It’s half term and it’s been raining for three days solidly. Anyone who isn’t at the cinema today is bowling, hence despite the fact that I had booked a lane for 2pm, when we arrived there was an enormous queue to pay. Ellen doesn’t really do queuing, so after standing patiently for 10 minutes or so she started wandering around.
This was OK, this was fine. I could see her at all times from my place in the queue and for the first few minutes she was just looping around the front area of the bowling centre which contains snooker tables, a tiny cafe and some slot machines. Because I had my eye on her the whole time, I saw quite clearly the moment when she paused over a snooker table where two large burly men were mid-game and deliberately leaned over, picked up a red ball from the green baize and tossed it down the table. She then turned and walked off quickly before they or I could react. Filled with horror, I of course was forced to go over and apologise. When I arrived at the table the two enormous blokes were still staring after her fairly gob-smacked. They accepted my apology – not with the best grace but then I guess she had ruined their match – leaving me to chase after Ellen, who knew she had done wrong and did not want to be caught.
Ellen obviously was sorry for what she had done and walked fairly sheepishly back with me to the desk, where we sat and waited for the rest of our party to pay for the lane so that we could change our shoes and start bowling. There was a big poster up behind the counter saying ‘free face painting’. What a lovely idea at half term I thought and asked Ellen if she would like her face painted. That’s like asking a teenager if she wants wifi. ‘Yes please’ Ellen replied, but when I went up to enquire I was told that the free face painting was ‘off’ due to ‘staff shortages’. Grrr it was not turning into a good trip.
However, once we had got past the queue and the lack of face painting and finally arrived at our lane things turned around. For one thing our lane was on the other side of the bowling venue to the burly blokes and for another Ellen does love bowling. She is especially happy when she manages to score a strike or a spare, her face lights up and she does an exaggerated bow. She uses one of the frames to bowl and is very particular about which ball she wants to use, typically the heaviest and then stands by the bowling area telling us all when its our turn.
The two games passed without further incident, although it was lucky that Winnie the Pooh and the two Minions who were circulating around didn’t come too close to us, perhaps they had seen the snooker incident and were giving us a wide berth. Probably wise. I can get a bit overwhelmed by Disney characters.