Pétanque in Collioure

January 6, 2012

Early January afternoon in Collioure, below the Château Royal, the locals were engaged in four games of pétanques. Many onlookers cheering, giving advice and the odd piece of joking criticism.  I tried to concentrate on the movements, scoring and general game playing and became absorbed in the body movements . . .

It’s all about the hip movement . . also discussion on the finer points.

. . .  it occurred to me that the Spanish influence shows itself here as in most things in Catalonia  –  rather  like movements in the bull ring  . . . imagine the cloak and the rest.   The choice of the poem, well I don’t know whether it’s salacious or what!

The third movement of Haydn’s Trumpet
Concerto in E flat major, plays on someone’s radio.
Beautiful. You want to play triples. I insist on doubles.
We toss a coin. You’re the cochonnet,
me, the polished, silver boule, complete
with maker’s mark.
You break the rules straightaway,
feet apart – one off the ground – and extended
way beyond the boundary of our makeshift semicircle.
What a delicious technique! And such control!
Well warmed by a southern sun,
and lobbed to perfect line and length,
I fall, knock my opponent out of play, roll
– minimally –
and press against you.
I’m more orthodox
today – feet together, underarm, palm(s) downwards to enable backspin –
This is pointing and shooting at its best.
O my God! Yes! Yes!
1 point to us! The climax to a perfect game
on the ground.
C’est vrai tu sais! Avec toi,
On n’est jamais fanny!   Colin Baker July 08

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