Plimmerton Croquet Club is growing. We have approximately ninety members at present. We reckon that we have the most activity, per blade of grass, of any sports club in Porirua City. We have five lawns so 40 people can play at any session and, on the whole, it's rare for someone to have to sit out.
Thanks to our grounds people and our gardening experts, we play in an enviable environment.
Owing to quite a few joint replacements, I've been absent from the lawns for about three years. That sounds a long time to make a fuss about a bit of incapacity, but the time included overseas travel and work pressures, so it wasn't just a case of lying around and re-habilitating.
To cut a long story short, I returned to the lawns a couple of weeks ago.
I don't know whether I expected to return to normal play quite quickly, or whether I just thought it would be good to be out and about, taking a bit of exercise in the fresh air with delightful people.
Whatever I thought might happen, it's been quite comical! I aim, and hit, with the expectation that my ball will go where I expect it to go. Hysterically, that is rarely the case. On the whole, the balls I hit seem to have a mind of their own and end up in quite unexpected places. I can't get upset about it because it seems to be completely out of my control. (It's probably just as well that I'm playing croquet - with a fairly large ball - and not golf, or I might miss it completely!)
Having said that, there have been a couple of occasions when I've aimed carefully at one ball which, if I hit it, would cause the opposition a bit of grief. Instead, my ball has gone in a quite different direction, superbly placed, and caused complete mayhem to the opposition! It's tempting to bask in the glory of a magnificent shot! But I know I couldn't repeat it if I tried so I'll just have to go on admitting that I wasn't aiming there at all!
Letting my thoughts count is enormous fun at the moment. I have absolutely no expectations of 'returning to form' in the foreseeable future. Instead I'm loving the rising giggle I'm experiencing when I continue to get surprise outcomes! And the lack of pressure to perform is very refreshing - and liberating!