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Monday, March 23, 2009

Pétanque à Paris

Spring has finally arrived in Paris. The trees are gradually budding with leaves, the temperatures are rising, and the femme fatales are preparing themselves for hunting season.

My cousin Lizzie has also arrived in Paris in order to visit her brother James (also my cousin). Saturday was a beautiful spring day, so we decided to head down to Canal St Martin with my flatmate Jerome (not my cousin), to play a bit of Pétanque.

It was once said that the reason the game of lawn bowls is so popular in Australia is because :
  1. You can still play the game while holding your beer; and
  2. There are ash trays at each end of the green for your ciggies.
Quite amazingly, Pétanque is even less strenuous on the body than lawn bowls! (Bloody genius these frenchies!) In fact, in the South of France, where Pétanque was invented, it is clearly stated in the rule book that players caught playing without a Pastis in one hand and at least one Gauloise in the other may be disqualified.

I assumed the game was called Pétanque because of the sound the metal balls make when they hit the ground. But for those who are interested, the word Pétanque actually comes from the old French, pès tancats, meaning "feet together", a reference to the standing position of the person throwing the boules.

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