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Saturday, 8 October 2016

An email diary of Expat antics in France...

Dear Friends and Teammates, 

This blog chronicles the formation of our very special group in July 2016, and our exploits to date.

An abridged version of the original invitation is re-printed immediately below so that readers can see what we are up to, but if you wish to read all the reports in chronological order you will have to scroll down a very long way.  

Right at the bottom is a gallery of early photographs, but photographs of more recent events are displayed after each report.

Original Invitation:

Hello Friends

This may come as something of a surprise to some of you whose names appear below;  however, we hope you will feel moved to participate.  Naturally, after Wimbledon, one's attention is turned to ball-sports of various kinds.

With that in mind, we, the self-appointed Committee (Gill & Angela) are setting up the EXPATS' LEAGUE of PETANQUE  - henceforth to be known as ELP.  Most of us, of course, will need as much of that as we can get.

We propose to have an inter-commune tournament which will run over several weeks, until each team has played all the others, or until the wine runs out.  Those of us who have a grubby patch of gravel around our houses are invited to host.  

These are the proposed teams:

League at laChapelle - LACS
Jeremy & Gill
Jackie & Frank

League at Gensac - LAGS
Nick & Jo
Eve & Val  (Angela's friend from England - a most gifted player)

League at Asques - LALAS
Di & Bob
David & Elaine

League of Lavit - LOLS
Robert & Angela
Gareth & Olwen

RULES (subject to amendment or abandonment at the sole discretion of the Committee
1.  Cheating allowed only by players aged 80+. Legalised, as they will do it anyway.
2.  No fighting allowed.
3.  Participants to bring their own picnic supper and wine
4.  Players to bring their own marked boules to avoid arguments (see 2 above)
5.  Participants attend at their own risk - no claims of any kind accepted.  All accidents are entirely your own fault.

It is proposed that the first leg of the tournament will be at Robert & Angela's at 7pm on Thursday 21st July. Those in need of Dutch-courage before the event may wish to gather at Le Vic at 6pm, at which participants may be allowed to view (but not touch) the splendid trophies, chosen and bought at vast cost by the Committee.

Please let us know if you are able and willing to participate. 

Up the ELP!
The Commitee
Angela & Gill

 All Thursdays in October and 2nd November 2017

Calling all Tossers...

As you will no doubt appreciate, much of October was taken up with the organisation and production of the Farewell Feast for Frank & Jackie - the most loyal and splendid of Tossers who have performed with Exlax since its inauguration two seasons ago.  It is with great regret that we have had to accept that they have relinquished their uniforms and hats and abandoned their mascot, Oscar and beetled off to Blighty.  Oscar, at QBG'S behest will henceforth be known as Frankie.

We are gratified to learn that not only are Frank & Jackie opening up a most welcoming B & B in Cirencester for all their fellow petankers, but they are also setting-up the most prestigious School for Boules.  Jackie has perfected her movements to such an extent that her picture will appear on the publicity for this venture, which will be circulated nationwide. Furthermore we understand she and Frank are in talks with the BBC (British Boules Club) who are keen to fund this enterprise, and with Virgin who wish to make a film.  

Thursday 28th September 2017
Gill & Jeremy's

Precious Petankers

Your glorious Queen, QBA, wishes to thank Jeremy for his hospitality, especially as QBG was languishing in England and unable to participate in her usual inimitable style.  As some of you may remember, QBG was a comedienne of some repute, and one can only say that her witticisms are always missed on occasions such as these.

Jackie & Frank were absent on their house-hunting expedition to Blighty;  Craig was (and as far as we know still is) somewhere off the coast of Saudi Arabia;  Anne & Robin were besieged by yet more guests and Mike & Gill were Baby/Granny visiting.

Despite the lack of regular players petanking was enjoyed by all, most especially by the magnificent LOLS who won the day with a not insubstantial score of 8, with the LAGS scoring 6, and the amalgamated team of EXLAX & LABOOZERS scoring 4.  These scores will not be added to the Leader Board, which remains the same as last week. No satisfactory name was forthcoming for the joint team - EX-BOOZERS being not only completely inacurate, but also insulting to those bibulous stalwarts of Laboozers, Carrie & Bill.  Other suggestions were deemed altogether too crude to be considered. 

It has been suggested (more than once) that on a future occasion, instead of meeting at someone's house, we partake of luncheon at Le Vic, followed by petanking on the municipal pitch of Lavit.  There was consternation that this might prove problematical for some because (a) we may be unable to walk the 200 metres from the restaurant to the pitch after a hearty lunch, and (b) we would be unable to refresh ourselves between tosses with the necessary nips of wine lest the gendarmes should accost us.  It would be extremely irksome and unseemly for your dear Queens to have to blow into a bag - their being no equivalent to the Royal Assayer to carry out this task.  Your articulate, intelligent and very conceited Queens will continue to mull over this quandary.

Your ever-thoughtful Queen

The Victorious LOLS:  Lode, Chris, QBA and her Consort

Thursday 21st September 2017

My dear Subjects - both near and far,

What an egregious* collection of people graced our presence at Carrie's on Thursday!  (*This is a compliment, of course, derived from the original Latin 'egregius' meaning 'distinguished' - not its later meaning of 'outstandingly bad').  How fortunate that your dear Queen's Governess was a Latin scholar of high repute.

Our guests were distinguished in every sense of the word, from their sartorial flair to their triumphant tossing. Does one believe that most of them proclaimed that they had never tossed a boule before?  Indeed, Lode spent a deal of time polishing his balls, a task completely forgotten by our regular players.  How, one might ask, do the male members of the group expect to receive their Golden Balls at the Queens' Banquet?  Have they forgotten with such diligence and magnaminity their dear Queens bestowed those bounteous gifts on them last year?

Quite apart from being Bonfire Builder Extraordinaire, it is perfectly obvious Rosina has been arising at dawn to practise her tossing long before Carrie left her bed.  How else could she achieve such accuracy?  As for Jim and Nicola playing for the LAGS, they leave your Queens no option but to give them a handicap for future matches, such was the perfection of their shots.  Lode and Chris, of course, being adopted members of the LOLS, were far too polite to show up your dear QBA and her Consort by petanking much better than they.  Meanwhile, it is extremely fortunate Anna got lost on her way from the hairdresser's otherwise EXLAX would probably have won the day.

In the event, the LAGS scored a stupendous 13 (hopefully unlucky for next time), with the LABOOZERS hot on their heels with 12.  Both your dear Queens thought it only fair that they should not hog the limelight, hence their modest score of 3.

LAGS.  119
EXLAX.  97
LOLS.  79

Your magnificently modest Queen

The Victorious LAGS - Nicola, Jim, Jill receiving the Petanker Vanker Trophy

Thursday 14th September 2017
Robin & Anne's

'Ello ELPers

It will be noted from the pictures below that long before the sun was over the yardarm or the clock had struck the hour (there being no church clock to be heard - no doubt the wind in the wrong direction), wine was being dispensed in staggering quantity.  One might conclude that this explains the staggering losses of the LOLS and the EXLAX were it not for the covert but nevertheless copious imbibing of LABOOZERS who managed a very creditable score of 6.  Although they kept their alcohol well-hidden and Bill's excuse of 'having a cold' precluded him from the odd nip, this only served to increase the consumption of the other three - Anne, Robin & Carrie.  All this only goes to show that alcohol has not the slightest effect on any of us.

Visiting players added much to the enjoyment of the day:  Anna from Poland; Chris & Lode from Belgium.  

There was much consternation that Frank & Jackie might be absconding to the Orient as we were led to believe that their late arrival was the result of an appointment to have a Hong Kong 'flu jab.  However, Nurse Jackie explained that this was a misunderstanding and that the offending triple injection was in fact the one babies have, the name of which may well be lodged in QBA's Nanny's brain, but certainly not in hers.  Although F & J are both in their second childhood it is hard to fathom why it was necessary to repeat a procedure last carried out on their little pink bottoms when they were only a few months old.  At least the rest of us can sleep easy in our beds knowing that we shall not be catching nits or impetigo from either of them.

LAGS.  106
EXLAX.  94
LOLS.  76

Yours in perfect sobriety

Thursday 7th September 2017
Jill D's

Hello Petankers

No doubt you will all have noticed how your exceptionally exceptional QBA arranged for the sun to shine on Thursday - mostly on her, of course, she being a most remarkable Queen.  Nevertheless it was satisfying to allow those of humbler origins to bask in her shadow.  Such was the mild temperature that we were able to sit in the open barn to consume our victuals after a most exciting and, may I say, even more successful Petanking afternoon.  The quite incredible LOLS, aided in huge measure by two young and nimble athletes, Sophie and Charlie, posted the highest ever score of 15 - yes - FIFTEEN!  This has indeed set the bar very high for other Teams, but it does the spirit good to have something, and someone, (your bountiful Queen), to emulate.

EXLAX'S Jackie and Frank also had the assistance of Izzy and Charlie - one does not care to calculate the gap in age - but were, however, unable to stem the tide of the magnificent LOLS.  Meanwhile the LAGS quietly and determinedly march on...

LAGS.  98
EXLAX.  93
LOLS.  75

Below are pictures of our most welcome extra players - one hopes they may come again.

Your priceless

Thursday 31st August 2017 at QBG's La Pouche Palace
Thursday 24th August 2017 at QBA's Chuckingham Palace

Besotted Subjects (some more sotted than others)

One is aware that one has fallen down in one's duty;  such has been the lot of your dear QBA to deal with mighty storms and a lightning strike that she has had little time to write reports - tempus has fugitted indeed.  Beset as she is by such vexing events, she is, nevertheless, nothing if not sanctimonious and is moved to put digits to keys this very morning.

Little can be said about the meeting at one's own summer residence, save that two very able and smart young boys stole the show;  they were rightly rewarded with special Petanking cups, produced in great haste by the royal goldsmiths who hammered out miniature replicas of the priceless trophies safely locked away in the palace vaults.  Oakley has proved to be a keen and most accurate player, ensuring that his team, the LAGS won the Petanker Vanker Trophy with a stupendous score of 11. Angus, playing in the League for the first time, upheld the honour of the LABOOZERS by equalling their throwing if not their imbibing (for which they are famed), leaving that to the more senior members of the team.



The meeting at QBG's was noteworthy on two most important fronts:  the gift from one Queen to another of a pair of golden spectacles - spectacles indeed - possibly the most spectacular spectacles ever seen.  Such was QBG's delight at this most timely of gifts that she was quite overcome and was unable, as were the rest of her team, to score more than a miserable 3, leaving them grovelling at the bottom of the day's scoreboard.  Nevertheless, one must concede that EXLAX are generally in very fine fettle and are top of the LEADER BOARD.

QBG's spectacular spectacles

EXLAX.  93
LAGS.  88
LOLS.  60

Your ever-loving Queen

Thursday 3rd August 2017

Greetings Subjects

QBG and her Prince Consort, Jeremy, provided the venue at their sumptuous La Pouche Palace with room enough and to spare for the disporting of squillions of Petankers. Co-Queenly thanks are gratefully offered. In the midst of this summer season, guests abound, and our numbers were swelled by tossers from all corners of the Globe - or at least the UK part of it.  How come a globe, which is by definition globular, has corners?  Your curious QBA has examined her golden orb;  her bafflement increases with each stroke of its perfectly smooth roundness.

As is her wont, QBG tossed her balls with startling effect, enhancing the EXLAX's already unassailable score.  Unassailable that is until the LOLS field their full team.  At present, it is very evident that they are in need of support from their loyal teammates, though it has to be said that various substitutes have played with zeal, if not always with accuracy. However, Richard and Caroline Hiley - true to their famous (sometimes infamous) name, played an excellent game, raising the LOLS' usual miserable 'nil points' to TWO.

The LAGS and OZ/KIWIS a.k.a. the Odds and Sods, equalled the EXLAX score of 7, whilst the LOLS scored 2 and the Laboozers scored 1.     

There was much consternation amongst the ranks that Carrie had unwittingly been duped by conmen purporting to represent Microsoft. Fortunately Carrie was able to speak to the bank and all has now been resolved; Carrie wishes to thank everyone for their support and sympathy - one has heard of many others who have suffered a similar fate. 

Though your beloved QBA has no time for such infernal machines as computers, she is advised by various of her courtiers to slam the telephone down on anyone offering any services whatsoever.  This can, of course, cause difficulties when one is reliant upon 'services' of various kinds - be they cooks, gardeners, or mounted escorts.  Though one is aware that the latter may have a somewhat different connotation amongst the lower orders, your beloved QBA needs them only to accompany her royal carriage.

A Queenly feast was laid out in the Banqueting Hall (as distinct from the Cor Blimey Banqueting Hall at QBA's summer palace), the enjoyment of which lasted almost until the pumpkin coaches were summoned. 

EXLAX.  76
LAGS.  60
LOLS.  51

Next week, 10th August, at QBA's Summer Palace
17th August at Jill D's.

Your Vainglorious

The Oz-Kiwis/Odds'n'Sods/Also-Rans
A stupendous score of 7 (matched only by Exlax & Lags) enabled this budding bunch
of Tossers to get their hands on the valuable Petanker Vanker Trophy for the first time.

Players:  Jill, Craig, Ewan, Jacqueline

Thursday 27th July 2017
Mike & Gill's

Petankers All

The four leading Teams continue to be supported by visiting players, whilst the Gagas are, one suspects, permanently retired.  Many excuses have been proffered by the hitherto loyal players - everything from tending raspberries to feeling off-colour - none of which passes muster with your glorious Queens who have survived many calamitous occasions, be it the loss of one's lazy page or the irksome responsibilities of controlling the rabble. Nevertheless, though it pains one to say it, the Gagas are much-missed, leaving a gaping void in the Asques direction, and a sorry lack of blue caps.

Last week's petanking was of a very high order, the magnificent Laboozers scoring a stupendous 12.  One can't help but notice that the increase in score is matched by the increase in alcoholic consumption.  Given that Claire's imbibing is of a most moderate nature, one can only suppose that the rest of the team - Carrie and Bill, aided and abetted by Chris & Charlie, downed a quite remarkable amount.  It is high time your Queens reinstated the Petanked-up Award. Bill graciously accepted the Petanker Vanker trophy.

Exlax had a poor day, undoubtedly affected by the lack of their mascot - the splendid snow-white floppy-eared rabbit who had been forgotten (yes - forgotten!) by Jeremy.

Meanwhile, the Lols' Peter Petanker, was ensconced on the Naughty Chair following his lack of enthusiasm last week. Your beloved QBA understands from a visiting teacher that a Naughty Chair is no longer deployed.  It is now called a Thinking Chair. Since chairs are usually considered inanimate objects, QBA has yet to find a Chair of either description which has the slightest effect on the person whose bottom it accommodates. (As an aside, but nevertheless pertinent to this discussion, QBA has noticed with puzzlement the use of the phrase 'Wardrobe Malfunction' should an actor's clothing become disarrayed.  Surely such a description can only correctly be used if the wardrobe door falls off?)  Such are the musings with which your dear Queens have to contend. It is no wonder the sales of smelling-salts have risen at a quite alarming rate.

Thanks to Mike & Gill for their hospitality and the provision of two splendid petanking pitches.

It has been suggested that we hold a mid-season celebratory lunch at Le Vic, probably on a Thursday, followed by petanking at QBA's by those who are still standing.  At this busy time of year, the date has yet to be decided but further discussions will ensue. 

Leader Board
EXLAX.  69
LAGS.  53
LOLS.  49

Next week we meet at QBG's, and the following week at Jill D's.

Your Royal thoughtfulness


Thursday 20th July 2017

My Dear Subjects,

Such was the distress of your poor dear QBA after Petanking on Thursday that it is only with the consumption of several draughts of Laudanum and the application of cool flannels on the fevered brow that she is able to bring herself to write this report.

The LOLS, as everyone appreciates, are severely hampered in their attempts to score whilst their erstwhile much-loved and much-missed Teammates, Olwen & Gareth, are absent. Notwithstanding the addition of several most generous and gifted substitutes, their score remains dismal indeed, whilst the EXLAX, with supreme confidence, continue to sweep the board. It may well be that if they continue in this vein, sweeping of a different kind may be imposed to slow down their all too eager tossing, and indeed, lest their heads should swell. Clearing the pitch with toothbrushes, as sometimes meted out to QBA's rabble of soldiers (and her Lazy Page) would seem to be a suitable imposition. It doesn't do to encourage precociousness amongst the lower orders, how ever well they perform, but one is aware that one's beloved Co-Queen, QBG, remains enviably calm and unaffected by the unseemly junketings of her team.  Nevertheless, in her absence, Frank, Jackie and visitor Chris, played a brilliant game - the Luck of the Irish, no doubt.

It is worth bearing in mind, however, that your beloved QBA has it in her gift to award the biggest and most splendid Trophy to the magnanimous losers at the Queens' Banquet. Should EXLAX end the Season as Victores Ludorum they will have no need of such trinkets - victory should be reward enough.

The new Deputy Official Marshall, Mike, brought a semblance of order to the masses during the games - a most welcome improvement on previous weeks, but one awaits QBG and her stentorian tones to bring them to heel. 

It should also be noted that our most gracious hostess, Carrie, far from being put-off by the raucous shouting of 'Ben-zee-nees', actually tossed some of the best shots of the day whilst being thus heckled. (Who is this Ben, one might ask?  Do we know him - do we have a spy in our midst?) 

In fact, it is gratifying to observe that the overall standard of play has risen dramatically;  in most of the matches the margins were minuscule with many balls clustered around the cochonet. Frustrating indeed when one's winning ball is beaten by a whisker by the final tosser! 

It has been brought to QBA's attention that one of the red-top rags recently published an article indicating that Petanque (or some other variation of Boules, such as bocce, boule lyonnaise, etc.) is under consideration for inclusion in the Olympic Games.  As you all know, it has long been held by your much-admired Queens that such an eventuality is overdue. Indeed, it is no exaggeration to claim that it was QBG's vociferous lobbying during her recent sojourn in England which has resulted in further investigation and consideration by the Olympic Committee.  That being so, your Queens will be surreptitiously evaluating players over the next few weeks.  The chosen few, Captained of course by your Queens, will make up the most prestigious Expat League of Petank International Team (ELPIT).  In preparation, it is suggested that as many members as possible observe the French Teams which will be competing at Lavit at the weekend.  Those of sufficient confidence might perhaps consider participating. 

EXLAX.  67
LAGS.  48
LOLS.  44

Your Queenly tongue-in-cheek


EXLAX have it!


Thursday 6th July 2017
and 13th July at QBA's

Ello ELPers

It is to be expected that all loyal subjects remember the acronyms and nomenclature of our most esteemed ELP (Expat League of Petank).  Anyone who has but a hazy recollection of our Royal Language must forthwith 'scroll down' this Blog and remind himself.  Those who are sadly, unable to read, and who are indeed having this Royal Report read to them, must request further assistance.

