This may look like we were playing boules in a bordello but it’s actually the George Hotel in Nether Stowey and this was the annual boules and barbecue afternoon as one of the Twinning Association’s French themed events over the year (we’re twinned with Theillay just off the Loire).

Usually, the event is held outdoors, but due to rather inclement weather (it was hissing down) we frantically searched Amazon for an indoor boules set and within 24 hours it was delivered to save the day.

The rules were simple; arrive at pub, drink beer and throw sand filled fabric balls at a smaller white fabric ball. Easy – well you would have thought so. Like playing on a traditional sand pitch, pit, court … terrain of play, the boules do not necessarily go where you hope them to and with the gentle slope of the George’s carpet it was easy to throw somewhat off piste. Perhaps pastis would have helped the hand/eye coordination.

Each player played each other requiring a fiendishly complicated double matrix scoring system which quickly showed who had got the hang of the game and those who were, quite frankly, hopeless. The supreme champion turned out to be Ruth who trounced all competition, although we did catch a faint whiff of aniseed on her breath which may have given her an unfair advantage – next year we will be randomly testing the participants.

Mike fulfilled his role as barbecuer/barbequer in chief and, under the cover of the smoking shelter, producing burgers and sausages for the masses.

All in all a great event although hopefully, we’ll be outside again next year, the only drawback being it will be further from the bar!