I sincerely wanted to like Lake District, so that it would make the decision to go there feel worthwhile and the distance covered irrelevant. I was utterly disappointed to find it torrentially rainy on Day 1 and while the property we stayed in was very vintage and pretty (Rydal Lodge), it didn’t do too much to uplift my limp spirit. On the second day the rains continued, and we were stuck indoors, waiting inside our small cozy rooms with a cup of tea and cookies, desperate for the rain to slow down. The weather took a turn for the better around afternoon, and we decided to head out to Windermere and explore the streets with a vengeance. We savored the fish and chips at The Little Chippy, explored shops and tiny boutiques, and tried the Award Winning meat pies at Huddleston’s Butchers and I thought to myself, this isn’t too bad after all. We have managed to do nothing extraordinary, but it’s SOMETHING. And then it dawned on us that two of us had gone missing(apparently, random loitering is not everyone’s cup of tea) and upon some investigation found out that they had stumbled upon something called Lawn Bowling at the Windermere Bowling club. Intrigued, the rest of us followed.
Pardon my ignorance but this was my introduction to the sport of Lawn Bowling.
We reached the club to find a large square-ish flat field, perfectly manicured and a bunch of people rolling balls like in a bowling alley. We decided to sign up as we had no other exciting plans for the day and were explained the rules of the game – the simplest version for us newbies. The area to play in was called the “Rink”. It was surrounded by the “Ditch”. There were multiple teams playing so each was told to pick a starting point in different directions of the field. There was a toss and the winner of each team rolled the ball called “Jack”. The sole purpose of the game is to roll balls closest to the Jack. Each member gets four tries, whoever comes closest or has more number of balls closest to the Jack is the winner. While it sounds fairly simplistic, we were told that the game has a lot of nuances and styles of scoring, even fields sometimes may not be flat. It was a first time experience for all of us and we were thrilled to be a part of it.
We spent a few hours enjoying the game. The veterans on the field helped us wherever they could. It consumed me – the fun of it, how unexpected it was, the focus and rush that playing any sport brings. And all I thought was of beating my opponent, didn’t care about the weather no more. But misery struck again and it started raining. We rushed inside a small shelter where we were served tea, coffee, cookies and conversation moved from what we were doing in the area and how we found the club to the cricketing antics of the Indian and English teams.
The rains continued and we headed back to our lodge, drenched and later went out for dinner to a bar nearby, ate and came back and it was still raining. Like I said, I didn’t find Lake District spectacular, maybe it was the weather (this was in August), maybe we didn’t know the best things to pick, maybe I expected too much.
I probably won’t give Lake District another shot. Maybe I will. Just for the bowling.