Your esteemed and magnanimous QBA, suffering acutely from lack of support from the lazy page, kitchen porters (not to be confused with an eminent lady petanker of that name), women of the bedchamber, cooks, under cooks, footmen, et al, during this hot summer season is behoved to write this report herself.  Unaccustomed as she is to 'work' of any kind, it is hoped that her subjects will appreciate the discomfort and tedium of putting fingers to keys. Oh for the days of inkwells and quills!

A rather small, but very select group of petankers met at QBG's during which the LOLS, nobly aided by David P, managed to score a respectable 2, as did the EXLAX. However, the Petanker Vanker trophy went to the LABOOZERS, for the first time in months.  QBG's Consort, Jeremy had spent hours in the Royal workshops fashioning a wooden circle to replace QBA's rather common purple hula-hoop, (a copy of a jewel-encrusted gift to her grandmother from the King of Hawaii during his State Visit of 1912).  Jeremy, was meticulous in his execution of this most testing task, the measurements being what the lower orders might call 'spot on' . But where is the Royal wheelwright when one wants him, one asks? One might also ask how Craig will fit his feet into such a small circle, but the resolution might well be to provide him with one for each foot.

A much larger group met at QBA's the following week, increased by 5 visitors, all of whom gallantly petanked with varying degrees of accuracy, mostly in the OS - Odds-and-Sods. Mercifully the EXLAX were all absent which allowed other teams to catch up a little on their ferocious lead.

Players were excused their uniforms as most of them were attending the Marche Gourmand in Lavit, rather than sharing the usual picnic.  Expats are always warmly welcomed by the French on these occasions but the Queens would not wish any of their loyal subjects to give the game away, bearing in mind that ELP will be challenging local petank teams to an International Tournament next season.

EXLAX.  54
LOLS.  44
LAGS.  42

Yours finger-achingly

The victorious LABOOZERS!

At QBA's

Thursday 29th June 2017
Robin & Anne's

Friends, Britons, Petankermen (and women)

Never has your beloved QBA suffered such an ignominious defeat as she did at the hands of your equally beloved QBG on Thursday last.  So accurate was QBG's every toss that your poor QBA and the rest of her miserable team were unable to score a single point. So distressed is she at such an entirely unexpected turn of events that only by the grace of several hefty G & T's has she been able to face the ensuing week.  Undoubtedly QBG has been taking secret lessons from the most prestigious British Boule Academy (why else would she have spent so long in England?), but nevertheless, her exemplary performance, and that of the rest of the Exlax Team resulted in a phenomenal win with an overall score of 12. (Not quite matching the LOLS' best performance of 14, of course). 

Hearty congratulations are proffered by QBA - never let it be said that she is anything other than magnanimous in defeat. 

Robin & Anne provided a most carefully prepared and measured pitch and whilst their petanking left a little to be desired, their welcome was most gracious, for which we offer our sincere thanks.  Michael, (who supported the beleaguered LOLS by playing somewhat better than they), and encouraged by QBG who recognised his latent talent, has, we understand, enrolled in the BBA (British Boule Academy) for a little extra coaching.  We expect his next performance to carry the LOLS to a significant win. The LOLS are, of course, suffering from the temporary loss of their two best players, Gareth & Olwen, and the truancy of naughty little Peter Petanker who was hiding amongst the silver salvers on the sideboard at Chuckingham Palace, very possibly with his nose in the gin bottle. 

EXLAX.  52
LOLS.  40
LAGS.  32

Your down, but not out,

QBG holding the much-coveted (by QBA) Petanker Vanker Trophy for the winning team, Exlax

Various tossers

Official Measurer Olwen & Marshall Why-a-Twerp Gareth - Wardrobe Mistress, Protector of Peter Petanker and Founder Members the Magnificent LOLS - we miss you!

15th June at Carrie's
22nd June at QBA'S 

Petanking at Carrie's was most memorable not only for the huge plate of home-made brownies, and a very splendid pitch, but also because the sadly depleted LOL team, consisting only of QBA and her Deputy Official Scorer scored a stupendous 6 keeping them at the top of the Leader Board.  This came in the final two games of the match, their score prior to that being what one has heard described as a 'doughnut' - of the round variety, of course.  During the summer months our numbers are variable, depending on holidays, visitors, etc., but the turnout at Carrie's enabled three teams to play. Many thanks to Carrie for her impeccable-as-always hospitality.

At QBA's, the same three teams played with 4, 3 and 2 members.  Complicated arithmetical calculations ensued, the conclusion being that each team should throw 8 balls in total.  Very difficult for the team with only 3 members, and most perplexing for some. QBA will graciously provide an abacus with little coloured balls for the next meeting.  One understands that cricket umpires have a system of stones in the pocket which are moved from one to the other, but how does one ensure that they go in the same direction?  This must surely rely on an excellent, incorruptible memory - neither of which splendid attributes would apply to humble petankers, methinks.

The pitch at QBA's left much to be desired, but the scorching sun precluded our playing in the usual spot near the barn.  The part of the drive in shadow was a challenge to all with a ridge in the middle, insufficient gravel and protruding stones, all of which allowed the Exlax to score well above their usual level.  One can't help but feel this was largely luck - there being very little evidence of skill or judgement, but one cannot be miserly in such circumstances; how ever it was achieved, it was a cracking score. Is your beloved QBA a little piqued?  Maybe so, but in her elevated view, grapes, sour or otherwise, are only fit for wine-making and thereafter imbibing copiously.

EXLAX:  40
LOLS:  40
LAGS:  32

Next week: Anne & Robin's;  the following week:  Jackie & Frank's.

Your beloved nose-out-of-joint
June 2017

We are all greatly saddened that our good friend and fellow Petanker, Tim, of the Laboozers' (red) Team has died.  He made a great contribution, and always with good humour and courage. Our lives are all the better for having known him. On more than one occasion he was awarded 'Tosser of the night' and was, of course, awarded his Golden Balls at the Queens' Banquet.  We shall all miss him, not least because he was a jolly good player! Carrie and his family are much in our thoughts.

Thursday 8th June
Olwen& Gareth's

Your beloved QBA apologises for the lack of Reports for Petanking at her own Regal but faded Residence on 11th May, and at Jill's on 25th May, and Mike & Gill's on 1st June.  One can only say that with fingers like fat pink sausages following her broken wrist and a Lazy Page who is too busy tending his raspberries to type, your dear Queen has been unable to navigate the keys on this infernal machine known as a 'lap-top'. The only 'lap' known to her is one on which to perch a small dog, although one hears fearful news of common wenches who 'lap dance'.  How, might one ask do such hussies fit their large and rather flat feet onto anyone's lap, let alone dance thereon?

Be that as it may, a most congenial afternoon and evening was spent at the new Petanking Pitch (courtesy, one understands, of the Maire of Lavit, Monsieur Garrigues) at Olwen & Gareth's lakeside residence.  Delicious victuals and wine were in abundance and greatly enjoyed by all.  Most gracious thanks are extended to the hosts and their guests. The provision of yellow and white striped tablecloths in honour of Petanking at the Official Marshall (Le Capitaine des Lols) and Official Measurer's residence was particularly admired, as was the exceedingly becoming yellow Marshall's hat, resplendent with flashing lights - a most generous gift from QBG and her Consort, Prince Jeremy.

There was extreme consternation that Frank of the Exlax had indeed been very lax in trying out his new driverless car and had almost allowed it to flatten him.  Whilst one appreciates his perspicacity in being the only person in possession of such an advanced vehicle, one is tempted to think that our beloved Leprechaun may perhaps have partaken of a little Moonshine. One hopes, however, that he will soon recover from his most unusual ordeal. 

Petanking was of a very high order, and although Exlax beat the Lols in both their matches, nevertheless the day ended with the Lags and Lols tying for first place with a score of 6. The Lols who as winners of the last three matches are entitled to keep the Petanker Vanker Trophy (and produce a small replica for future use), nevertheless most graciously and magnanimously 'gave' it to the Lags.  QBG and QBA differ on this small point of order.  QBG opining that the correct term was 'award' whilst QBA saw it as a gift as the Lols chose not to share, but to give. Such is their breeding that your two illustrious and ever-loving Queens will agree to differ, with no bad blood (blue, of course) between them.  One remembers that one of our cousins, the unfathomable Charles, once said there is celebration in diversity - a sentiment with which your Queens agree, but only when it suits them.

Peter Petanker, the Lols' mischievous little mascot was upended on his pretty little Peacock Throne by one of the members of an opposing team.  However, the Lols, gracious as ever, chose to believe that he was turning a somersault in rapture at his Team's spectacular performance.

LOLS.  33
EXLAX.  27
LAGS.  26

15th June - Carrie's
22nd June - QBA's
29th June - Robin & Anne's

Your Most Magnanimous Queenliness

NEW SEASON commencing 4th May 2017

QBG's La Pouche Palace

The Grand Opening of the very fine Petanking Pitch at QBG's took place on the eve of the 4th of May with Her Royal Fancifulness QBG performing the Opening Ceremony, watched and indeed applauded by her co-Queen Her Royal Uppishness QBA.  One is, of course, rather more used to launching ships, but QBG with her usual grace and decorum cut the ribbon and smashed the bottle against the boughs of the arbour adjoining the pitch.

Six teams participated in the ensuing match in which QBG's own team, the EXLAX, were narrowly beaten by the reserve team, the LAFS by 7- 6.  The Lafs have now been incorporated into the LAGS for the rest of the season and any lagging Lags who have absconded to England will be the Reserve Team on their return.  This is a most prestigious position as without the Reserve Team other teams beset by incapacity, holidays, flat-racing, etc. would be unable to function.

The next match was held on 11th May at QBA's rather less grand pitch in front of the barn, watched by the deplorably common plastic Venus draped in Team colours, though quite whose Team remains a mystery.  It should be noted at this juncture that the Loyal LOLS, true to their name, have allowed other less able teams to score at the start of the season. With the aid of their mascot, Peter Petanker, they expect to resume playing to their usual high level very soon.

The Grand Opening - QBG's:

Second match of the Season at QBA's:

Wednesday 29th March 2017Jill D's

What a superb day!  Lunch under the trees in the garden and excellent petanking. Far be it from QBA to blow her own trumpet (one has an official trumpeter for such eventualities), but the Loyal LOLS once again showed their metal with a stonking score.  One has a nasty suspicion that one might get one's comeuppance if one continues to crow, especially as there was some very fine crowing from the resident Chanticleer - an omen, perhaps?

QBG initiated a discussion about permanent teams as some members are bereft of their erstwhile fellow players.  It was decided that the existing LAGS will continue to play as a team until Nick & Jo leave for England in May, at which point Mike & Gill will become the official LAGS with Eve & Jill.  Nick & Jo will then fill-in for missing members when they return.  All members will play when they turn up, irrespective of whom they represent. QBG will ascertain which members from her neck of the woods wish to be permanent players and which wish to be casual players. So far we have 3 permanent teams:  the LOLS, the LAGS and the GAGAS. The other teams will be sorted out shortly.

Visiting friends and family are welcome to join in, but please let QBA and the host know.

Many thanks to Jill for her hospitality and especially for the wonderful tea.  Those who were absent missed sticky toffee cake, chocolate Easter bunnies, hot cross buns and shortbread!

Next week:  Gill & Mike's, commencing 1.30pm. Please bring a plate of food to share plus your own wine and cover. Please let G & M know if you wish to attend  

Your petanker-perfect Queen


Wednesday 15th 2017 at QBA's
Wednesday 22nd March 2017 at Olwen & Gareth's

Loyal and not-so-loyal subjects

One requests and expects understanding for the brevity of this report as one's lazy page who could perhaps have learnt to type is busy with his camera.  How, one asks, does a mere page afford, let alone learn how to use, such an instrument?

Meanwhile, QBA, hampered as she is by a heavily-plastered arm now has the added encumbrance of one-finger ache. For those lowly subjects to whom the word 'plastered' has a different meaning, please note that it is only the arm which is affected, unless, of course said subjects feel moved to bring gifts of copious quantities of wine.  

Be that as it may, two sessions of Petanking have served to prove that the Magnificent LOLS reign supreme, narrowly winning the first match against the LAGS at QBA's Royal residence, but trouncing all comers at Olwen & Gareth's with a stupendous score of 8 in one game and a total of 14 overall.  The LAGS scored 2 and EXLAX brought up the rear with a miserable 1.  Sadly for the LOLS these scores will not count towards the end-of-season trophy. There is no doubt that the LOLS' Team Song - Mellow Yellow - was a most effective contributory factor, sung with gusto and, may one say, great musicality by the victorious team.

Whilst there was some confusion amongst the LAGS as their eminent Captain thought she was playing a 'selfie', nevertheless she played with great accuracy, time after time landing a rusty ball within a whisker of the cochonet, only to have it smashed away by an opponent.  

For the first time this season everyone brought a plate of food to share, resulting in a scrumptious and most delectable spread which was served outdoors around Olwen & Gareth's fire pit.  Olwen, as one has come to expect, produced a truly Royal cake, most definitely fit for two Queens.  Royal thanks are extended to our genial (not to say genius, being members of the LOLS) hosts.

Next week:  Jill D's;  the week after: Mike & Gill's.

With Royal Presumption

Wednesday 1st February 2017
Jill D's  

Favoured Petankers

It is said that the sun shines on the righteous, and your lovable Queens had no idea quite how saintly you all are to deserve such a wonderful afternoon with sun streaming down from a bright blue sky, enabling everyone to Petank outdoors for the first time this year.  Indeed, some had to divest themselves of their vests, such was the intensity of the heat.

The brand spanking new, one-day old Petanking Pitch was much admired - a most splendid addition to a very gracious house.  Obviously the Petanking Pixies (Craig & Mike) had been working their rather large felt boots off digging, levelling, spreading, raking - and even providing a solid Pixie Perch for spectators, hewn from the mighty walnut tree (the Perch that is, not the spectators).

Such sumptuous surroundings resulted in an exceptionally high level of Petanking, especially from Exlax who scored 15 from 6 matches.  The Lols were second with 6, and bringing up the rear were the Lafs with 2, having no doubt exhausted themselves with all the preparations. These scores will not be counted when the full season starts and the missing players choose to grace us with their presence. (The Queens are, of course, expecting to receive presents of a different kind). 

The provision of two wonderful soups, one orange, one multi-coloured, and melt-in-the-mouth shortbread accompanied by two scrummy cakes has caused QBA a fit of the vapours. One feels that one's Royal cooks must undertake a cordon bleu course with all due haste lest they are required to provide similar fare on a future occasion.

The afternoon ended with a game involving the use of the Kazoo (very similar to a comb with Bronco loo paper).  In fact Bronco, of course, never intended to produce such scratchy paper for one's nether regions when newspaper was a perfectly acceptable alternative.  It was produced in large quantities to facilitate simple music for the masses who were unable to afford an instrument.  The noise emanating from the modern Kazoos was no more musical than the Bronco variety, thus making it exceedingly difficult to identify the tune being played, which was the object of the exercise. Much hilarity ensued, rendering some quite unable to swallow their cake.

Next week:  Wednesday 8th February 2017 at 1.30pm at QBG's Le Pouche Palace.

Yours in splendid superiority

Wednesday 25th January 2017
Olwen & Gareth's

Hello Precious Subjects

What a feast was provided on Wednesday!  How scrumptious was the green pea and ham soup and home-made cake -  veritably indeed, dear subjects, fare fit for a Queen (or two)! 

A surfeit of victuals rendered half the assembled company unable to stir themselves to play Petank, and so a very fine board game was produced by QBG, the name of which has quite escaped QBA's memory.  The object was for the players to complete a line of five on the board which was randomly printed with pictures of playing cards.  Three teams of two were coached by QBG. Some players took a little more time than others to understand the mechanics of the game, possibly a reflection on the quantity of wine drunk...  

Some hardy (or perhaps foolhardy) souls Petanked in the garden - bundled up in a frightening array of winter clothing, more suited to a Polar expedition.  It is just as well they were playing in daylight or one feels that the sight of such frights with their heavy metal balls flying through the air might have been cause for great alarm amongst the neighbours. Fortunately, neither the gendarmerie nor the pompiers arrived, so the perpetrators live to Petank another day.

Members of this most illustrious and much-admired group, the Expat League of Petank (ELP) are reminded that unfortunately we are unable to accept new members;  we already have several members who make up the numbers in existing teams when some are away, and we have a waiting list of people wishing to join. Wherever possible, we shall, of course, be happy to accommodate visiting relatives in the summer, but in the winter, even with some teams in hibernation, it is difficult to squeeze everyone indoors.    

Next meeting:  Wednesday 1st February 2017 at Jill (Davidson's) where a covered Petanking pitch will be available, as well as a selection of board and card games. 

Please let Jill know if you intend to attend.

Yours in Queenly supremacy

Wednesday 18th January 2017
Mike & Gill's

Petankers All,

Following the consumption of two delicious soups - one orange, one green - and a fine selection of cheese, the assembled company split into two groups for Winter Games (not to be confused with snowballing and other such miserable pursuits). 

One group, led by Craig, and playing to Kiwi Rules, attempted to play Bezique. Unsurprisingly, the first round was won by none other than Craig himself, with subsequent games won by Her Royal Majesticness, QBG.  Once again, Her Royal Ineptnessness, QBA was unable to match her co-Queen's prowess at cards. Her attempts were woefully inadequate, eclipsed only by those of her poor Consort and Official Scorer, Robert, who is still mystified by the whole thing. 

Under the direction of Chief Marshall, Gareth, the other group played Table Skittles and Quoits.  Chief Measurer, Olwen's score at Quoits was stupendous; her expertise at flipping and tossing the rope rings had to be seen to be believed.  Whilst lesser players scored several noughts (notably once again QBA), Olwen mastered the art of looping two pegs with one quoit - not just once, but on several throws.  We understand that she and Gareth are at this very moment completing a video entitled 'Two holes in one' which will shortly be available on Youtube.

Most grateful Queenly thanks are offered to Mike & Gill for their hospitality.

Next week, Wednesday 25th January 2017 we are meeting at 1.30pm at Olwen & Gareth's.

For those of robust constitution who are prepared to handle their freezing balls, Petanking outside will be available merely as practice, whilst those with more sense are invited to participate in indoor games.

Please let Olwen & Gareth know if you intend to attend.

With Queenly thoughtfulness
The LOLS' Team Captain and Official Marshall, Gareth, with Official Measurer, Olwen

Wednesday 11th January 2017
Robin & Anne's

Hello Petankers

It was obvious from the turnout on Wednesday that some people were still suffering from a surfeit of jollity and festive capers and felt it necessary to rest their wearisome bodies a little longer. Nevertheless, for the those who had overcome their torpor, new delights awaited at Robin & Anne's, for which we offer our Queenly thanks.  Not one, but two delectable soups were on offer and surely one of the most delicious chocolate cakes ever to have passed our lips.

Though there was no rain, your beloved, segacious Queens decreed that indoor winter games should continue.  'Pictionary' is a game which requires each team to appoint a 'drawer' who covertly takes a card and draws the object/place detailed on the card.  The team members have a limited time in which to try to guess what is being drawn.  Obviously, there is a big advantage if the drawer has some artistic ability, though it is often more amusing to see the attempts of lesser able artists.

