Friday, August 05, 2016

Playing the silly game

After a frenzy of packing (Calliope persistently climbing in the case) we finally bade farewell to John, and Sonia who is herself off on a five week holiday (and of course earlier to Betty) and Lorraine and I cabbed it to Brighton Station.

We caught the Ashford train, where we sat outside in blue skies till Pat collected us. I felt tired, but enjoyed chatting with Pat and Maureen and then scarfing some delicious fish and chips bought from The Fish Stop, where Lorraine used to go as a child.

 At nine o’clock, Pat and I were collected by his mates Jim and Pete and driven off to the Blacksmith’s Arms for their weekly dart game The usual Friday night crowd of darts players was much depleted by summer holidays, so it was lucky I was there to make up the numbers.

After a coin toss, I was partnered with Jim, who has known Pat for donkey’s years and his children were close with Lorraine and her brothers. Pat told me that Jim had suffered from ‘Dartitis’ which meant he was unable to let the dart go when throwing. Recently Pat recalled him to the dart brotherhood and he is able to release darts again, albeit with a random gusto.

 We were playing to Kent rules, so no double start. Rather surprisingly Jim and I surged to a two game lead over Pat and his pal Pete. Pat and Pete, getting a bit more serious about things, won the next two games efficiently. It was then time to play the legendary ‘Silly Game’. We coughed up a pound stake and then played a particularly fiendish game. In the silly game you aim for the bull’s eye or the 25 around it, nothing else on the board scores. Pat surge blithely ahead, followed at a distance by Pete. By luck I managed to hit a 25. A go or so later, one of my darts landed outside the ring of triples in the centre of the board. This instantly reduced my score to zero. Pat easily won and collected the winnings in a quietly satisfied manner. Something he does lots.

We had a final game of ordinary darts, which I managed to get a double to finish, before sloping home. Really good fun. Then onto the sofa bed with Lorraine ready to spring out of bed with the sparrows.

Below part of the dart playing crew, Pat, Jim and Peter.


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