... Just realized this was written back in 2013. Doesn't change my comment at all, though. *wink*

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    1. Marcheline, I'm sure that you could convert an orange into an apple if you set your mind to it.

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  4. For a brief moment you had me wondering if you had suddenly jumped on a plane and flown off to New Zealand... The story had a familiar ring to it, though... Thanks for taking us time-travelling with you! :)

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    1. Monica, you almost certainly commented on the original post.

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  5. Who said the oldies were boring? I can just imagine :-)
    My parents have been mad bowlers for about 10 years, I imagine they would be the same at a tournament.

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    1. Amy, there's been a lot on the news recently about oldies and, as I am now nearer to 80 than 70 I have become rather more sensitive to it.

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  6. That'll teach him to be "good living"! Maybe he learned his lesson and mended his ways! :)

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  7. I think you'd be horrified by our Croquet playing. More cheating and Pastis than pukka Croquet.

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    1. The older we get the sneakier we are able to get away with!

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    2. Cro, when I was playing croquet at The Nationals level I took it very seriously (even if I never took myself very seriously). I played as a New Zealander because I wasn't a member of the Scottish Croquet Association at the time. So in 2008 (I think it was) I won the Scottish GC Open as a de facto Scot playing as a New Zealander.

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  8. I now understand your attraction to croquet. It was those weekend motel orgies. Three croquet ladies? Your stamina is impressive Graham.

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  9. A libation or two would be lovely for any person. Works for me.

    Was the motel a 3 star? Ah, didn't matter.

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    1. Indeed it can be very enjoyable and liberating, Susan. I cannot recall any of the motels being starred but then we knew most of them and New Zealand is a place where someone can always give you a personal account of a where you are proposing to stay.

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  10. Ahh, Graham, you must have a squillion such memories of those happy croquet days in Napier and beyond.

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    1. Pauline, I have such happy memories of all aspects of my life in New Zealand from tournaments that took me the length and breadth of the Country to safaris with you where you showed me so many things in detail, and a million more memories. Happy times.

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