QBG, amongst her many accomplishments is a most talented artist (and indeed, artiste) and was able to convey, using the former talent, of course, a most accurate drawing of the subject in question. Thus, her team members had little difficulty in identifying it.  QBA on the other hand, although supremely talented in most areas, as one would expect of a Queen, does not possess the slightest ability (or indeed inclination) to commit a subject to paper which conveys even the merest hint of what it is supposed to represent. Nevertheless, how her teammates could not identify Finland when they had already recognised Norway, Sweden and Denmark is puzzling indeed, were it not for the fact that it was rather rudely pointed out that QBA's drawing of the major countries of the world resembled nothing more nor less than a dirty football, or even a rusty boule.

The climax of the afternoon was an individual contest of Table Skittles, QBA's memory of which is somewhat hazy.  However, it is thought that QBG once again triumphed.  QBA has it in mind to despatch her lazy page to peek through the shutters of Le Pouche Palace, QBG's Royal Residence, to ascertain if there is some dirty business afoot - perhaps some coaching by the Royal Gamesmaster. Though Queens usually stand together in all matters, it is rather more than QBA's pride can bear to admit that QBG is so superior in all aspects of gaming.

As usual, the Loyal LOLS fielded a complete team of four - a superb example, and one which it is hoped lesser teams will emulate.

Next meeting:
Wednesday 19th January at Mike & Gill's at 1.30pm.

Could you please let QBA know if you intend to attend?

Very Queenly yours

Wednesday 4th January 2017
Robert & Angela's


My Dear Subjects,

It was obvious from the feeble excuses proffered by some team members that the season of merriment had taken its toll on those of a somewhat weak constitution.  Some members wished to wait until the weather improved, others disappeared off to England, and yet more decided to spend time on their photograph albums!  Be that as it may, the stalwarts, stout in wind and limb, attended the first Petanking Day of the new season at QBA's Royal Residence.

An awareness of the Lavit Lurgy, the remnants of which were still lurking, caused your most thoughtful Queens to decree that Indoor Pursuits were preferable to Petanking outdoors in the fog. QBA's soup of no recognisable pedigree was consumed by all (so far no reports of unwanted repercussions have been reported), followed by a magnificent spread of cheese provided by Jackie.

Loyal LOL, Gareth has spent many months felling oaks, whittling wood and fashioning a most splendid set of Bar Skittles, the like of which has never before been seen in South West France; indeed, so expertly has it been crafted that it is being put forward as a contender for the prize of  'Game of the Garonne', a much sought-after and prestigious accolade awarded to the craftsman of the year in the Tarn et Garonne.  It is confidently expected that Gareth will be duly honoured by the Maire at the Fete de Noisettes in Lavit in October.

Whilst there was some vociferous Irish dispute over the Rules of Bar Skittles, the Queens judged that all should play by the rules of the Welsh manufacturer of the game, the most honourable Gareth. Thus it was that there was no clear winner, half the assembled company scoring one each, and the other half scoring nothing at all.  It was therefore not possible to award the honour of  'Top Turkey' to the best player, nor 'Parson's Nose' to the player at the bottom. You will be aware, dear subjects, that your Queens who have presided at innumerable banquets and dinners throughout the Christmas Season and whose poor hands are suffering acutely from constant waving and kissing have not had the requisite time to apply themselves to the provision of further awards.

The next meeting will be at Anne & Robin's at 1.30pm on Wednesday 11th January by which time your beloved Queens will have recovered sufficiently from the greeting of a plethora of guests that they will instruct the Royal scribe to fashion the medals for the new season.

Until next Wednesday, dear Subjects
Your dutiful Queen

The Two Queen Bees

Wednesday 7th December 2016
Robert & Angela's

My Dear Subjects

It is with great regret that our Petanking Day on Wednesday had to be cancelled as so many of you had caught the dreaded Lavit Lurgy.  One hopes that you are now all recovering.  However, your beloved QBA has been much occupied with thoughts of the coming festivities and how she might help prevent such a noxious bug striking her poor subjects afresh.  With that in mind, rather than the two shiny shillings usually dispensed at Christmas by your most generous and thoughtful Queens, this year your gifts will consist of a tub of camphorated oil and a liberty bodice apiece.

The former, of course, must be vigorously rubbed into your chests (though by whom is a matter of personal choice), and the latter donned quickly afterwards to seal in the oil. Unfortunately, it will be necessary to wash this garment at least once a month, although any unpleasant odour emanating from your warm bodies may be masked by the scent of the pine needles should you be fortunate enough to have a festive tree in your little cottages. Your Queens feel quite sure that the beneficial effects of these two presents (TWO presents) will render any recurrence of the Lurgy extremely unlikely.

Your Queens will assess the general health of their subjects next week to ascertain whether or not it is possible to Petank on Wednesday.  If so, your most kind and generous QBA will once again open her doors and rouse her lazy kitchen staff to the task of producing the soup.

If in the meantime you are already aware you will be unable to play, please let your Queens know.

Yours with loving concern

Wednesday 30th November 2016

Friends, Subjects, Petankers,

Your Queens were surprised and delighted at the exemplary behaviour of their dear subjects at the Banquet at Chuckingham Palace on Wednesday.  The Queens themselves, of course, being self-appointed, and totally unassailable can behave as badly as they wish.  Thus the Banquet gave them a rarely afforded opportunity to show-off as much as they liked without fear of censure by those of lower rank.

The Cor-Blimey Banqueting Hall had been splendidly decked for the occasion by Prince Regents Jeremy and Robert, although the latter took a dickens of a time cleaning windows, and the Cook, under-Cook, kitchen maid and sundry footmen assert that the roast hog and accompanying vegetables took a deuce of cooking.  One assumes, however, that as there was nothing left but a couple of sprouts and a mince pie the hungry horde must have enjoyed the Feast, whilst a deal of quaffing rendered some subjects a little glassy-eyed as can be seen in the pictures below.  Indeed, one subject described the whole Royal Event as 'fantasticle'.  (One deplores the use of a 'made up' word - unless the Queens are the authors, of course - but nevertheless is greatly appreciative of the sentiment).

Royal thanks go to new Lady-in-Waiting, Olwen, meticulously dressed with her tarara and the Official Marshall, Gareth resplendent in his medal for bravery, for so nimbly skipping round the Royal kitchen and waiting at table.  They will be suitably rewarded on a future occasion.

Far be it from your dear QBG to blow her own trumpet, but as her much-loved co-Queen, one can trumpet for her.  You will no doubt have noticed with what wit, wisdom and humour she dispensed the medals and trophies, skipping about the Banqueting Hall all the while.  You may not be surprised to learn, therefore, that some years ago she was feted and envied in equal measure as one of the best comediennes the United Kingdom has ever produced.  At the beginning of her career she used the somewhat dubious name of The Stortford Stand-up but this caused much confusion with the audience as they were expecting to see the Bishop himself, or perhaps Jeremy, but certainly not a woman.  She therefore changed her name to Fanny La Rue under which moniker she travelled the length and breadth of the country giving pleasure to many.  These are a few examples of the reverence and awe in which she was held:

What greater accolade could I give her than to copy her name - Danny La Rue
I'd have given her my armful any day - Tony Hancock
No-one funnier ever tripped on these boards - The London Palladium

I know, dear subjects, you would wish me to impart to her how very much we appreciate this little insight into such a prodigious, towering talent.

And now to the Awards:  all the men qualified for the presentation of their Golden Balls, and all the women received their Spangled Stars.  The men are encouraged to keep their balls polished, but are discouraged from touching anyone else's.

The 2016 Queens' Awards (in reverse order):
The Bunga-Bunga Certificate for bunging-up the gaps in the Teams - The LAFS
The Legover Certificate to the Sole LAG as all the others have legged it - EVE LYTTON
The Vicars' & Tarts' Certificate for an unholy performance - The LABOOZERS
The Artful Dodgers' Cerfificate for dodging nearly all the matches - The GAGAS
The Gnat's Ear Ole Certificate for allowing the Exlax to win this Season's Petanker Vanker Award by only one point - The LOLS
The Climax Certificate for an earth-moving performance - The EXLAX

Two further Certificates were awarded as follows:

The Petanker Vanker of the Year Runners'-up Certificate and only Team to field all four players in every match except one - the LOYAL LOLS
The Petanker Vanker of the Year - the EXTRAORDINARY EXLAX

The famous QUEENS' AWARD TO INDUSTRY was awarded by the Queens to the Queens for their beauty, magnificence, brilliance, intelligence, generosity, condescension, godliness (and cleanliness), upishness, kindliness, perspicaciousness (sometimes perspicacity), smugness, thoughtfulness, playfulness, dubiousness, spitefulness, tenderness - in fact, all the other 'nesses' in the Queens' Own Dictionary.

The MEDALS and GONGS will be listed separately, when your beloved QBA remembers them all.

We appreciate, dear subjects, that you may never before have received such a sumptuous Feast, nor laid eyes on such magnificent trophies.  These are usually kept under lock and key in the Royal Vaults.  If you wish to keep them on your humble mantelpieces until next year's Banquet, you are encouraged to do so, but please increase your household insurance accordingly.  Some of these quite extraordinary trophies are made from pure jet, others from solid gold or silver, encrusted with many precious gems from the Orient.  If, however, you wish to them to return to QBA's Royal Palace for safekeeping, please bring them to the next event.

Wednesday 7th December at QBA's at 12.30pm.  One realises that some people are challenged (or challenging) - waiting for parcels and cleaners, feeling ill, etc, etc, so please come as soon as possible.  Please bring your boules as it may be warm enough to play outside, but if not, a selection of scintillating indoor games await your pleasure - hand-crafted and whittled in the finest oak by Lord of the Rings, Gareth.

As your dear QBA has momentarily lost the plot (not a big plot, one hopes - foreign lands are scarce to come by these days) please would any subjects who will NOT be coming on Wednesday let her know?

Your ever-loving, ever-giving, high-falutin

The Magnificent LOLS

Wednesday 23rd November 2016
Mike & Gill's

Wayward Subjects

Some, of course, are more wayward than others - so wayward in fact that they don't appear all. Whilst three teams could only muster 3 players each, the Loyal LOLS, as usual, fielded a full team of four, resplendent in their yellow uniforms, caps and badges. It is gratifying indeed that QBA's team should uphold the honour of their name, Lavit being, of course, the most important commune represented in the Expat League of Petanque (ELP).

Be that as it may, QBG's team, the EXLAX, coming, as one would expect, from behind, played a cracking game, scoring 5 overall, and beating the LOLS by 4 points today, making them top of the Leader Board this week and therefore top of the League this season.  Only one point divides them - a most satisfying conclusion for both your beloved Queens.

QBA's LOLS.  68
GAGAS.  51
LAGS.  22

Mike & Gill, who have no idea whether they are coming or going as they play for a different team nearly every week, provided delicious and most nourishing victuals, eminently suitable for their Royal visitors.  It must also be said that the indoor pitch, floodlit, raked, marked out and heated was a most splendid venue for such a prestigious event.  Royal thanks are accorded to them both.

However, your Queens think it necessary to remind you, dear Subjects, to keep your lips sealed. When preparing to take on the French National Petanque Champions the utmost discretion is required - it would not do for this most perfect of pitches to attract squatters who may wish to avail themselves of  such an excellent training ground.  So alarmed are your dear Queens at such a prospect that QBG has offered the services of her guard-dog Mae who even today was marking the territory in readiness for such an eventuality.  When one has the advantage of a ground fit for Queens, it does not do to broadcast its whereabouts.

One would wish to congratulate Eve on the most remarkable of pink caps, now emblazoned with the LAGS' logo.  It is little wonder that she has not been seen of late - no doubt spending many tedious hours perfecting the design.  Whilst some might suggest a sign-writing course, or even a colouring-in book, would be an eminently suitable Christmas present, others felt that an E for Effort is very well-deserved.

There was some discussion as to the dress code for next week's Queens' Banquet.  As it is a Royal Luncheon, white ties will not be necessary, but your Queens are understanding of their humble subjects' desire to 'dress up'. We would not wish any of our subjects to suffer the indignity of being under-dressed, but your ever-loving and magnanimous Queens appreciate that most of you do not possess wardrobes, much less a change of clothes. Therefore may we suggest perhaps a little extra polish on your shoes, or a bow on your otherwise rather drab workaday attire?  Failing that, you may wish to swap clothes and come in fancy dress - your Queens will be gracious in their acceptance of whatever clothing you wish to wear.

Wednesday 30th November 12.30.  Queens' Banquet at QBA's Royal Palace. Please bring your own wine - otherwise everything is provided.

Wednesday 7th December 1.30pm - venue to be announced.  The new season of Petanking will begin.  If the weather is inclement, a variety of stimulating and ridiculous indoor games will be played.

Your quite remarkable

Wednesday 16th November 2016
Olwen & Gareth's

Precious Subjects

You would, no doubt, wish me, your Majestic Majesty QBA, to thank Olwen & Gareth for the stupendous board provided today. The soup, curried parsnip, elicited the most fulsome praise inasmuch as QBG was heard to murmur 'My cup runneth over'.  Whilst this was misunderstood by her Prince Regent, who rushed to fetch a dishcloth, others were much in accord with her sentiment. The  most delectable Bara Brith, sent over by steam train from that dear little station in Anglesey, Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch, provided a truly Royal afternoon tea.

The petanking was of an extremely high order, the LOLS yet again establishing their superiority with the magnificent score of 5, whilst the three other teams, despite giving it their all, could only manage a miserable one each. However, the matches were very closely contested and leadership changed with almost every ball.  The point was held by one team and immediately captured by the opponents, and then recaptured again.  Both Queens visibly suffered from having to move their heads smartly from one side to the other in a most unseemly fashion in order to view each toss. Queens are not usually required to move quickly, their Royal status precluding them from anything more exhausting than a stately glide. Visiting players, Teresa, Val and Heather were enthralled by the quality of play and all have said they will be purchasing their tickets for the grandstand in Tokyo when we shall be fielding the prestigious ELPOT (Expat League of Petanque Olympic Team) in 2020.

One is gratified in the extreme (or perhaps two are) that the competition for the Petanker Vanker of the Year Award is so keenly contested.  This week the LOLS have pipped the EXLAX to the top spot and as there is only one more match to be played before the Queens' Banquet on 30th November, there is indeed all to play for. It is no surprise to the Queens, of course, that their respective teams occupy the leading positions.

LOLS.  67
EXLAX.  64
GAGAS.  51
LAGS.  19

New Team Caps were much in evidence, greatly adding to the enjoyment of the occasion and affording the Marshall the luxury of distinguishing one team from another without the need of closer inspection of the players.  My dear co-Queen, QBG, is in the process of researching suitable winter headgear for the EXLAX, their summer straws looking somewhat incongruous under grey skies. QBG herself, of course, is not required to wear a cap;  indeed base-ball caps are exactly that - rather base - especially when one is used to the grandeur of a tiara.  QBA, whilst humouring her team the LOLS by wearing the offending headgear does of course have the advantage of that most glorious of creations, the jewelled crown with which to embelish her hat. This was a most magnanimous gift from QBG and her Prince Consort on the occasion of their summer sojourn in England.

We shall be meeting at Mike & Gill's at 1.30 pm on Wednesday 23rd November.  This will be the final opportunity for petanking skills to be paraded as the prestigious and valuable end-of-season Awards will be made at the Queens' Banquet on Wednesday 30th at QBA's Summer Palace.

Although we would wish everyone to be correctly dressed for the Banquet (medals may be worn) we would request that you bring your hats as the Royal photographer will be in attendance and will be taking Team photographs for display in the Post Office in Lavit and the Hotel de Ville.  The best examples will be sent to the national press.

Rest assured, dear Subjects - you will not be disappointed.

Your most vainglorious Queen

11th November 2016

Gracious Majesty,

I have in my possession a special 'Bic Marking 2300' pen of indelible ink, with a thick felt tip nib.
This is what my associate scribe purloined from my personal graphic marker jar to mark the 'Gagas' caps.

Should you fail to possess one of these special graphic type instruments, you would be very
welcome to borrow it for the purposes of decorating your new headgear. I believe it should
provide you with the anti smudging or anti bleeding purposes.

Perhaps your footman should test his instrument on a suitable piece of material. Should it
(and him) fail in the alloted task do please call upon your (most favoured  ???) page to deliver
the requisite instrument.

   Yours in elegant headgear.

   david xx

11th November 2016

Dear David

One assumes that you were responsible for the application of the fine logo on the Gagas' hats.  May one ask ask how such exquisite lettering was achieved?

The LOLS are in receipt of their new and most expensive Yallerats (€4.75 for two, including carriage), which have come some thousands of leagues from the land of the Chinaman.

One would not wish to spoil them by smudging or 'bleeding'.  One's Footman is in possession of a black marker.  Do you think it an appropriate instrument to achieve the perfection of decoration one desires?

I await your instructions, loyal Page.

Your Magnanimous Queen

9th November 2016
Petanking Report - Angela & Robert's

Loyal Subjects, one and all

It is with some relief that your beloved QBA is able to report that harmony and goodwill have this week been restored. There was not the slightest hint yesterday of disagreement or insubordination, or indeed any demonstration of petulance whatsoever.  All players, whether gifted tossers or those, sadly, of lesser ability with their balls, played-up and played the game in a sportsmanlike manner, as one would hope and expect given your gracious Queens' unstinting support and education.

Notwithstanding such improvement in comportment it is nevertheless a matter of some small disappointment that the Queens now have less need to resort to absinthe, or trays of those dear little gold-leaf enshrouded chocolates, and other such comfits.  (One must ask, dear QBG what has 'need' to do with 'desire'? Surely, if one is desirous of a little comfort one should not have to worry one's little Royal head as to whether it is 'needed' or not? One can but conclude that such mysteries only serve to increase one's desire, can one not?)

QBA's Royal kitchen managed to produce 'soup', though what the ingredients might have been is anyone's guess.  One was red, and the other yellow, and that, dear subjects, is as far as QBA's knowledge of soup or indeed any other type of cooking goes.

Matches were played under a lowering sky with uniforms hidden under mufflers and greatcoats, which is why it is necessary always to wear one's hat.  How else can the Official Marshall be expected to know who's who?  But how appropriate on the morn of Trump's election victory that the two male members of the Laboozers, Tim and Robin, wore their red caps with such pride!  One feels that perhaps Carrie did not share their jubilation as her hat was firmly wedged into her pocket, whilst Anne simply declined to appear at all.

All the LAGS were AWOL - and it is a matter of some perplexity, therefore, that the LAGS not only scored 3 points but were also awarded the Petanker Vanker Trophy.  One's Royal head must momentarily have been befuddled as the LAGS' Team Captain, Eve, had been mysteriously absent whilst she was (she avers) awaiting the delivery of a parcel!  What, might one ask, did such an important parcel contain that precluded her from attending the match?  The Queens, simple-minded though they may be, have seen through this little wheeze;  undoubtedly Eve felt unable to miss the 3 o'clock at Lingfield.  However, the substitute LAGS, Teresa, Craig and Gill T. were well-deserving of the trophy, tossing with such serious intent that we understand that Teresa has booked herself onto a Petanque course on the 'Allure of the Seas' departing Southampton on 12th December, and Craig has gone to Singapore to sharpen his skills - though we are not privy as to what exactly those might be.

