The forecast suggested some rain for our visit to Deal and our match with the Betteshanger club, but it stayed dry, if somewhat breezy - certainly mild enough to enjoy our outing to the seafront, with appropriate clothing, but once inside for the match, everything was ready to ensure that we had the wonderful day that we are always given by our hosts – hosts who even gave us some points on the scoreboard, before we started - an added bonus. And did we need them!!

Although we lost heavily, on rink one, our players had the best time imaginable. Terry is still getting used to losing much of the sight he had adjusted to, over recent years, and Bruce was helping him get his bearings when Jan and Chris took over. The Betteshanger ladies could not have been more helpful nor charming and Terry had a great day! Not from a bowling perspective, you understand, just the sheer pleasure of their company. Lots of laughter, even when the ladies, with skip, Dave, beat Terry, Bruce and David, 27-14. Though we could say the second half was much closer than the first!

Rinks two and three had pretty similar experiences, score-wise, but enjoyed their matches, too. On rink two we started with wins in two of the first three ends, but then it became, for a while, pretty much one way traffic for Betteshanger’s Jonny, Peter and Hillary; although, again, very much closer in the second half, when we might have adjusted to the speed of the carpet a little better. Geoff and Hans played pretty well throughout, in company with Bella in the first half and Chris in the second. Bella played a few ends in 2015 when perhaps she should not have done, after breaking her leg badly in several places, but she managed eight ends pretty well, today, and was pleased to be back. Chris has also had some problems in the last couple of years and he, too, had reason to be happy with a lot of his woods. 24-15 was the final margin in Betteshanger’s favour.

Trudy, Penny and Maurice lost by a similar margin, 25-16, on rink three to Mary, Elsie and Alan. Similar patterns of play but, importantly, similar levels of enjoyment and fun. And no disgrace for any rink, as we were losing to high quality bowling, some pretty decent heads in the matches, but Betteshanger very much in charge.

Rink honours for RBBG went to Marian, Barbara and Tom on rink four, where RBBG started very well, leading 17-1 at half way. Jennifer, Berenice and Stella came back strongly to cut the margin to 17-12 with two ends to play, but a shot to each side meant a win for RBBG, at 18-13.

After all that effort on the green, we proceeded to tea – another Yvonne special. In terms of both quality and quantity it was, as ever, superb and - after eating our fill - doggy bags were provided. (The doggy bag taken by your captain was seized upon by his wife and sister-in-law, who confirmed, although no confirmation was necessary, that this was very tasty fare!)

Captain Pat wished Bella a continued recovery, Chris success in his forthcoming operation and then made the faux pas of telling Brian he had half an hour left before proceedings had to close. Luckily, this included both the raffle and the filling of doggy bags, so ear drums were not subjected to as lengthy pressure as they might have, otherwise. Let’s say that the ‘entertainment’ was spirited, though a few first-timers in the audience could scarcely believe what was happening. Note for the future – get the real singers and musicians in, but nothing was going to spoil our day and we left in great spirits, after anoth