I stood on the bank as our lead bowled on Monday. After he sent his third bowl away he stepped back and I asked him if he had been a builder in a past life. ‘A bar man and a truck driver’ he replied with a grin as he hitched up his pants. I grinned back. ‘Tucking your singlet in will help.’

I didn’t have the heart to say the same thing to the young sweep who came to do our chimney recently. Wearing trousers with the crutch at knee level is some sort of fashion thing. Personally, I think that idea came from the poorer parts of town where its ‘first up, best dressed’ and little kids who get stuck with a huge pair of trousers have to be able to stand up for themselves. (After they’ve hitched up their pants because we all know you can’t run with your pants down – which is why they have to stand and fight!)

But, I digress. Bowling! I was a golfer before taking up bowls and still have an interest in watching good golf. I stayed up until 4am recently watching the Ryder Cup being played in France. Very enjoyable. Three cats and one dog stayed up with me looking very confused about their bed time. And the old dog and my other old dog took themselves off – one to bed and the other on her mat. (I’m getting to the bowls…)

Timing is everything. We need it to breathe, for our hearts to beat, to cross the road, to have great sex and to play great sport – be it tennis, cricket, bowls…whatever. Timing is the most integral piece of the whole. I know this and you know this. However, one man’s timing is another mans chaos. When I bowl my brain says ‘step and bowl.’ the voice in my head is not my own – it is that of Grahame Law. (an excellent coach at our club in Levin). Step and bowl. Simple. And our team won twentyfive bucks each for our win so there is definitely something in it. (I was very impressed because I was running on no sleep and feeling a little punch-drunk.)

However, I am struggling to understand how a lot of old bowlers simply step on the mat and ‘chuck’ their bowl from a great height. It makes a loud thump, takes out a divot, bounces several times, wobbles and waddles its way up the green and stops by the jack. Even the Chicken Dance is more co-ordinated. I guess that my simple ‘step and bowl’ is the same as their ‘step and chuck’ because it works.

I played golf to the tune of Waltzing Matilda – sung nice and steady – it gave me some very tidy timing. But again – playing golf with a lady who stopped her club and the apex of her back swing, paused while the club stopped its wobble then swung down through the ball – well, that was plain confusing because that is what worked for her. The whole movement looked like a helicopter and I had to stare at my shoes when it was her turn to hit otherwise I made a mess of my shot.

So, what is the point of all this very subdued blog (I’m still recovering from my all nighter watching golf)? Its still timing. Timing really is everything – as I said earlier, it is integral – both to bowls and to life itself. We all march to a different drum – and it works – if we stop and think about it. Anyone who has stepped out of line will know this as well.

Have a good day and don’t get run over by a bus.

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