Exlax.  63
Lols.  62
Gagas.  51
Laboozers.  45
Lags.  18

Golden Balls - Gareth (inspected and verified by QBG)
Creep of the Week - Olwen. (With her predilection to constant curtseying, the Queens are considering the provision of an embroidered kneeler, though would that all our subjects were as obsequious).

The Bog Brush award and the Park Your Bike award were given, in absentia, to Robert and Craig respectively as they were on their way to Blagnac.

QBA has been reliably informed that the 'yallerats' have arrived.  For those of you who, understandably, will be scanning the horizon for sight of such exotic creatures, my Royal Footman tells me that they will be worn by the female members of the LOLS next week. Similarly, it is understood that the LAGS are now in possession of new 'pinkats'.

1.30pm Wednesday 16th November at Olwen & Gareth's.  Please remember mugs, knives, plates, glasses, bottles.

Yours exceedingly Queenly


2nd November 2016
Petanking Report - Gill & Jeremy's

My dear ELPers

Before commencing the full report of yesterday's matches, your much-loved QBA, on behalf of both your illustrious Queens, feels it is her bounden duty to remind some members that we have a very strict Petanking Code of Conduct. (How else does one keep order with such a rabble?) Yet again we had a recurrence of some most unseemly harassment of the Official Marshall and the Official Measurer when their judgement was called into question. A yellow card was twice shown by Marshall Gareth - a hitherto unheard of eventuality. We would remind the perpetrators that the OM's are there by Royal Appointment, chosen for their accuracy, keen eyesight, and sense of fair play.  Their decision is final, and no argument will be countenanced. Further disruption of our otherwise harmonious afternoons may well result in some players being thrown into the Royal dungeons without any tea.

It has also come to our Majesterial Ears that some of our subjects are adopting the rather high-falutin' nuances of the Court of Louis Quatorze, sometime Patron of the Academie Francaise.  It is also possible that some subjects may have visited the Loire and taken up what is supposed to be the purest spoken French, (contaminated as it was by the English) but we would remind you that here in South West France we are part of Occitanie, and we therefore expect adherence to the local, far more interesting and pure pronunciation.  Your Queens wish it to be known that we do not PAY-TONK, we PEE-TANK.

Notwithstanding the foregoing disappointments, your Queens were gruntled, (one imagines that if one can be disgruntled, then one can also be gruntled), at the magnificent Tossing of many of the players.  Eve in particular must be congratulated for the accuracy of her shots, helping the otherwise sadly Lagging LAGS to their finest score for five weeks.

EXLAX.  60
LOLS.  60
LAGS. 15

LABOOZERS.  Their magnificent score of 9 has only been beaten twice in 16 matches, (approx 90 games).

I am sure you would all wish me to thank our gracious hosts, QBG and Jeremy for the most delicious soups emanating from the Royal kitchens at Le Pouche Palace, and for the diligent re-surfacing and raking of the pitch. It is a very fine venue indeed.

You will not be surprised to hear that your Queens have this morning received a missive from France Television inviting us to participate in a documentary 'Les Fous Anglais'.  It is, however, tempered by the fact that QBG had a visit from the Maire of Lachapelle complaining that one of the men who should have been minding his own business and getting on with the Fauchage actually fell off the shoulders of one of his mates whilst trying to peer over the hedge to watch our match.  The Maire was given a whisky and invited to field his own team at the next match.

Would all members please confirm whether or not they are able to attend the Banquet on 30th November, and please pay the €5 per head if they haven't already done so. (QBA's footman has a list of those who have paid).

Wednesday 9th November at 1.30pm at Robert & Angela's.  Your ever-caring QBA has unearthed an ancient recipe for Soupe de Bug Puent;  it is a very enticing shade of green.  Please remember to bring your mugs.

Your supremely Queenly Queen

26th October 2016
Petanking Report - Tim & Carrie's

My Loyal Subjects (with a few exceptions)

Your Gracious Queens were most grateful for such comfortable thrones, although a little tinsel, despite the dull day would have been a suitable enhancement for such Royal personages.  Carrie had obviously been toiling in the soup kitchen most of the night and had produced two delightful soups and a rather strange, though delicious bread.  One could have been forgiven for thinking it was an early Good Friday bun, given that it was round and decorated with a cross. (It does not bear thinking about that it might indeed have been a rather late one). We extend our Regal thanks to Tim and Carrie for the provision of a most splendid venue.  Despite performing the Sun Dance most of the morning, your Queens felt it only fair to point out that had more of our subjects joined us, the sun would have come out earlier. It is to be hoped that others will share this arduous burden in the future.

On a most serious point of order, will all players please note that the Official Scorer and the Official Measurer's decision is final.  Week after week they perform their duty with care and precision, and apart from the Queens who are entitled to wander wherever they please, they are the only people allowed within spitting distance of the tossed balls.  However, we do not propose to have a spitting competition - please save your spittle for the nut spitting competition in Lavit.

Your Queens' hearts were gladdened by the arrival of Jill D, although it is very surprising she arrived at all. Were it not for your beloved QBG and her Prince Consort who flagged her down she might even now be nearing Paris.  Her arrival was most timely given that so many were AWOL this week, but your dutiful and much-loved Queens made it their Royal business to re-arrange the Teams so that a semblance of order prevailed, although it has to be said that some people hadn't the faintest idea whether they were coming or going.

There was much jubilation amongst the two LABOOZERS, Tim & Carrie, when it was announced that they, and their borrowed player, Mike, were for the first time winners of the Petanker Vanker Trophy - only slightly tempered by the fact that Carrie handed it back to QBA who will now have to ask her under-footman to polish it for next week.

LOLS.  60
EXLAX.  56
LAGS.  13
LAFS.  12

Next week:
Wednesday 2nd November at 1.30pm at QBG's and Jeremy's.  QBG will provide the soup, etc.

Tomorrow night, Thursday:  Happy Hour at The Queen Vic from 6pm for tapas and drinks.

Your vainglorious Queen

19th October 2016 
 Petanking Report - Olwen & Gareth's
My Treasured Subjects

Such was the extremely high level of Petanking today, one can only conclude that some of the lower ranks must have wind of the fabulous prizes to be awarded at the Queens' Banquet to the season's best Tossers.  Competition was fierce, but, as we have come to expect, your Sovereign Swanker QBA's Team, the LOLS, raced away with the Petanker Vanker Award, putting them at the top of the Leader Board.

LOLS.  57
EXLAX.  55
GAGAS.  51
LAFS.  12
LAGS.  12

A visiting LABOOZER, Claire, tossed with an ease and grace rarely seen amongst the ELPS - probably because she's not even old enough to have heard of Monty Python.  It is to be hoped her parents, Tim & Carrie, attend to her education forthwith and acquaint her with the original words of 'I'm a Lumberjack'.  Such dereliction of duty is hard to comprehend.  You may see it here:

The Queens were most impressed by Gareth and Olwen's outdoor Petanking Palace with its gilded thrones and seating for the common herd, arranged as is only right and proper in a circle surrounding your magnificent Queens.  Every comfort, including a roaring log fire was provided. The uphill pitch proved a great success, not least because the tossed balls were near enough for everyone to see.  Furthermore, not only did we enjoy a scrumptious late lunch, but Olwen also provided a delicious tea - well beyond the call of duty, but allowing us all, of course, to drink all afternoon.  We extend our Royal thanks and gratitude to our faithful subjects, Gareth & Olwen.

The food was perfectly splendid making it extremely difficult to choose the Posh Nosh Award, but this week's winner by a Royal Whisker (not that your dear Queens have any of those, of course) was Carrie.

Your magnanimous and Royal Thoughtfulness, QBG, had been up all night hand-crafting many new and most exquisite golden medals;  it is to be hoped that the recipients appreciate their quite extraordinary beauty, and handle them with the care they deserve.

She has not, however, handled her own balls with care.  Her Prince Consort suffered an eye-watering near miss as seen in the first photograph below (with thanks to Deputy Official Photographer, Mike of the LAFS).  More photographs right at the bottom of the BLOG

Next meeting - Wednesday 26th October 1.30pm at Tim & Carrie's.

Tomorrow night, Thursday - Happy Hour at the Vic.  As the official HH doesn't start until 7, perhaps we should meet from 6.30, instead of 6?

Your Sovereign Swanker

Queen Bees A & G

19th October 2016
Regrettably, some subjects just did not appreciate the extreme lengths your illustrious QBA went to to design the 'balls in the air'.

18th October 2016
My Dear Queenie

I am indeed perplexed by the disappearance of such interesting items, although not at all surprised that so many of our subjects forget to collect their belongings.  The wonder is that they manage to arrive in the first place, and even more surprising that they find their way home - though quite whose home they find is an open question.  One can only hope that they have sufficient time between now and 1.30 tomorrow find their way to Olwen & Gareth's.  One feels that a few lessons in map-reading are required, but then again, what does one do with those who cannot read at all?

I do agree, dear Queenie that unclaimed items should be offered for sale on eBay.  I know not what that might be, but no doubt my page, David, who is acquainted with the somewhat vulgar exploits of the lower orders may be able to enlighten us.  One imagines that perhaps it is something to do with the sea, in which case I will request the Deputy Official Scorer to speak to the Admiral of the Fleet, Nick.  Failing that, do we know someone who is familiar with those infernal machines known as 'computers'?

Should you have found the time in your exhaustingly busy schedule to produce the 'Tarted-Up' gong, I do agree that Anne & Robin are always immaculately turned out and would be worthy recipients.  However, Anne is AWOL this week.  Might you also have the time to produce the 'Posh Nosh' Award?

With fondest love, dear Queen


18th October 2016

Dear Queen A

Yet again we appear to have someone in our realm who is purloining, and others who haven’t the sense to collect their belongings at end of play.  I am currently in possession of a small black baking tray with a white tea towel (which has faded pink and yellow stripes – perfectly clean, however more than a little tired in my humble opinion, and hardly fit to grace the club dining table).  Also a silver toned serving spoon stamped AMEFA 18/0.  I appreciate it sounds like a football team but it is definitely some maker's mark.  Had I discovered it was solid silver I would not even suggest we try to find the owner.  I also have a brown and cream dinner plate which has a scene of Boston in the centre (people watching boats entering and exiting the harbour) and stamped on the back is ‘Historic America’.  It is a Johnson Bros of England plate, nicely marked and possibly worth selling on Ebay should no-one claim it.  Absent Petanquer Craig delivered all four items to me as they had all been left at his home.  

The article purloined belongs to our loyal subject Anne who is missing her kitchen tongs.  They disappeared from the dining table at last week’s gathering.  It is indeed extremely sad considering they are so cheap to buy and even more so if one frequents NOZ.   We can only trust the person who took said item returns them with all haste to Anne as she is currently having great difficulty lifting her pasta, turning her bacon and pinching Robin.  I was able to return to her another item Craig found, a delightful pastry fork.  One couldn’t help but notice how refined she is when serving cake, and the dainty forks just speak of class and delicacy.  Sadly the same does not always apply to her game but I feel we are able to ignore that when she does other things so beautifully.  Have you noted how well turned out she and Robin are each week?  Their jaunty red neckerchiefs never fail to bring a smile to my face.

Queen G

Date: 14 October 2016 

Petanking Report - Mike & Gill's
Hello Humble Petankers
It was most gratifying last night to see that there was much less screeching and leaping about than your dear Queens have witnessed in earlier games.  Whilst we wish to give our subjects every opportunity to exercise their brains and bodies, this must, of course, be done with decorum.  One does appreciate, of course that small brains need more exercise than larger ones, as witnessed by the fact that very few of our dear subjects have managed to commit to memory the words of the Petanking Song.  As has been noted before, this may well be that few can read, a most vexatious situation for your dear Queens whose sole aim it is to alleviate the misery of the lower ranks.

Notwithstanding such disappointment, the standard of play was much improved with QBA's most splendid team, the LOLS taking the Petanker Vanker Trophy for the second week running.  The Queens also wish to thank Mike & Gill for providing a palatial venue, and Marshall Gareth for his most admirable raking of the pitch.

The LAFS were for the first time able to play as a separate team owing to the fact that they were not required to make up numbers in other teams.  It has to be said that they made a promising start, notwithstanding the fact that they either forgot or refused to wear their brand new Chairman Mao hats.  It is to be hoped that by our next match they will not only deign to wear them, but will also have made the necessary team badges.  Your Queens wish to remind you all that proper uniforms, hats and badges must be worn on all occasions, self-discipline being such an important part of one's education.

Two other teams were AWOL - the LAGS and the GAGAS;  their excuse of being 'out to lunch' cut little ice with the Queens who realise that there is probably a much more interesting explanation.  It is also most regrettable that half of the GAGAS, Di & Bob, have decided to hibernate for the winter and will not be playing again until the spring.  This may well be because they do not wish to relinquish their hold on the medals they won last week.  Their departure and the absence of David & Elaine will inevitably result in their being ousted from the top of the Leader Board which means that they will not be collecting the most splendid end-of-season, solid gold, jewel-encrusted, Winners' Cup (and other valuable prizes) at the Queens' Banquet.  For the remaining teams there is, therefore, all to play for.

EXLAX.  54
LOLS.  53
GAGAS.  51
LAGS.  12
LAFS.  10 (amalgamated score with the LOOS)

Wednesday 30th November at 12.30 at Robert & Angela's.  (€5 per head + a bottle)

Wednesday 19th October at the NEW TIME of 2pm at Olwen & Gareth's.  If it is raining we shall eat indoors.  As play usually takes less than 2 hours, we intend to hold a Royal Referendum:  PLEASE LET ME KNOW whether you prefer to eat a late lunch (2pm) or an early supper.

Your most illustrious and pompous QBA has been pounding away on her typewriter in the tower of the Royal Palace, producing something which is rather crudely called a BLOG.  This, dear subjects, chronicles the exploits of the ELPS and is available for your perusal.  Will those of you fortunate enough to be able to read please inform those who can't that there are lots of pictures (more than in the usual reports).

Thanks to Carrie whose skills with her mobile phone are much to be applauded (most of us have no idea how to take a photograph) it has been ascertained (and checked by QBA today) that there is a Happy Hour on Thursdays at the Queen Vic From 7pm - 9pm.  Drinks and tapas are available.  We hope to persuade the management to commence at 6pm.

Your ever-loving and forgiving
Gill T. of the LAFS
Off for a drink...

EXLAX Frank - a very fine Tosser

The EXLAX - QBG, Jackie, Jeremy, Frank

Deputy Marshall, Olwen adjudicating the measuring

Marshall Gareth making the decision


Captain of the LOLS and a most remarkable Marshall - Gareth

LABOOZERS - Tim, Robin, Carrie, Anne with QBG

Not even a piece of paper separated them!

A close inspection by Marshall Gareth

Date: 13th October 2016 
Subject: Re: This Evening
Dearest Queenie

I foresee tyranny; all the GAGAS and LAGS are AWOL tonight.  We must prepare ourselves for  a fight.  I suspect it will be cudgels, if not pistols at dawn, as the other Teams jostle to depose the GAGAS from their lofty position.  It will, of course be an opportunity for us to inaugurate the LAFS as they will not be needed to fill vacant positions tonight.

Do you think, my most esteemed co-Queen, that we should take up shields and firecrackers with which to defend ourselves?  On second thoughts, we do of course have the Hoarder, Hoarder and the Deputy Official Scorer to defend us.  A visit to the armoury will be arranged forthwith and a Royal breastplate brought forth.  Meanwhile I shall hie me to the Royal bedchamber to rest my weary legs.

Until this evening, dear Queen
Queenie A

On 13 Oct 2016
Dearest subjects

How kind of you, at long last, to refer to yourselves as ‘your devoted subjects’.

I feel duty bound to advise you we have seen through your excuse for this evening.  You use the word ‘dining’ which indicates ‘dinner’ which is an evening meal.  Royal eyes are akin to that of a bird of prey and this mis-use of the word ‘dining’ did not fool us.  We have already spoken to Eve regarding her luncheon, to which you have been invited, and in no uncertain terms chastised her for  a) holding an event on a Petanque day and b) for not having cancelled her luncheon.  She gave a rather poor excuse involving the lovely Fields who I have no doubt would have insisted on another date had they known it would prevent you all from participating in matches this evening.  I am sure you will now see how disappointing it is for Queen A and myself to witness such lack of dedication and especially when it is the last evening session to be held this year. 

Having said that, we greatly look forward to seeing you at the Petanque Grand Dinner.  Sadly you may have severely jeopardised your chances of winning any of the annual awards however we will take in to account, when judging, your open and heartwarming enthusiasm, your jumping and screeching, and try to forget your oft time sharp criticism, lack of veneration (poking your tongue out at me on Monday afternoon comes to mind) etc.  It would be unfair of us not to comment on the obvious skill you and your team have shown over the weeks which on occasions has been beyond belief.  We look forward to you rising to the challenge of improving your game even more next season.

Love Queen G

PS Reign dear, not rain. Is there any hope?

Date: 13 October 2016 

Subject: Re Petanking
Dear Loyal Subjects, Di & Bob

I think I must be hallucinating - can this really be a message from the Di who has stamped her anarchical name all over the Petanker Swanker Award, and from the Official Judge who has yet to do any judging at all?  What a pity you won't be there this evening to receive the PISS Award for the Perfectly Improved Subjects!  

Your beloved Queens may also call on you and give you a private rendition of the Queens' Song to reward such loyalty and grovelling.

We also note that you have decided not to participate in the WIGS - Winter Indoor Games, no doubt concerned that strip poker might bring on a chill.  You will, of course, be much-missed.  However, we do hope that you will be able to attend the Queens' Banquet on 30th November, especially as you may be in line for a Very Special Award - the like of which has never been seen before.  Suffice it to say that the Deputy Official Scorer has his sword at the ready.

We hope you have a good lunch today with Eve;  we do of course realise that Petanking tonight would be out of the question for the three of you as no doubt vast quantities of falling-over water will be consumed.

Yours very Queenly

Date: Thu, 13 Oct 2016 
Dear Queens
We are unable to participate this evening as we are dining out with another of your devoted subjects.
We also have started with the winter activities & don’t feel we can commit another afternoon in your loyal service.We would like to thank you both for all your hard work in making the petanking such a success & such good fun.
We’ll on our marks with heavy grovelling when the season starts again next spring.
Your loyal & obedient servants – best wishes to to you both & long may you rain!!!!
Di & Bob

Date: 6 October 2016

Subject: Petanking Report - Craig & Jill's
Ello ELP

My gracious co-Queen and I wish to thank Craig for his most generous hospitality, especially for the Royal Pavilion which sadly was usurped by some lesser mortals but nevertheless provided a most Queenly seat for one of the Royal bottoms.

