Santa Rosa extravaganza

It was around 90° F yesterday in Santa Rosa, but the blazing heat didn’t prevent some pétanque aficionados to gather up and indulge in their favorite pastime.

Jean-Michel Poulnot and Ellen Leznik had invited a few friends for a potluck lunch spiced up by “une partie de boules”, and few people declined the invitation.

We were summoned to show up at 10:00 am for our first game and we did. Jean-Michel is fortunate to possess a large vegetable garden where he managed to set up a very nice little pétanque court, very propitious to a few games.

He is also a very organized individual, and, in a few minutes, he divided us into 4 separate teams. Two games took place before lunch and two games after lunch. The morning games were not too demanding, but in the afternoon, due to the increased heat, the task proved a tad more challenging. Unlike our blessed field in San Rafael, his little court provides no shade, and in the afternoon, only “mad dogs and Englishmen (dare to) go out in the midday sun.”

To make it even more challenging, the small court, due to the nature of its topsoil, is eminently tricky, and a boule will seldom go where it is told to go.

Nevertheless, everything went according to plan, and we stopped at noon for lunch. Everybody had been very generous and brought plenty of food. When it is hot though, I am never inclined to eat (particularly hot food) so I bid my time and waited for dessert, particularly for a cool fruit salad and ice cream. The least I could say is that it was a very decadent and wicked lunch, bearing striking similarities to a Roman Bacchanalia.

Jean-Michel supplied lots of beverages and regaled us with a mandatory, late version of La Marseillaise. His singing was so inspiring that everybody felt ready (as the lyrics demand) to take arms and defend the homeland. This yearly ritual is also very useful for expats, to practice a hymn that we were taught at a very early age and that we might otherwise (God forbid) forget.

The contest resumed in the afternoon with the following results:

1st place: Tamara Efron and Francois Piccin
2nd place: Bernard Passemar, Antoine Lofaro, and Jack?
3rd place: J-Michel Poulnot, Christine Piccin and Pia Coyle
4th place: Alain Efron and John Coyle

Thank you, Jean-Michel and Ellen, for a great day filled with fun and camaraderie.


PS: Please enjoy these few pictures


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