We have not had the tennis out for a while so what could be better on a cold January evening than a vigorous, if slightly unorthodox, game of tennis. Who was playing on each side of the net, and how many there were, varied through the evening,
We could not meet at Wesley Memorial Church this week as the Oxford Gospel Choir were having a big concert to raise money for Myeloma UK. We were able to hire St Andrews Church Hall to have our Christmas Bingo instead.
Our trusty Bingo machine, and experienced caller adapted well to the different environment, and – as usual – members brought prizes to distribute.
A good time was had by all !
We played Boccia in the Hall, as well as our usual conversation and cups of tea or coffee in the John Wesley Room.
Kelly’s brother, Lee, who has been running Discos for Oxford Phab for many years (as well as much other support), brought in the video of his wedding for us to watch.
Some of us also played hockey in the Hall.
So many people (24) went this year that we used 5 cars. as well as our trusty minibus.
The weather was lovely, so the journey was dreadful ! As well as the normal attraction of a day at the seaside the Bournemouth Air Festival was in progress. Since its formation in 2009 the festival claims to have entertained over nine-million people, and they were all on the roads between Oxford and Avon Tyrrell that day !
We arrived, only a little late for the Archery session we had booked, hastily ate our sandwiches and unleashed our inner toxopholite (shoot arrows in the general direction of the target).
After archery we unloaded our luggage, and our valiant kitchen team cooked the choices we had selected of spaghetti bolognaise, pasta carbonara, or a vegetarian pasta option.
Another keen group of forest foragers had been gathering wood and pine cones, and we had another campfire in the fire pit next to the cabin.
We also had cherry tomatoes and baby sweetcorn as a vegetarian option, but delicious for everybody.
The object of the game is to draw a Beetle, rolling a dice to see which bit you can draw next, but you have to have a body or a head before you can start to add other pieces to them. Some throw swiftly – in some cases so swiftly that the dice ends up on the floor, others take their time, focussing on the dice and willing the elusive six (or five) to get them started.
The first player to complete a Beetle calls out and everybody stops, and counts the score of the pieces they have drawn, and then the player with the highest score at each table moves to the next table clockwise, and the lowest score moves anti-clockwise. The game is thus sociable as well as allowing us to practice our mathematical, in in come cases, artistic talents (some people draw really elaborate beetles, while others – don’t).
We all enjoy Boccia, and some really enjoy it. The “It’s my favourite” exclamation was the response by one of our Oxford Phab members to finding that we were playing Boccia that night. As usual we play in the Hall at Wesley Memorial Church, which makes a great space for it.
This week we were especially fortunate that Tom, who actually knows the proper rules, was directing operations, and giving generous doses of encouragement.