Competition was keen and the winners by a French country mile were the LOLS who are just beginning to show their mettle.

On the whole it was gratifying to note that behaviour was much improved, with one exception who shall be nameless, but who was, of course, the recipient of a certain award.

The fire-pit, which in centuries past would have provided scintillating sport, was an excellent focal point, and thanks to our genial host, produced extremely sticky toasted marsh mallows.  Your Queens are wondering whether a little toasting of recalcitrant persons might improve their behaviour, or at the very least add a frisson of excitement for everyone else.

Petanker Vainqueur - LOLS
Tosser of the night - David
Tit of the night - Gill T
Petanker Swanker - Di
BS of the night - Frank
Man-Keeny - Tim
Some Awards were missing:  the Temperance Award given to Gill T last week was not returned this week.  She said she 'forgot it'.  One suspects her amnesia was brought on by her practising for the Pe-Tanked-Up Award.

Notwithstanding this serious omission, the Queens most graciously provided new caps, not unlike those worn by Chairman Mao and his followers, to Mike & Gill and Craig & Jill whose duty it is to make-up the numbers of official teams whose members have gone AWOL.  When they are not needed for this purpose and have served their apprenticeship to the Queens' satisfaction they may be allowed to form an Official Team of their own - to be known as the LAFS (last and (almost) forgotten).

EXLAX.  52
GAGAS.  51
LOLS.  47
LAGS.  12

Your Queens feel it is their bounden duty to show their appreciation of your Camaraderie, Sportsmanship and Loyalty (with a few exceptions) by arranging a Royal Banquet at QBA's Royal Household on Wednesday 30th November at 1pm. (Date and time to be confirmed).

Unaccustomed as we are to grubbing about in the Royal kitchens, we understand that the provision of a common garment called an 'apron' will ensure no nasty stains appear on our regal gowns.  We therefore intend to shop, prepare, cook and serve our Loyal Subjects (that is, we don't intend to serve our subjects up on platters, but to serve victuals TO them).  All we ask is a small contribution of €5 per head (it doesn't do to spoil one's subjects too much), and a bottle of wine.  The Royal Menu, of course, is secret.

On this occasion, the fabulous, solid gold, jewel-encrusted, end-of-season Cups, Medals and Awards will be made.  The new season will commence the following week.

Thursday 13th October at 5pm at Gill & Mike's.  A covered pitch is available if it is raining.

BOOZING NIGHTS at the Vic from 6pm
Tonight (Thursday)
Tuesday 11th October

Commencing Wednesday 19th October, Petanking will be on Wednesdays at 2pm, followed by Supper.

Yours most Royally, on behalf of both your illustrious and much-loved Queens,

Date: 29 September 2016

Subject: Petanking Report - Gill & Jeremy's
My dear Subjects
May I first congratulate my co-Queen and her Consort for the provision of a most outstanding Petanking Pitch and for their unstinting generosity in hosting last night's event - a truly memorable occasion.  At this juncture, I must also thank them both for their fabulously beautiful gift of a delicately and intricately crafted ROYAL CROWN BROOCH.  This will be worn at all future matches.  It will, of course, be admired, but may not be touched.

We were much comfited by the return of the Official Marshall and the Official Measurer (although it has to be said that she didn't do an awful lot of it).  However, these two loyal LOLS most generously provided what can only be described as a delicious but most peculiar cake.  It is not often that your Queens are expected to eat part of a camper van, even though it was made with Royal eggs from the Royal hens.  Another excellent cake was provided by Elaine of the GA-GAS, using an ancient Roman recipe requiring a servant to crush the fruit underfoot which probably explains why Page David was last night accompanied by clouds of flies.

Your Queens, much hassled and indeed harried as they are, made an unfortunate error last night.  The Man-Keeny Award was erroneously described as being for the Best Dressed Man.  In fact, it has nothing to do with sartorial elegance, but is an award for keenness, though not necessarily competence.  It will be properly awarded next week.

Meanwhile, we have an important announcement to make.  It was noted that GAGA Bob dispensed with his usual half-mast trousers (worn, we understand to keep his ankles cool) and instead wore what can only be described as a most unseemly pair of bags which of course raised his ankle temperature to an uncomfortable level.  We feel that the resulting rolling-up of his trousers was nothing more than an attempt to put-off the opposition, which it most assuredly did.  Your Queens are in discussion as to whether it may be necessary to dock 10 points from the GAGAS score.

Petanker Vainqueur - the GAGAS
Tosser of the Night - Carrie
Shady Lady of the night - Eve
Man-Keeny Award - Bob
Pe-tanked Up Award - Robert
Temperance Award - Gill T.

Further Awards - to be made next week
Petanker Swanker - for the most disruptive and unruly player
Boule Bonker - for the single best performance (shot)
Tarted-Up Award - for the most prestigious uniforms

LOLS. 38
LAGS. 12

Next meeting:  Wednesday 5th October at 5pm at Craig & Jill's.

It pains us to have to say this, but your Queens noticed a distinct relaxation of the uniform rules;  please ensure you are in future correctly dressed, badged and hatted.  As we have now completed 11 matches, it is also felt that by now everyone should know all the words to the Team Song.  Tests may be carried out next week, and anyone repeating the word 'lavatory' will be summarily dealt with.

Boozing tonight - Thursday - at the Vic from 6pm.

More pics below.

Your most efficient and loving Royal Queen

Date: 27 September 2016 
Subject: Petanking Wednesday 
Hello ELP
Just a reminder to our loyal (though often unruly) subjects that we are commencing Petanking at QBG's & Jeremy's tomorrow night at 5pm.

It is announced that this will be a very special occasion as the Queens have graciously agreed to 'Let them eat cake' (although more correctly historians say it was not 'cake' but brioche).  Notwithstanding such trivia, LOLS Gareth & Olwen are providing a most scrumptious and elegant cake (or the remains thereof) for our delectation, part of their recent Golden Anniversary Celebration.  Our subjects are reminded that there is to be no fighting or jumping the queue - there will be crumbs enough for all.

In the absence of the Royal photographer who would much sooner grovel as a Page, your most beneficent QBA will bring her camera to record the occasion.  Please ensure that you are all correctly turned out in your uniforms and hats for such an auspicious event.

Your Queens are mightily relieved that the Marshall, Gareth will again be supervising the games;  it is to be hoped his presence will restore the matches to their previous level of sportsmanship, rather than a repeat of the unseemly behaviour witnessed during his absence.

I, leave you, dear subjects to polish your balls and prepare for the morrow.

Your most Queenly

Date: 22 September 2016 

Subject: Petanking Report - David & Elaine's
My dear subjects

Whilst this week was not so unnerving as last week, your Queens feel there is much room for improvement.

The venue was excellent, as were the hosting skills of David & Elaine, notwithstanding the lack of velvet cushions on the thrones.  However, we feel this is most certainly a step in the right Royal direction.  We offer our regal thanks to our humble hosts.

It is painfully obvious to QBG that many of you have taken advantage of her absence and have proved disconcertingly obstinate in deferring to your beloved QBA.  For that reason, we have created a new Medal, the Petanker Swanker which will be awarded to the noisiest and most disruptive player.  You will not be surprised to hear that it has been awarded retrospectively over the past 10 weeks to Di.

Two further awards:
The Lady of the Night - with the proviso that she must actually be present to receive it.  It is an award made to the lady who applies herself to (but is not on) the Game.
The Man-Keeny - an award to the keenest man, though not necessarily the most successful, not to be confused with that malodorous nether garment worn by the lower orders when swimming.  The Queens hope it will not be necessary to inspect the men's underwear.

This week's Winners:
The Petanker Vainqueur - EXLAX.  Most appropriately, after such a long absence (though hopefully not abstinence) QBG and Jeremy were extatic to receive it.
Tosser of the Night - Craig on account of the fact that he turned up late, and did not impress us with his Petanking skills.
Pe-tanked Up Award - Di.  One feels perhaps in the light of her behaviour that this is long overdue.
Abstinence (of the alcohol variety) Award - Your beloved QBG

LOLS. 35

Next meeting at QBG's on Wednesday 28th September at the NEW EARLY TIME OF 5pm.

Tonight (Thursday) your glorious Queens will be holding court at the Vic from 6pm.  All our subjects are expected to attend.

With Royal superiority

Date: 22 September 2016 

Subject: Re: Well!
My Dearest Queenie
I am copying your message below and my reply to our demented subjects, most of whom cannot read anyway, but if they can, one hopes they realise they must scroll down to read your message first.


22nd Sept 2016 
My beloved co-Queen

I agree wholeheartedly with your synopsis of last night.  How glad I am, dear Queen, to have you at my side once again - even though some lesser mortals actually parked their backsides (for such is their common description) on our thrones where only our Royal bottoms should have been sitting.

I am, as you can imagine, in the absence of my cook, under cook, chef, housekeeper, ladies maid and footman (who have disappeared I know what where), engaged upon 'cooking'.  I am sure you never have the need to visit your own kitchen unless a similar fate befalls you.  Suffice it to say that the whole process of 'preparing food' is well beneath my dignity and the ennui is exceedingly hard to bear, but as you know, dearest Queenie, I have the ravening hordes to entertain on Sunday.  Most of them are, of course, well below the salt, but one must suffer with dignity on such an occasion.  My chief steward has slaughtered a fine beast, the cooking of which is my arduous task.

With regard to Bob's dress, I fear I could not stand the shock if his trousers were removed.  I suggest we command the Sewing Group to add a few inches to the bottom of the trousers, or buy him some longer hose.  What say you?

I have prepared a Petanking Report which I shall send to the motley rabble when the next pot goes over the fire.

Your most loving co-Queen

On 22 Sep 2016
Dearest Queenie, how greetest thou this fine morning?
I have to start with flowery prose as last night has left me totally discombobulated, ass from elbow, head from foot and so on - I just need to regain my feeling of regal superiority and to gain a sense of well being. I have consoled myself with the knowledge our dear Lizzie has similar problems with her own subjects (which does not include us of course).  Actually, in truth she warrants our greatest sympathy as she has had greater problems with her own subjects (Brexit comes to mind) as well as her motley family.  One can but sympathise, and through no fault of our own and without any concerns as to what others may think or believe, it automatically makes us superior.  Imagine - a daughter in law seen having her toes sucked!  It makes me shudder, fair causes my crown to wobble.  
Anyway, as much as my own dear Prince and I enjoyed last night, I was inflamed, disgusted, disgruntled and generally horrified by the behaviour of some - Di in particular.  What a performance, what vulgarity and such childish behaviour too.  How dare she jump up and down like a two year old and then have the audacity to embrace us without permission.  This behaviour has to be nipped in the bud, but how?
Such lack of consideration in light of your heavy work load this week is unforgivable and I would not blame you if you decided to delete them from your guest list.  Knowing you have a big and forgiving heart, which none of them deserve, I know you will weather this storm BUT I think you would be doing both yourself and them a grave injustice if you choose not to take some action.  May I suggest they be put on the table furthest from your own on Sunday, are seated on chairs that have had at least four inches taken off the legs, and are served last and with a meagre helping.  Actually, why not just send them to the kitchen.  I think they will get the message.
I am also concerned about the dress code.  It would appear that in Frank's absence, Bob took it upon himself to dress like a demented leprechaun!  Has Di totally lost her  laundry skills or has he grown.  For sure his socks were close to an argument with his short trousers.  Heaven forbid him starting a new fashion.  No, either the socks go or his  shirt trousers do.  What say you?
Love Queen G

Date: 15 September 2016 

Subject: Re: Welcome home!
Oh well said, my loyal subjects!  I shall hasten me off to find one!
On 15 Sep 2016
Your majesty 
Bring back the birch!!!I suspect it is the only answer.
Your loyal servant

Date: 15 September 2016

Subject: Welcome home!
Dearest Queenie
I trust your Royal Faithfulness and your Consort have had an unremarkable journey home.  I await news that the Royal Jet has safely landed and that your chauffeur has driven you back to La Pouche Palace with all due attention to your comfort.

Whilst not wishing to discombobulate you at such an exhausting time, I feel I must avail you of certain unsettling developments within the ELP in order that we may discuss how best to handle the situation.

I was more than a little disturbed by the arrogant, one might almost say anarchic attitude of some members at the match on Monday.  Whilst one has every sympathy with those of low-birth, one must also remember that you and I, dear Queenie, have an obligation to our subjects to encourage them to behave with more propriety.  I cannot write it in full, but the word c---- was loudly chanted at your Devoted co-Queen - yes, not merely intoned, but shouted, dear Queen!  I will, of course, whisper the word in your Royal ear, and no doubt you will be as distressed as I am.

You may have read in my Report that I have suggested a CON Award (Complainer of the night), but I doubt it will be of sufficient impact to deter the perpetrators from exhibiting yet more shocking behaviour which may also, of course, incite others.

Education is obviously the answer, but one must consider suitable punishment in the meantime.  Do you suppose we might have a Royal conflabulation?  I feel this is of such import that we must not prevaricate.  May I ask you, dearest Queenie to contact me as soon as you are able?

All love

13th Sept 2016
Petanking Report - Nick & Jo's

My dear subjects

Your beloved Queen and the Deputy Official Scorer were delighted with their stupendous score last night.  It is quite understandable that the sheer frustration of losing may have caused some to resort to common catcalling, but a rather more serious matter seems to have surfaced.  After consultation with my co-Queen, we feel it is our bounden duty to issue free spectacles and hearing aids in an attempt to prevent a future outburst of what might otherwise be deemed bad sportsmanship.

Some argued with the judgement of the Marshall simply because they mis-heard, and others claimed to be able to see the position of the balls from several yards away.   Furthermore a prominent member of the GAGAS resorted to altering the scoreboard and has retrospectively been awarded the CON Award - Complainer of the Night, which will be handed over at the next meeting.

The POPS (Providers of the Pitch), Jo & Nick were given the Petanker Posh Pitch Scroll which they intend to place prominently on permanent display above their door.  We offer them our sincere thanks for their hospitality and indeed very posh pitch, although this is somewhat tempered by the need to remind Nick (and others) that the Queens hold the position of supreme authority at all Petanking matches and as such expect due deference.  The Queens are in discussion as to whether it may be necessary to provide literacy classes for those who claim they don't read the reports and do not wish to sing the song.  It is strongly suspected that this is an excuse because they are unable to read.  One can only sympathise with their plight.

You will all be gratified to know that your Queens have commissioned a Petanking Coat of Arms.  Since there is no longer a Fons Honorum in France, this is under the authority of the College of Arms, and out of deference to our Scottish and Irish players, in conjunction with the Lord Lyon King of Arms and the Chief Herald of Ireland respectively.  It is expected that the Coat of Arms, on an escutcheon, will hang in the Hotel de Ville in Lavit, or possibly the bar at the Vic.

Scores of the night
LOLS. 11.     EXLAX. 9.     LABOOZERS. 7.     GAGAS. 3.     LAGS. 1

LOLS. 35

Next Meeting:
Wednesday 14th September at 6pm PROMPT at David & Elaine's.

Your Queen is pleased to announce that Her Royal Faithfulness QBG will be back and will share some of the arduous load your beloved QBA has been forced to endure in recent weeks.

Your beneficent Queen

Date: 9 September 2016

Subject: Petanking Report - Anne & Robin's

Your most gracious QBA has today received a perfectly splendid regal photo of your much-missed QBG.  The perfection of her Royal wave is worthy of particular attention.  It has not gone unnoticed, however, that her crown is a suitably elaborate and valuable headpiece, as befits her status, an honour not accorded to your other beloved Queen, QBA.
Nevertheless, it has to be said that QBA's throne last night was superb.  Anne & Robin have in their possession a most wondrous golden silk cloak - an ancient relic from the Silk Road, dating from the 2nd Century BC.  Your Queen is very grateful that her Royal bottom was accorded such opulence and comfort at last night's match.

Today your most gracious QBA has been acquainted with the fact that in certain parts of France, notably around Nice, the boules are square so that they don't roll down hills.  One suspects that the success of the EXLAX team may well be because they have different balls from the rest of us.  It is therefore proposed that there will be inspection of your balls before the commencement of the match on Monday.  Anyone's who are not perfectly round will be disqualified.  Similarly, anyone caught spitting on his balls (Bob, please take note) will also be disqualified.

Petanquer Vainqueur Award:   EXLAX, captained for the second week running by Graham.  EXLAXERS please note that you are required to bring a bottle of champagne to the next match as you have won the PV two weeks in a row.
Tosser of the night:  Mike of the LOLS
Abstinence Award:  Gareth & Olwen (one can only suppose they were feeling unwell) Petanked-up Award:  Paul of the LAGS on the basis that he had absolutely no idea how much beer he had drunk.

LOLS. 24

Many thanks to Anne & Robin for their hospitality.

Next meeting:  6pm Monday 12th September at Jo & Nick's.  Anyone wishing to follow us, please be here at 5.45pm.

More pics below.

Your most high-falutin 

Date: 2 September 2016 
All part of the Majesterial plan, of course - I believe the motto is 'Keep 'em squirming'.
QBA xx

On 2 Sep 2016
Not many handmaidens about these days to mop to mop one's fevered brow.
I tremble at the thought of a most demeaning task given your exaltedness - and the longer it takes for your graciousness to  think of something suitable the more nightmares I shall have to endure.
  Yours in humbleness.
  david xx

On 2 Sep 2016
Hi David
I sympathise with your hectic lifestyle and especially the sunstroke.  No chance of a handmaiden mopping your fevered brow, I suppose?
We shall look forward to seeing you both on Sunday night.
As your Queen, I must take issue with the synopsis of your team strategy.  Your reasoning is nothing more than a clever ploy to excuse your lacklustre performance.  It did not go unnoticed by your crafty Queen (SO much craftier than her humble subjects) that yours was the only team indulging in the rather vulgar 'Team Hug' - no doubt consoling each other for your poor performance.
Any more of this wisecrackery and you will be given a most demeaning task - when I've thought of something suitable.
Your Demonstrably Forgiving Queen
On 2 Sep 2016
Hi Angela,
All this paper work with France/UK Double taxation, throwing steel balls about, sunstroke whilst tractoring, and frenzied social activities are taking a toll on my aging grey cells.
Despite all these burdens we shall bring our carcasses on the Sunday evening.
I'd just like to mention in passing that the so called "Trouncing" of the Gagas was somewhat inaccurate - it should have read: The Gagas, as one of the truly altruistic teams in the competition, kindly agreed amongst themselves to take a step back for a while to let all the amateur players strut their stuff. You, as a Queenly observer, would have noticed that the only people to have taken advantage of this generous offer were the overseas visitors.
david xx

Date: 1st Sept 2016
Subject: Petanking report - Robert & Angela's
Hello my (mostly) loyal Subjects

Thankfully the GAGAS were well and truly trounced this week by almost every team;  they have been giddy with success for several weeks and last night they took a mighty tumble to the BOTTOM!  The ever-faithful LOLS shared this inglorious position, but all members of the Team carry the weight of every match on their shoulders.  Gareth is the Official Marshall;  Olwen is the Measurer in Chief;  Robert has been elevated from Deputy Official Scorer to Official Scorer;  and you all know what an arduous position your exalted joint-Queen Bee A holds.

There was some confusion over names; the LAX, despite the modified spelling, are still confused with the LAGS.  The former will henceforth be known as EXLAX - a title suggested by your other beloved Queen Bee, G.

EXLAX 8 - winners of the Petanker Vainqueur Award
LOOS 6 - a most promising performance by newcomers

TOSSER of the night - Graham of the EXLAX - an outstanding performance, although no-one believes he hasn't been Petanking on the beaches of Tassie since he was knee-high to a cricket.

PETANKED-UP Award - Bob of the GAGAS who at one point was heard to shout 'Come on the Frelons', somewhat rudely referring to the LOLS in their glorious yellow uniforms.

QBA gave a Royal welcome to new members Mike & Gill and to visiting players Chris & Lode, Marcus & Becky and Graham & Maureen.

As your Queens expected, our fame has indeed spread worldwide and there were 6 countries represented last night:  Scotland, Ireland, Wales, England, Australia, Belgium.

Your gracious QBA, despite much imploring and knee-bending by her subjects declined to sing the QUEENS' song, but a recording may be heard on YouTube

Next meeting:  Wednesday 7th September at 6pm at Anne & Robin's.

Pics below

Your most Queenly Queen

Date: 26 August 2016
Your grovelling is accepted, of course, and probably a few curtseys too...

On 25 Aug 2016
We most humbly apologise for failing to turn out this evening at the Le Vic or le Marche 'Gourmand' but we have just returned  home after a rather good lunch out - shouldn't drive and couldn't eat another thing!  Have fun!  Groveling, 
C & T xx
On 25 Aug 2016 
Thank you, dear subjects, for sharing your appreciation of our song.  Sadly, you will be unable to hear it 'in the flesh' until my co-Queen returns.  Be assured that the live version is far superior (as you would expect) than the canned version.
I am sure QBG will agree that such deference as you have displayed will stand you in good stead for the Petanker Swanker award.

Your presence on the 31st will, I am sure, be much appreciated by the LABOOZERS who have fought valiantly to defend their honour.

We are meeting tonight at the bar at 6.30, prior to bagging a table for the Marche Gourmand.

Yours very Queenly

On 25 Aug 2016 
Dear Majesties
What a magnificent song & delivered in a most queenly manner. We, your loyal subjests--if sadly absent from the last two meetings--bow in reverence. We shall most certainly be present at the next meet on 31st August suitably badged and hatted. We shall ty very hard to improve the rather lowly Laboozers score and, of course, live up to our name.
Your most humble servants
Anne & Robin

Date: 23 August 2016

Subject: Petanking Report - Di & Bob's 
Hello Petankers

The Petanquer Vainqueur trophy was won by the Ga-Ga Team on Sunday with an obscenely high score and it was felt it may be necessary in future to to test them for illegal substances (with the exception of any local eau de vie).  However, this will not take place until after the next event because if they win the cup next week a bottle of champagne will be required to compensate the losers.  Originally it was suggested that the cup should be filled with champagne, but there wouldn't be enough to go round and it might taste of metal polish.  The 'Tosser of the Night' award went to David and, appropriately, Tim of Laboozers was awarded the 'Petanked-up' award.

Our sincere thanks to Di & Bob for their hospitality, although it is just possible that they were guilty of match-fixing, judging by the copious amounts of alcohol Bob dispensed.

Your illustrious and much-loved Queens entertained the assembled crowd with the Queen's Song.  For those who preferred other music to ours - unbelievable though that may be - they may hear it on YouTube via the link below this message.  Autographed DVD's will be available shortly at €10.99 each, a special discounted rate for our loyal subjects.

The next meeting will be at 6pm on Wednesday 31st August at Robert & Angela's.

Will all those who were AWOL this week please ensure they wear their badges, otherwise we may not recognise them.

This coming Thursday, 25th August is the Marche Gourmand in Lavit.  We propose to meet at the bar at 6.30 prior to grabbing a table.

On Sunday 28th August there is a Trotting meeting at Beaumont.  It may be too hot to trot, but for those who are keen, taking our own picnic at 12.30 worked very well last time.  As we have family staying, they may prefer to go to Negrepelisse to see the cars.  There is another Trotting Meeting on 4th Sept, and if you are not dashing off to Lectoure for the Alan Ayckbourn play, you will be welcome to come here for a Trotting Supper - a reminder will be sent nearer the date.

Regrettably, Queen Bee G and the Official-though-never-officiating-Scorer are taking a break and will not be returning until September.  We wish them an excellent Royal Holiday.

Queens' Song:

Your most gracious and beloved Queen

Sent: Tuesday, August 23, 2016
Subject: Re: Tonight
My dear Queen
In your absence, I fear I will be unable to make the 'Manners Award';  it needs two Queenly heads to discuss and dismiss those who, frankly, will never be considered worthy of any award at all, unless we have a new one 'Plonker of the Night'.
I await your most gracious Royal Assent on the subject.  One has to feel a measure of sympathy that they are so lowly born.  One knows that it is not really their fault, although one would hope they might try harder, given that we are so magnanimous in our beneficence.
I look forward to seeing you tonight at 6.30, dear Queen.  Please remind me - are tiaras to be worn?  If so, I need to send my footman to the vault.
Your most Queenly co-Queen
22 Aug 2016
                              Dear QBA
I totally agree but what can you expect from people of their genus.  
They truly are sadly lacking in comportments in all areas, harsh statement I know however totally fair in my jumble regal opinion.  If I can give them a modicum of forgiveness it would be to say a good many have limited hearing, limited eyesight and their parents are to blame for their lack of social skills.  Olwen did express a desire to sing the song and as such your suggestion is an excellent one.  May I ask that you take it upon your broad royal shoulders (when not wearing your sable cloak) to practice with them in my absence.  Sadly I fear last night drained me of patience and it is just as well I will now be on royal leave for three weeks.  Rest assured I will keep in touch to offer my support as far as I am able from a distance.

Sunday, August 21, 2016 
Subject: Tonight
My dear Queen
Another good night, but with mixed results.  I fear I was underwhelmed by the reception of our song but one can only say that our subjects are unused to culture;  one can only feel sorry for them.  Perhaps we may sing it again on another occasion and hope for a more enthusiastic response.  If not, I think we must insist they sing it themselves.
You will be greatly missed, dear Queen, and I trust you will be in constant touch with Queenly guidance and support.

Date: 17 August 2016

Subject: Petanking Report - Tim & Carrie's
Hello Petankers

Many thanks to Tim & Carrie for a superb venue last night.  Your Queens felt there was a distinct lack of concentration on the game as most players were too busy gawping at the spectacular views.  However, notwithstanding the distraction, and the occasional meandering across the pitch by a couple of stray dogs, we felt the standard of play has risen considerably.

No balls were lost by over-enthusiastic tossing, but sadly there was a lot of argument over the measurements.  The Judge was nowhere in evidence when required (still yakking), and it was felt that some members need new glasses.  Fortunately, the Marshall and his wife, the Deputy Official Marshall, were able to stop any fights by producing a most splendid measuring stick.  It may well be that the Queens will produce another kind of stick on Sunday to keep the rabble in order.

Sadly, most members had not bothered to even read, let alone learn, the Team Song.  If it hadn't been for the Queens and the Marshalls it would have been a most pathetic rendering.  Please practise before the next match.

Leader Board:
LAX. 19
LOLS. 15

The GAGAS put in a stupendous performance tonight, scoring 5 points.  The Queens have therefore decided to award them, retrospectively, a NEW AWARD:

The Petanquer Vainqueur, to be known colloquially as


There will be a presentation of the cup on Sunday night which the GAGAS may hold for the duration of the match.  It will then be awarded to the TOP TEAM that night who will hold the cup until the next match.  If it is won for two consecutive matches by the same Team they will be required to fill it with champagne for the next match.

Next match:

Di & Bob's at 6pm this coming Sunday 21st August.

Please park in the chestnut orchard just beyond the house.

Your very Queenly Queens

15th Aug 2016
(Sung to the tune of 'When I was a Lad' from H.M.S. Pinafore)

You may listen to the QBA and QBG singing on YouTube 

As little girls we were so bright
That even then we were always right
We always knew we were the best
ALL our teachers were most impressed
AND so cunning and sly were we
That now we are entitled to be called Queen Bee

The Queens are rich and you are poor
But we never ever THINK of ourselves at all
Re-member all the time we've spent
Writing all the rubbish out for this event
We HOPE dear subjects you now can see
Why now we are entitled to be called Queen Bee

We polish our balls to make them shine
Our tossing and scoring is quite sublime
Our egos are our finest trait
Growing every day at a very fast rate
So KIND and generous and are helpful are we
No wonder wonder we're entitled to be called Queen Bee

We have to stomach all your moans
And turn a blind eye to the lack of thrones
Controlling a rabble is such a pain
Never will you hear your Queens complain
In FACT so gracious and humble are we
We know we are entitled to be called Queen Bee

We are CLEVER with very big hearts
We even smile when someone farts
Petanker Vanker is one of our gongs
Plus cups and medals and silly songs
--- We ARE so special --  you must agree
That's how we are entitled to be called Queen Bee

Now Petankers all whoever you may be
If you want to rise to the top of the tree
If you practise your curtseys and know your place
And always defer to your Queens with grace
--- If you polish your balls --  assiduously
You ALL may become a Prince or Princess Bee

Copyright QBA
15th Aug 2016

Date: 14 August 2016
Subject: Petanking Report - Frank & Jackie's
Dear Petankers
I'm afraid that QBG and I have to declare that last night was a complete shambles.  No-one had the faintest idea what was going on and no-one could remember their own names let alone the names of their Teams.  This was not helped by the fact that the Deputy Official Scorer appeared to have forgotten how to write, the Judge was too busy yakking and the Marshall gave up halfway through.  This just isn't good enough, although it must be said that our gracious hosts had been up all night preparing a most delightful setting, for which we offer our grateful thanks.

We, your most Regal Queens, have decided that as most of our subjects appear to have had no education at all (or it was so long ago they have forgotten it), it will be necessary to simplify proceedings for the future.

These are the Queen Bees' Rules (subject to amendment or abandonment without notice)
1.  All Teams to wear a badge denoting the Team Name
2. Members to provide one plate of food and however many bottles they are likely to drink, bearing in mind that 16 bottles were drunk by 10 members at Olwen & Gareth's.
3. Members to bring their own cutlery, plates & glasses and boules
4. The hosts do not provide food or drink
5. Start time 6pm
6. The Team Song to be sung at the commencement of proceedings, and before going home. All members will be expected to know the words by Tuesday (printed below).  If you are unfamiliar with the tune you can hear it on this link:

During the mayhem last night at which your most gracious QBG awarded the medals, it would appear that some of you will be AWOL on Tuesday.  Please could you all confirm whether or not you will be attending at Tim& Carrie's, Tuesday 16th August at 6pm?
Your Royal Regalities
(Sung to the tune of that very fine song from Monty Python, ‘I’m a lumberjack...')

We're petankers and we're ok
We toss our balls in a very fine way

We eat a lot. We drink a lot
We go to the lavatory
On Thursdays we go boozing
And have canapes for tea

We toss our balls. We try to score
We don't know what to do
We wish someone would show us
We haven't got a clue

We toss our balls. We skip and jump
We think we're pretty fit
There's nothing like petanking
To go a..e over tit

There’s nothing like petanking
To go a..e over tit

Copyright QBA

14th Aug. 2016

11th Aug 2016 - Subject: Saturday Petanking 
Hello Teamsters
Jackie has said that she would very much like us to go Leprechaun Hunting at 6pm on Saturday, rather than wasting time at the bar.

No pointy ears or felt boots were in evidence tonight, but on the initiative of Queen Bee G, the occupants of the chateau next door to Frank & Jackie's have been prevailed upon to severely cut back the hedges to facilitate the siting of Petankers with binoculars.

Jackie assures us that we may well spot a naked leprechaun, and to minimise the chances of any fainting from shock at such a sight, gallons of drink will be on offer.  Some may think they have a better chance of Leprechaun Spotting after imbibing, but that will be a matter of individual choice.

It was also expressed tonight by some members of the hitherto absent LAGs that they were embarrassed at their Petanking ineptitude;  they have been assured that such lack of experience will in no way preclude them from winning.  Furthermore, when asked how long the Petanking Competition will last, the Queens replied that it will be a minimum of 4 years, so serious are they to field a team at the Olympics in Tokyo in 2020.

Frank has been assiduously watering the pitch as he feels that soft going will increase the LAX's chance of winning.

We trust that we may rely upon a full turnout at 6 pm at Frank & Jackie's on Saturday night.

Yours very Queenly
          Queen Bees A & G

9th August 2016 
There is a big difference between disporting oneself naked on the lawn and having a late dip.  One can only conclude that his motive was to shock - which he surely did.

Olwen and Gareth, being assiduous in their research on Boules Courts, have ordered 5 tons of sand in the name of McGrath, to be delivered at midnight.

I think the leprechaun might need a rake... 
QBA xx
9th August 2016 
To whom it may concern
Who do you think was the leprechaun- I hear that he was taking a late dip
and didn't expect voyeurs!
9 Aug 2016
Dear Queen G

I fear you are right;  the giveaway must surely be his rendering of that ancient Irish song.

It is disturbing in the extreme that a man of slightly more mature years than the two of us should wish to flaunt himself in this a way.  The sight of such an apparition 'skipping' across one's lawn must have been gruesome indeed, but notwithstanding his 'other' physical attributes, does he have pointy ears?

I have certainly noticed a certain eccentricity regarding coloured socks - presumably made from the leftovers of the felt hat and boots.  I shall make it my Queenly business to inspect his footwear when we meet at the QV on Thursday.

I will leave it in your capable hands, dear QBG, to ensure no naked boulers, whether male or female, appear on Saturday night.

Disappointed of Lavit

Date: 9 August 2016
Subject: RE: Rare sighting
Dear Queen A
I fear it was Frank cavorting and disporting in the moonlight.  I have heard
rumours that he is predisposed to such antics and worse.  A couple, who I am
unable to name, found him by the side of their fish pond one night, wearing
only a pointed red hat and green felt boots, fishing.  When challenged he
declared it is not only gnomes who have the rights to fishing and, so they
told me, he skipped (yes, skipped) off across their lawn with everything
swinging and dangling (including the goldfish he had landed) singing 'It is
a long way to Tip a Fairy'.  The latter is totally insupportable as the
unmentioned couple are gay. They have never fully recovered from the shock.

I have to question whether or not it is wise to offer the lady help.  I
myself found her in the garden one day, sitting in the shade totally
absorbed in her work.  No, not weeding, not cutting the grass but fashioning
felt boots.  I'm afraid her phone call to you was no more than a red herring
and on the leprechaun's insistence.  I fear that any intervention could
cause her more distress.  Imagine living with a leprechaun.  The last thing
we need is for him to turn (I hear they can if the moonlight is exceedingly
bright and at a certain angle) and insist on playing for his team naked.
Even worse, he might insist on all of us dressing, or should I say
'un-dressing' the same.  It is more than my delicate nature can endure.

I think I have answered your question as to where Frank was in all this -

I must take to my royal bed as I feel an attack of the vapours coming upon

Your distrait fellow Queen, G

9 Aug 2016
Subject: Re: Rare sighting
Oh splendid!  One would not wish to play on anything but the perfect pitch.  How do you think the leprechaun is getting on with the spreading?
QBA xx

9th August 2016 
The leprechaun was probably awaiting the delivery of the 5 tonnes of sand and gravel that was ordered in the name of McGrath from the gravel pits at Merle's.  (see rules regarding playing surface in "Rules of Petanque") They promised an early delivery but by moonlight ?
                    Olwen & Gareth

 09/08/2016 - Rare Sighting
My Dear Queen Bee G
I have just received a most distressing phone call from Jackie.  Apparently last night, whilst taking a turn around the garden for some fresh air, she happened upon a most alarming sight.  There, cavorting in the moonlight was a large, naked leprechaun!  He, for she could see it was indeed such, was gambolling, and dare I say, disporting himself in a most unseemly fashion.
You will appreciate, dear Queen, that the poor lady is in need of immediate help.  I suggest we exhort, nay demand, that her nearest neighbours rush over forthwith with smelling salts and a large net.
Dare one ask where Frank was in all this?
Your Omnipotent Fellow Monarch 

8th August 2016 
My Dear Fellow Queen

Those are indeed most splendid suggestions.  Undoubtedly your sojourn in England has increased your Queenliness.  As I remarked to David (upon being reminded that he is DR. David), Queen Bees have no need of education or nasty exams;  they rely entirely on their cunning, and their highly-developed sense of self-importance.

It is to be hoped that a person or persons of lower rank than our elevated selves will fashion some suitable badges for 'Temperance' and 'P-tanked-up' which you and I will most graciously bestow on the lucky winners.

Perhaps we should remind our subjects that payment of bribes has been rather slow of late;  I feel quite sure that several of the 14 (or perhaps it was 16) bottles consumed at Olwen & Gareth's were actually intended for my Royal lips.  Since they were purloined in a most undignified manner by some of our subjects I shall expect to receive extra bottles on Saturday, accompanied by several bags of crinkly crisps for you, my dear Queen.

Very Royally yours 

Date: 8 August 2016
RE: Petanking
Dearest fellow Queen and, dare I say, subjects.

I was told, on good authority,  more than a little liquid refreshment was imbibed last week.  It could be the reason I returned to the disappointing news my team had come second.  It leads me to think it might be necessary to have two additional awards.  For the most sober player I suggest the Temperance Badge.  For the person who is able to play despite being absolutely plastered, may I suggest the P-tanked-up Badge.

I await your royal thoughts and/or approval. 


Sent: Monday, August 8, 2016
Subject: Petanking

Hello Petankers
We, your illustrious and much-loved Queen Bees wish to inform you that we have inspected the pitch at Frank & Jackie's and find it to be eminently suitable for the match on Saturday night. In fact it is perfect – a sylvan glade - very possibly home to assorted Irish imps and sprites (some bigger than others) who may assist or otherwise in our petanking.
It is felt that with the next Olympics a mere 4 years away, we should be selecting our Team – the Expat League of Petanque Olympic Team – ELPOT, (not to be confused with the Expat League of Petanque International Team – ELPIT). The latter will be required to take on the French in Lavit, and the former will be required to take on the world in Tokyo in 2020. With four years of training and practice we feel a Gold Medal should easily be within our grasp.
Now that the WMC (Working Men's Club – Frank, Tim & Robert), are sufficiently adept at their exercises, they have generously offered coaching sessions to those of us not privy to their antics in Lavit. Courses will be offered in weight-lifting, cycling and aerobics.
For those who wish to partake of a little liquid refreshment, we shall meet at the QV at 6pm on Saturday 13th August. Those who are already drunk can weave their way to Frank & Jackie's for 7pm.
Please remember to bring:
Uniforms and hats
A plate of food to share
A bottle – preferably full
Plate, cutlery, glass.
Your most Queenly Queen Bees 
A & G 

Date: 4 August 2016
Subject:  Petanking Report - Olwen & Gareth's 
'Ello ELPers
Such was the extremely high level of Petanking last night that your Queen Bees are considering entering a team for the Olympics.  It is thought that most, if not all, are beyond childbearing age, so there should be no risk from any nasty viruses.

The Queen Bee's most splendid Peacock Throne was not only a delight to the eye, but also to the Royal bottom, enhanced as it was with the softest of magisterial cushions.  Royal thanks are warmly extended to hosts Gareth & Olwen.

There were some truly stupendous costumes and hats - of special note were those of half the LAX (Jackie & Frank), and half the new LAPOUPs (Tim & Carrie).  The time in procurement and enhancement (I speak of the exquisite embroidery on the formers' shirts) is to be highly commended, possibly qualifying the wearers to model the ELPIT's (ELP International Team's) Olympic uniform.

The Leader Board shows a remarkable recovery for the LOLs - increasing their pitiful score of one to a magnificent 7, whilst the LAX are still in the lead at 13.  Gareth, Captain of the LOLs, attributes their success to the fact that on professional advice the LOLs have dramatically increased their consumption of alcohol prior to the match.

Queen Bee A has sanctioned the LALAs' request for a name-change (though not a sex-change) to the GAGAs, on the basis that the latter is rather more insulting than the former.  It should also be noted that three-fifths of the GAGAs (Di, Bob & David) arrived one hour late. They are all obviously incapable of reading emails, although they proffered the miserable and totally unacceptable excuse that David had recently arrived from England and had forgotten to alter his watch.

Our next match will be at Frank & Jackie's on Saturday 13th August at 7pm, following a meeting at the QV at 6pm for those who (a) need a drink and/or (b) don't know the way.  It will be necessary for two thrones to be made available as your illustrious and much-missed Queen Bee G will be making a grand re-appearance.

Your Queen Bee A will be holding court tonight at the QV at 6pm, prior to the Marche Gourmand at 7.30pm at Beaumont.  It is hoped that as many of her subjects as possible will be there to further increase her wholly justifiable sense of self-importance.

Following the dismal failure of Royal Photographer, David to remember his camera, Robin has supplied the following most decorous photographs.  It will be noted that both Birthday-boy, Jeremy and Royal cake-maker, Olwen no longer have eyebrows. 
Yours most Queenly

30 July 2016
Your Royal Extremely Highness

As one Queen to another, we are surely duty-bound to put in place some education for our subjects?  Their understanding of our high-brow humour leaves much to be desired.

I even heard a mutter from my own dear husband that he didn't understand The Working Men's Club;  he preferred The Boys' Brigade.  I ask you, men in their 70's!   Do they suppose that we are stupid enough to think all they do at the kine is exercise?

We look forward to your most gracious return.  Do you require Page David to assist your arrival?

Your Exalted Highness

29 July 2016 - Upside down photographs
Dear Anon
I have received a similar complaint from one of the LAGs;  it is a mystery beyond my pea-brain to rectify.  All the pics are the right way up on my machine.

Any suggestions would be gratefully, though not humbly received.


29 Jul 2016 - upside down photographs
You may not believe this but artists, designers & photographers (in short all those that engage in visual communication) frequently turn their images upside down to consider the composition.
However, may I humbly point out to your Excellency that the general public normally prefer to have any visual record of their life style to be regarded the right way up.
 Until Wednesday next by the lake.
With very best wishes that you do not trip up on any red carpets.
 An anonymous LaLa 

Subject: Re: Petankers
29 July 2016
Hello Fellow Queen

I am indeed conflabulated if not to say completely overawed and mystified by your command of the English language.  I appreciate your humility in suggesting that such beautiful words are the result of predictive text.  No simple machine could possibly match such exquisite articulation.

I intend to decree that our humble subjects have a whip-round (of the monetary kind) to provide another jewel for your crown

With love from one Queen Bee to another

29 Jul 2016
Good spawning Steamsters
I am reignited that yet apain my team won.  I drink I can say, on behind of my team, we depreciate the rest of you are out of hour legal however it does sieve one a parrot to breach, a sty and standhard to ejaculate.
I have no spout that Robber tried his breast with the scouring.  QBA and I will be grieving hymn some couching.
Needless to stray, I knew my bustband would have Polish balls.  I had always suspenderred Frank would have shyly balls thanks to Jackie's skillets with a fluster.
Stay sarong and dessicated to the club.  I retune swoon.
PS. Don' you just hate predicted text 

29 July 2016 
Subject: Petanking Report - David & Elaine's 
Hello Teamsters
On behalf of QBG and me, I wish to extend sincere thanks to our hosts for this evening, LALAs, David & Elaine.  The pitch was superb, as indeed was the welcome.

Regrettably, the LAX won yet again, closely followed by the LALAs who had the added advantage of newcomers Tim & Carrie (who are actually the LOBs but who graciously agreed to assist the LALAs on this occasion).  Tim, who is vying with Robert and Frank for the delectable Delphine's attention at the kine, tossed a magnificent throw to secure a fine score for the LALAs.

Please note that Under Scorer, Robert, found it impossible to distinguish between a G and a C, thus confusing the LAGs with the LACs.  The latter, therefore, are now known as the LAX, or in the case of QBG who is on her Royal visit to England, the EXLAX.

LAX members Frank & Jackie are to be congratulated on the state of their balls - extremely bright and shiny, a credit to their carriers.

The LAGs and the LAPOUPs were notable by their absence, although we wish Eve well following her tussle with the pool cover which has rendered her incapable of tossing a ball.  Meanwhile the LOLs who are assiduous in their preparation have yet to score;  they are obviously saving the best till last.

Although QBA was accorded a measure of obsequiousness, one feels obliged to remind one's subjects that a red carpet should be made available at the next meeting in order to protect one's dainty little Queenly feet.  We are meeting at Olwen & Gareth's on Wednesday 3rd August at 6pm as the bar won't be open.  As it is Jeremy's birthday it is hoped Craig will be in attendance to toss the birthday boy into the lake.

Gareth made the point that we might be in conflapuration (new Queenly word) of the BBC's 'Queen Vic';  after limited discussion, QBA has decided that henceforth it will be known as the QV.

QBG made a special phone phone call to remind Jeremy to polish his balls;  he declined several offers of help, but nevertheless managed to toss his balls most successfully this evening.

Yours very Queenly

29 July 2016 
My dear Subjects

There are a few points which require clarification:

1.  It has come to my notice that there was some discussion last night as to the correct pronunciation of the activity in which we are engaged, namely Petanquing.  Should it rhyme with 'spanking' or 'bonking'?  The Queen Bees have decreed that 'spanking' is correct as it is more commonly practised in this part of France.

2.  It has been observed that Frank, Tim & Robert frequently slink off to the kine in Lavit, ostensibly for 'work' on various parts of their anatomy.  Thus a second decree has been passed; henceforth the establishment to which they go is to be known as The Working Men's Club.

3.  It was noticed last night that Marshal Gareth failed to do his job properly, necessitating a rise of the Royal bottom from the Royal chair in order for QBA to call the teams.  It is expected, indeed demanded that the said Marshal marshals at the next event.

4.  Improper dress will not be tolerated.  Jeremy forgot his hat (very LAX), and Nurse Jackie has yet to wear her upside-down watch (very very LAX).

Yours most Queenly

 28 July 2016 
Well, well Merlyn, wot a very clever page you are!  I foresee that as you have rid the garden of those nasty usurping bees - not part of my Royal entourage I assure you - you may be in line for a small promotion.  What that might be will be a matter of discussion with my fellow QB.

I am much cheered at the prospect of a most Queenly seat for my Queenly bottom;  please pass my sincere thanks to the other superior Queenly one who has afforded me and my subjects such comfort.

Rest assured there will be no rest for my wayward subjects until they come into line.  'Yours not forever' may cost you dear.


28 Jul 2016
Madam Angela Benett: 
Queen of Everything you can think of - and then some more.

Your Majestic Majesty,

Another Queen (who believes in absolute female power)  thanks you for your very kind offer of extra seating but deems we have sufficient footstools for everyone to park their bottoms on with a fair amount of comfort.

Please tell your downtrodden Deputy Scorer to chuck his dungarees in the wash basket  and to grab a couple of hours of well earned rest. I shall save him an extra big glass of wine to take his mind off things.

By the way, yesterday we observed a swarm of bees buzzing around the top of the house (poolside) and I was wondering perhaps if Queen Bee almightyness has really taken hold; that is to say you had summoned members of Apis Mellifica to be in attendance for your arrival this evening. However, I put on my Magic type hat and gave them a right good talking to' guess what, this morning they had all gone.

Yours (not) forever!


 28 Jul 2016
David Meredith, Esq., ACA.DEM.IC.


Indeed you are right - power does corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely, but as Queen Bees of little brain we have no need to worry ourselves with such tosh.  We are perfectly happy wielding our enormous power and inflated egos;  the trivialities of the common herd, such as fair play, honour, kindness, would never enter our little heads.  We are far too busy buzzing about and showing-off to wonder what others think about us, severely hampered as they are with very big brains.  In fact, we don't care a jot.

Do you have need of extra chairs tonight?  I can get my Deputy Official Scorer to put on his dungarees and load the car.

Seeya later..

Queen Bee A

28 Jul 2016
It is true, speaking as a former (and currently clapped out) academic I write to say that we do not wield power like Queen Bees.
What we do however is to think about the dimensions of power and it is this context I write to say not only does power corrupt but - more importantly - if power is exercised without wisdom (as one observes is currently the case) then at some point all those who have been 'Bundled' will leave the the Queen(s) without any subjects to dominate.
I offer this advice to your excellency for you ponder upon and perhaps treat your loyal subjects with a little kindness - at least from time to time.
We are now - almost - prepared to meet and greet all combatants this evening.
  Yours in psychological warfare

25 July 2016 
Hello David, 
You may well have a most splendid PhD, but I'm afraid it doesn't hold a candle to the far superior 'Majesty' of my own qualification.  Academic qualifications rely on the intelligence and application of the student;  Majesties, however rely on their own stratospheric opinions of themselves - absolutely no need to do nasty exams and spend years studying.  Indeed we have no need of any intelligence whatsoever, just the knowledge of our own vast superiority over lesser mortals.
Queen Bee Bundling is an ancient and often misunderstood sport.  QB's, whilst having little intelligence have a highly developed degree of cunning;  to be QBB'd is a most fearsome fate.
We look forward to seeing you on Thursday for a rematch.  It is to be hoped that the other LaLa's will be there to help their woefully inadequate team.
Yours very Queenly, QBA

28 July 2016

Good afternoon my minions.   What do you mean 'withdraw' - you are not allowed to do that! 
But worry not - we also have some Thursdays which will have to be changed.

You will receive a further communication - perhaps posted on the Palace gates (although it has to be said that neither Queen Bee is expecting any little buzzers)

Yours exceptionally Queenly
28 Jul 2016
Good afternoon Your Majesty, Having consulted our social calender I regret that the LOOS will have to withdraw from the Petanque group since we will be unable to play for the next four Thursdays. We wish you well and may possibly be available in September subject to acceptance by yourselves.

Have a good evening tonight

Robin and Anne aka the LOOS


Ello ELP

Just a reminder that you are all expected on parade tonight, apart from a few who have already reneged.  Holidays, other engagements, etc. are tolerated but not encouraged, apart from my fellow Queen Bee Gill who has been invited to England to meet Her Majesty.  Unfortunately, her page, David, completely forgot to accompany her, so she has no-one to assist in the onerous task of getting to and from the Palace.  However, it is expected that HM will visit QBG at her summer residence.

For the faithful followers, we meet at 6pm at the Queen Vic, and 7pm at David & Elaine's at Asques - or straight to Asques if you prefer.

We are delighted to welcome some more players - Tim & Carrie from St Jean du Bouzet - to be known as the League of Bouzet - LOBs.  I'm pleased to say they are already showing signs of dedication to the ELPs, having spent the best part of yesterday in the loft trying to find their balls, leaving them no time, of course, to prepare their uniform and hats.  However, such dedication to their balls is rewarded by this clip from YouTube kindly provided by another keen player, Eve.

See you tonight - don't forget plate of food, bottle, knives & forks, plates, glasses, and boules if you have them.  If not, there are plenty to share.

With love from your highly-esteemed 
Queen Bee A

25 July 2016 
Hi Queenie
I'm afraid that I have only just got round to replying to this, on account of the most serious nature of the message.

I feel that The Speaker and 'Hoarder' are most appropriate titles for Jeremy.  I hope he accepts the accolade in the spirit in which it is offered.

They do all indeed need to practise their bowing and scraping, but one feels that perhaps a system of forfeits might bring them into line.  As you say, washing up, cooking, gardening would all be most suitable.
I trust that your Royal hand has perfected its wave during your sojourn in foreign parts.

Now to a suggestion I know your Queenship will consider most carefully.  One thinks that perhaps a Confrerie, such as the one in Lavit for the nuts, and the one in Beaumont for the garlic should be set-up up to mark our most remarkable ELP.  The Confrerie of the Royal  ExpatriatE Petanque Society  CREEPs.  What do you think?  We will, of course, require robes and tricorn hats.  I will send you a picture for your perusal.

Meanwhile, I hope the Royal little toe is mending.


22 Jul 2016
Oh Lordy
 Doesn't life get so very complicated for one.  Jeremy for sure should have the title of The Speaker as he has every right to say 'Hoarder, hoarder, hoarder'.  Or have I got that wrong?
To be perfectly honest with you Queenie, I fail to see what any of our subjects have done to warrant a title of any sort other than their team name.  One is thinking they should work for such recognition in terms of bowing, scraping, knee bending, flattering, feeding, watering etc. and one also thinks a bit of weekly house work, garden maintenance etc. would not go amiss.  What think you?
I have been sitting here practising my royal wave, that slight sway of the hand from a rigid wrist - mm, perhaps I need to rephrase that!  One knows what one means I am sure. 
Love QBG 

22 July 2016 

I am indeed gratified that you wish to avail yourselves of these most splendid caps.  Furthermore, although I do appreciate that there may be many alternative spellings, the only one acceptable to The Queen Bees must be in the same spirit as the acronyms of the other teams, namely: 

LACs   League at laChapelle - in this case reverting to the original spelling - we understand that 'La' was a recent addition in an attempt to aggrandise the village. 

LAGs. League at Gensac

LALAs.  League at Asques

LOLs. League of Lavit

Any additional team will be known as the LOOs - League of outsiders.

I trust that the foregoing will serve to appraise you of our serious intent.

QBA on behalf of QBA&G

22 Jul 2016
Your majesty
I think the red head gear obtained at such considerable expense would be perfect for the Lapoups with some individual tweaking. We apologise for the incorrect spelling--we had thought that, being now in Occitania, we should adopt the Occitan spelling for our title but bow to your much superior judgement
The Lapoups



I have today obtained at VAST expense (€1 each) some very fetching, brand new, red cotton caps.

If you wish to avail yourselves of these for you and your team, you are most welcome.  The addition of a Team logo or badge would, of course, render them exceedingly appropriate for future pétanque matches.   If, however, you wish to provide your own distinctive headgear, they will be offered to another team.
Your beneficent Queen

 22 Jul 2016
 Good afternoon your majesties 
With much pulling of forelock and bending of knees we your grateful subjects would like to acknowledge with gratitude the first leg of the Petanque Challenge.We apologise for our dismal performance but we shall be working hard on our technique and general fitness. We submit grovelling apologies that we shall not be available for the next leg but look forward to joining you on the 4th August. We are negotiating petanque playing rights on the land of our uphill neighbours. We hope that the other half of our team will then also be available. 
With our respect and admiration
                        The Lapops (Anne & Robin)

21 July 2016 - First Leg
          Petanking Report - Robert & Angela's 
Hello Teamsters,
We, the Queen Bees, wish to thank you for your co-operation this evening.  Despite a few setbacks - refusal of the Official Scorer, Jeremy, to officiate;  general mix-up of everyone's balls; usurping of the Queens' thrones by mere mortals, etc. - we are cautiously optimistic that future legs of the tournament can only improve.

Winners this evening were the LACs, although it has to be said that with the absence of the Official Judge, Bob, this result has yet to be verified.  It must also be noted that the Official Coach, Frank, confined the imparting of his expertise to his own team only; such favouritism will not be tolerated at future events.

Next Thursday our hosts will be LaLas David & Elaine.  Please bring a plate and bottle to share, plus your own plate, cutlery & glass.  Drinks at the Queen Vic at 6pm;  Tournament at David & Elaine's at 7pm.

It is gratifying that all Teams made an effort to provide Team Colours and uniforms though it has to be said that the finishing on some items would not have passed muster in the 'Sewing Bee'.

Whilst the Official Photographer, Val, has captured some quite remarkable action, we are printing a small selection here.  The best shots are being submitted to the national press.

It is hoped that the Mayor of Lavit, M. Garrigues will be available at the end of the season to present the trophies.  Meanwhile, the Queens advise that you all go off and polish your balls in readiness for the next leg of the tournament.

Queen Bees A & G

21 July 2016 - Headgear
Dear Queenie G

I feel in the interests of hiding one's light under a bushel, or keeping one's powder dry that we should not display our Queenly headgear too soon.  It is to be hoped that having our pink balls in the air will have a sufficiently startling effect on the assembled company that they are stunned into meek obedience, and of course obeisance, as we take up our formal Queenly positions immediately prior to the match.

You could of course interpret this as being too cowardly to be seen at the bar looking so ridiculous!

See you later!

Queenie A

20 July 2016 
Hello Teamsters

Whilst The Queen Bees realise that many of you are expert players, here are the Rules of Petanque.  We do have our own Rules to ensure fair play which will, of course, be rigorously enforced.

6pm at the Queen Vic for those who wish to imbibe before the match;  7pm at Angela & Robert's.  Please bring a plate and bottle for a shared picnic (or your own private picnic if you prefer).

Queen Bees A & G


Select Boules
Both teams select their boules. Each team's boules should have  Groove Patterns  that distinguish them from the other side's boules: that way, they will be easy to identify when counting up points. When playing Doubles, each player uses three boules.

Toss a coin to see which side goes first.

Toss the cochonnet
The team that wins the coin toss chooses the starting location and then selects one of their players to throw out the cochonnet. The starting location is indicated by a circle that is 14 to 20 inches in diameter and at least three feet from any obstacles. The circle can be drawn with chalk, etched in the dirt with a stick, or made from a piece of rope whatever works. Once the circle is drawn, the player then stands with both feet inside the circle and throws the cochonnet.  The cochonnet can be thrown in any direction but must land within 20 to 30 feet of the starting circle and three feet from any obstacle.

Throw the Boules
All boules must be thrown from within the starting circle and with both feet on the ground. The player attempts to throw the boule so that it lands as close to the cochonnet as possible it is okay to hit the cochonnet.. The player must remain inside the circle until the boule has landed. A player from the opposing team then steps into the circle and attempts to land his boule closer to the cochonnet  even if it means knocking his opponent’s out of the way. The boule closest to the cochonnet  leads or is said to be "holding the point." The other team must continue throwing boules until they take the lead, or run out of boules. There is no order that team members must follow when throwing their boules.  However,  they must only throw their own boules, and they must go one at a time from within the starting circle. If they take the lead, the other team then tries to recover by landing a lead boule.

Winning the Round
Once a team has used all its boules, the other side is allowed to throw the rest of its boules. When all boules are thrown, the points are counted. The team that has the boule closest to the cochonnet  wins the round. In addition, they also receive a point for each boule that is closer to the cochonnet  than their opponents’ closest boule. Only one team scores points during a round.

Beginning a New Round
Once the points are counted, the next round begins with previous round's winners drawing a new starting circle. This starting circle is drawn around the final position of the cochonnet in the previous round. The winning team then selects a player to toss out the cochonnet  from this new starting circle and then throw out the first boule.

Winning the Game
The first team to earn a total of 13 points wins the game. There is not a required number of rounds that must be played.

20th July 2016
Hi Queenie

That is indeed most excellent news!  The name LAPOU, or even LAPOUP is admirable!  I do hope they have time to choose their Team Colours and uniforms.

P.S.  I am working on the provision of two thrones...

20 July 2016 
Hi Queenie
I think I might have enrolled a new team.  Anne & Robin are keen to join us and thought they would invite the new Belgian neighbours to make a team. 

As they presumably come under Poupas I feel they should be referred to as LAPOU.  It has a certain ring to it!!! 
           Love Queen G

20 July 2016 
Dear LOL Olwen

Oh, how very splendid - thank you!!  Perhaps we shall be able to wear them to the Nut Festival too!

LOL Queen Bee A

20 Jul 2016
Dear Queen A,
LOL Olwen has now got sash factory in production, bright yellow to match hats, unfortunately have to be made in plastic (old cape from Tour de France) hope to have rosettes to embellish as a finishing flourish.
Lol Olwen 

Dear Dedicated LOL
Your attitude towards Merrylegs is to be applauded, but one usually finds that such people, once they start digging a hole, are unable to stop.
Do you think Monsieur Watt A Pratt could be persuaded to extend his coaching to other members of the LOLs?  I am sure his expertise would give us a head-start in what may turn out to be an exceedingly, and may I say disappointingly, shambolic affair.
I regret to say, despite all our efforts, the Lottery is nothing but an enormous disappointment.  Unfortunately, therefore, I am unable to offer a contribution towards your very necessary training diet.  However, as we are residents of France, I see no reason why we cannot apply for an EU grant.  I will consult my co-Queen with a view to obtaining an appointment with Monsieur Hollande as soon as possible.  I am sure he will look favourably on this very modest request.
I shall, of course, update you on progress.
Meanwhile I look forward to meeting my fellow LOLs at The Queen Vic.  
I have heard over the grapevine that the LACs are having a sewing afternoon to produce their uniforms.  Red trousers will therefore be very necessary if we are to give them some competition.  Does LOL Olwen have a surfeit of garish ribbons which could be fashioned into sashes?  Sadly, although a Queen Bee of the highest possible rank, I have nothing suitable to offer, although I shall look through my stash of old curtains which may yet yield something suitably ghastly.
If David Cameron says so, it must be right
Queen Bee A 

20 Jul 2016
Dear Queen A
Good on her for telling old Merrylegs to get knotted he needs to jump back in his hole and keep digging. On a more serious note, Olwen and I are continuing with our coaching (5 hours a day) under the tutelage of a former Olympic champion, a French Canadian, Monsieur Watt A Prat. He has been instructing us on our "grip technique" and we now have mastered holding either a wine glass or full Pastis tumbler in our non throwing hand while pitching, without spilling the contents. Today he is moving on to the next stage, simultaneously drinking and throwing. Our training is going well, but we do have awful headaches in the morning, and the cost of the lessons, 5 euros an hour plus 1 bottle of wine and 1 of Pastis is difficult in these times of economic uncertainty. We were wondering, as you are associated with the National Lottery, whether we can, as Elite Athletes, now apply for funding to help with our training costs. We are already having extra Paracetamol from the Pharmacy but these are covered by our Carte Vitale, so we only need the Lottery Funding for our "Drink Supplements".
Thank you in anticipation,

LOL, (David Cameron told us that means Lots of Love) Olwen & Gareth 

20 July 2016 
Dear LaLa

I am indeed heartened that you appreciate the seriousness of the task in hand and will forego any pre-prandials in favour of single-minded concentration on pétanque.

I am also somewhat mollified to know that the preparations for your Team Colours and uniforms are in hand.

I look forward to a keenly-contested match but would remind you of the Rule pertaining to 'no fighting', to which has been added 'no bullying'.  I am, understandably somewhat perturbed by your reference to 'knocking the living daylights out of anybody who crosses your path'.  Such belligerence will not be tolerated.

Queen Bee A

20 Jul 2016
Dear Queen Bee (A)
I'm beginning to feel a bit like Jeremy Corbin must have felt when verbally  lashed by Theresa May at Prime Ministers question time today. This is obviously the decade when all would be Queen Bees are forcefully exploiting their new found power.
However, you may be interested to hear that a mini conference has been held by the LaLas and uniform preparations are in hand. The committee has decided (unanimously) that we - as true professionals mindful of the need to carefully prepare  - we will not dilute our co-ordination by visiting the Vic but come straight to the main event. it is our intention to knock the living daylights out of any body who crosses our path.
 Yours not so sincerely.
 A dedicated Lala

20 July 2016
Dear Queenie
I couldn't agree more - to have these completely unappreciative bunch of Teamsters is indeed depressing.  Your suggestion that they should be compelled to collect printed emails is an excellent one, but how does one extract the necessary payment for the ink and paper - never mind our time?  One can only hope that a good slapping will bring them to their senses.

Such a sensible and timely quotation.  Perhaps it should be on our banner.  I attach a photo of our headgear - yours and mine.  I do also have some tiaras but will have to find them.

20 Jul 2016
Dear Queenie
My heart is saddened by the pitiable responses to your efficient, encouraging and explicit emails.  I think it only highlights the fact teamsters, with or without merry legs, are spending too much time trying to think up SMC's (smart ass comments) rather than dedicating their time to more meaningful pursuits which most definitely should include choosing  team colours and/or strip.  
Can there be a more obscure part of the Tarn & Garonne than the area between Asque and Caumont?  Is it not a mark of love for our  fellow men, our generosity, that we have contemplated teamsters from these far flung regions where there is a lack adequate internet connection?  We could say 'we (Queen A and Queen G) feel you must telephone to make an appointment to collect a printed set of emails. Just how much do these people expect of us?  Do they imagine we have the time to run around after them?  To give these people an opportunity to step in to the twenty first century and experience the joys of being part of a team and to enable them to be guided and coached in the skills of petanque should be met with gratitude and respect.  
I offer you the following quotation - 'The best of the sport is to do the deed and say nothing'.
Love QG

20 July 2016 
Mr Merrylegs

Your reference to 'sometime in the next 50 years' merely demonstrates the huge gulf in our respective expectations of the immediate benefits to be enjoyed by participating in ELP.  Preparation, practice, timing, physical and mental agility all play a vital part in securing the best possible outcome for all the Team Members.

Do you seriously expect me, a Queen Bee, to condone the digging of trenches as suitable preparation?  Furthermore, adequate and frequent communication and encouragement by means of email are a non-negotiable cornerstone of our strategy in producing players fit enough and sufficiently skilled and motivated to take on the French Pétanque Champions of the Tarn et Garonne at a future date.  Team Members who demonstrate unwavering loyalty and dedication to ELP may put their names forward for possible selection for the International Team ELPIT.

Such piffling objections by your department are met with the derision they deserve.  It has not gone unnoticed that the latter part of the acronym of your department is UP IT.  This is considered a most serious insult.  I shall, of course, be conferring with my fellow Queen Bee to decide on a course of action.

You may expect to hear the result on Thursday night.

I suggest you turn your attention to the more serious matter of deciding on your team colours.

Yours disappointedly
Queen Bee A
P.S.  I most certainly will not be 'telling Mr Robert Bennett' anything.  Do you seriously expect me to act as your messenger?

19 Jul 2016
To:        Queen B A,
Ref:        Internet Saturation
Dear Madam,
My attention has been brought to the excessive number of email transmissions originating from an obscure part of the Tarn et Garonne.
I am therefore obliged to remind you that we (see below) are in the process of planning an upgrade to communications technology by installing fibre optic cables to the area known as the Lomagne - sometime in the next 50 years. It would therefore be of great assistance to all my engineers if you could kindly refrain from transmitting trivial messages in excess of the requisite one per day: your messages are grossly interfering with our trench digging.
Thank you in advance for your consideration.
Your obedient servant (in theory) maam,
 D. C. Merrylegs
CEO Tarn et Garonne Communication Technology Upgrades Planning & Implementation Team. Lomagne Sub-District.
P.S. Please tell Mr. Robert Bennett , re his objection to allocation of extra duties without due consideration, that I will join him in the Revolution - as soon as the pub closes. ( With acknowledgements to Jake Thackery).

19 July 2016 
Dear Queenie G

A truly excellent idea - I am quite sure a lot of slapping will be required.  I am hoping I have time to type out the Rules to be handed out on Thursday night.  We most certainly need to take a very firm stance.

From one Slapper to another
Queenie A. TNP. Slapper.

19 Jul 2016
Dear Queenie A
I sometimes wonder why we bother.  It only proves that being philanthropic, patient, fortitudinous, empathetic, obliging (along with all our other admirable traits) is just not sufficient for some people.  I truly think it will be necessary for us to take a firmer stance with them.  As such may I suggest we add to our other titles TNP (take no prisoners) and Slappers.  I can see many of them will require some slapping if they continue in this childish and unprofessional manner.  
Love Queenie G

19 July 2016
Hello Teamsters

Regrettably Queen Bee A (not to be confused with the airline of that name) has received an objection from Robert saying he did NOT volunteer to be Deputy Official Scorer.  This is mere pedantry.  The entirely unintentional omission of the word 'been' - as in 'Robert has (been) volunteered' is deemed to be a wholly unacceptable objection.  After discussion with Queen Bee G (not to be confused with the pop group of a similar name) the objection has been overruled.

A fine of a bottle of wine for Queen Bee A and a family-sized bag of crisps (crinkly ones from Carrefour) for Queen Bee G has been imposed.

Queen Bees A & G

18 July 2016

Hello Teamsters
The first leg of the ELP Tournament commences on Thursday.  Following last week's meeting at Le Vic, there are a few amendments and additions.  It is to be noted, however, that one particular member was unhappy with the mnemonic LaLa.  Following serious discussion by the Committee (Gill & Angela), the answer is 'tough titty'.  No further objections will be countenanced.

In view of their enhanced status, the Committee ( Gill & Angela) are henceforth to be known as The Queen Bees - NOT to be shortened to the B Queens, although the title 'The Queens' will be acceptable.  With that in mind, Le Vic is also to be known as The Queen Vic (with thanks to one of our most loyal team members, Gareth, for the suggestion).

Olwen & Gareth, members of the LOLs, are to be congratulated for the provision of the most splendid Team Colours - caps and hats in Green and Gold - heroically obtained by throwing themselves in front of the cyclists in the Tour de France, and hand-embroidered by Olwen with the LOL emblem.  Furthermore so serious are they in their quest for a podium finish that training for the Tournament reached a new peak when they walked the 20 or so kilometres from Le Lac to The Queen Vic.  Undoubtedly they were greatly aided by their guide dog, Meg, but further exercise may mean that they will soon attempt the hike on their own.  Such dedication to duty deserves commendation of the highest order;  Olwen will therefore now be the Official Tosser, in charge of tossing the cochonnet.

Team members who have not yet chosen their Team Colours and uniforms are urged to do so as soon as possible.

Jeremy has volunteered to be the Official Scorer and if he is not available, Robert has volunteered to be Deputy Official Scorer.  It is, of course, entirely coincidental that their partners are The Queens.

The programme for Thursday 21st July is as follows:

6pm at the Queen Vic for those in need of some Dutch courage and to discuss team strategy, and 7pm at Robert & Angela's.  Competitors are reminded to bring their own picnic and wine, which can be a plate to share if you wish.

Further rules to be laid-down by The Queens as the Tournament progresses and subject to amendment or abandonment without notice.

We, The Queens, look forward to seeing you.
A Queen Bee, on behalf of A & G Queen Bees.
11 July 2016
Sometimes there is no suitable reply to a masochist.  French homework???  I stopped doing homework over 50 years ago!  Donc, c'est la raisin que mon francais est tres pauvre.

11 Jul 2016
Dear Angela,
Right now I need to type out my French homework and prepare for my next lesson.
So, when that is done and I can digest your most recent epistle I shall attempt to formulate a suitable reply.
Yours in red wine.
david x

         11th July 2016
My dear David
You cannot be serious!

You seem to think this is some sort of joke;  you have absolutely no idea of the weight of responsibility on the Committee's (Gill's & Angela's) shoulders.  Not only do we have to deal with recalcitrant players, but you expect us to limit our intake of alcohol as well - the cheek of it!  Furthermore, we expect to see you and the other LaLa's up at the Boules Court in Lavit receiving coaching from the French champions of the Tarn et Garonne.

We, the Committee (Gill & Angela) had hoped to keep this a secret, but we intend to challenge them to an International Tournament, at which you will be expected to represent your country in a suitably impressive manner.

I sincerely hope you make the effort to attend the inaugural meeting where your gripes will be addressed by the Committee (Gill & Angela)

Yours disappointedly
Angela (half of the Committee, on behalf of the Committee - Gill & Angela)

11 Jul 2016
To the ELP Committee (aka Angela & Gill),
One is willing to participate albeit there may be questions raised about one's abilities.
However, as a pre-designated LALA, an attempt will be made to attend at the Vic on Thursday to see wot is wot and to veto any further proposals and schemes for increased portions of red wine for the founder members of ELP.
Your former obedient servant maam.
david x 
          10th July 2016
Hello LOL Teammates 
Delighted you can join us - and green & yellow are very fine colours indeed!  If you can bring them to the Queen Vic on Thursday it will establish the LOLs superiority and of course create a little envy, all of which will play into our hands when the competition starts.  As you are by far the most experienced players in the league I think it's quite likely that one of you may receive another honour - the Tosser, (position suggested by Gill) although this obviously has to be ratified by the whole Committee (Gill & Angela).

I feel quite sure Skoda will be falling over themselves to sponsor us when they see us on TV and in all the papers.  Do you think we could request two cars?  I fully expect your negotiating skills to bear fruit.

See you at the Queen Vic.  We are arranging a lorry to carry the trophies.


10 Jul 2016
Hi fellow team LOL's, just to let you know that we (at great expense) have already obtained the team hats courtesy of the Tour de France. Green Skoda for the girls and yellow LCL baseball hat for the boys. Have not yet got sponsorship from Skoda unfortunately.
See you at the Queen Vic on Thursday.
                    LOL, Gareth and Olwen.


10th July 2016

Hello Friends

This may come as something of a surprise to some of you whose names appear below;  however, we hope you will feel moved to participate.

Naturally, after Wimbledon, one's attention is turned to ball-sports of various kinds.

With that in mind, we, the self-appointed Committee (Gill & Angela) are setting up the EXPATS' LEAGUE of PETANQUE  - henceforth to be known as ELP.  Most of us, of course, will need as much of that as we can get.

We propose to have an inter-commune tournament which will run over several weeks, until each team has played all the others, or until the wine runs out.  Spreading it over a period of time rather than one event will allow for absences and substitutions.  Those of us who have a grubby patch of gravel around our houses are invited to host.  Posher pitches will have to be inspected by the wholly impartial committee (Gill & Angela).

These are the proposed teams:

League at laChapelle (original spelling) (LACs)
Jeremy & Gill
Jackie & Frank

League at Gensac (LAGs)
Nick & Jo
Eve & Val  (Angela's friend from England - a most gifted player)

League at Asques (LALAs)
Di & Bob
David & Elaine

League of Lavit (LOLs)
Robert & Angela
Gareth & Olwen

As our fame spreads, we anticipate that others will be desperate to join us.  Therefore the Committee (Gill & Angela, who take every opportunity for their names to appear in print) will decide if the enquirers are deemed suitable (i.e. incapable of beating us).  If approved they will be invited to make up another team to be known as:

League of Outsiders (LOO's)

a.  Scorer - to be appointed.  Suggestions for this post, accompanied by a bottle of wine or other suitable bribe to be sent to the Committee (Gill & Angela).  Preferably someone who can write and add up.
b.  First Aider:  Nurse Jackie, recognisable by her uniform
c.  Marshall:  Gareth on the basis that the Welsh team did better than the rest
d.  Judge:  Bob, consolation prize for an England supporter (see c above)
e.  Coach:  Frank - a great encourager but probably more used to four legs than two

If you have a useful unique talent which you wish to show off - please send CV to the Committee (Gill & Angela) for consideration.

RULES ( subject to amendment or abandonment at the sole discretion of the Committee (Gill & Angela)
1.  Cheating allowed only by players aged 80 and over.  Legalised, as they will do it anyway.
2.  No fighting allowed, nor dunking in the swimming pool.
3.  Players who are drunk to be given a head-start and a sit-down between throws.
4.  Participants to bring their own picnic supper and wine
5.  Players to bring their own marked boules to avoid arguments (see 2 above)
6.  If a team or teams cannot attend a particular 'leg' they must make the arrangements to play at a later date.
7. Those who have already played are encouraged to heckle.
8.  Team colours, scarves, mascots and cheerleaders are encouraged
9.  Participants attend at their own risk - no claims of any kind accepted.  All accidents are entirely your own fault.

It is proposed that the first leg of the tournament will be at Robert & Angela's at 7pm on Thursday 21st July, though this may be subject to change if too many teams renege.  Those in need of Dutch-courage before the event may wish to gather at Le Vic at 6pm.

Some of us will be meeting this coming Thursday, 14th July, at 6.30 pm at Le Vic at which participants may be allowed to view (but not touch) the splendid trophies, chosen and bought at vast cost by the Committee (Gill & Angela)

We do hope you are able to join us in this initiative.  The media will be invited and a photocall will be announced at a future date.  It is anticipated that other Departments may set up their own tournaments, in which case we can charge for advice and coaching.

Please let us know if you are able and willing to participate.  (Fines for non-attendance to be imposed and collected by the Committee, (Gill & Angela)

Up the ELP's!
The Committee (Gill & Angela)


A very special birthday card from one beloved Queen to the other

Inaugural Meeting
21st July 2016

31st August 2016

7th September 2016

16th August 2016

3rd August 2016

28th July 2016

28th September 2016

5th October 2016

13th October 2016

Olwen & Gareth's 19th October 2016