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Petanque at the English Gardens

By Furry Jesus - 14 October 2010 3

Boule Dogs, one of Canberra’s oldest petanque clubs, have been playing in the beautiful old English Gardens in Yarralumla for about 10 years. Located behind the Oaks Brasserie and Yarralumla Gallery, right next door to the Yarralumla Nursery, a small group of veteran players meets every Sunday at a regular time which falls somewhere between 10.30 and 11.00am.

The club started on the lawns (what little there was of them) in Green Square at the Kingston shops back in 1995, with coffee and good Italian breakfasts at Cafe Lella always on tap. We moved to Red Hill for a while when Janet Jeffs was running Juniperberry. Playing on the slopes in front of the shopping centre always posed some interesting challenges, particularly with the gaping drains in the gutter at road level. the club thrived in those days, with plenty of good wine and fantastic food.

Our ever-active membership played at interstate tournaments, including the legendary open at Chateau Tahbilk, Victoria’s oldest winery, haunted by some of the clubs oldest winos bon vivants, and the scene of many a debauched dinner in one of the excellent local restaurants. Visits to Ken Helm’s winery, playing at the NGA…we knew how to party!

Since we moved to the English Gardens, we’ve continued to enjoy an excellent playing experience, and Brent and Elayne at the Oaks Brasserie continue to offer excellent service and coffee. The grounds are undergoing an extensive renewal, and we will have our first dedicated terrain in a few months.

While the club kept itself at strength for several years, the usual forces have been at play – new families, interstate postings, aging bodies and unforgiving injuries, divorce, internal rivalries, murder…well, perhaps not quite that extreme.

So we find our numbers dwindling, and we’re putting out a call to anyone who’d like to come and have a look, to see if you’re interesting in putting us on your social calendar. Spring is upon us, and the gardens are looking beautiful. We even spied a lesser spotted Rudd walking the dog with his lovely wife last weekend.

We have boules to spare, or bring your own. We’re not excessively competitive and we’ll tell you everything you need to know. Call 0412 159 447 for more information.

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3 Responses to
Petanque at the English Gardens
Sagana Pervusus 11:22 pm 17 Oct 10

I can highly commend joining the Boule Dogs for petanque each week! 🙂

They are well-humoured people who understand that not everyone is tremendously agile at tossing small metal balls, at the right angle and speed, along several meters of dirt. They give good coaching advice and they are never put out when one somehow manages to fling the ball in exactly the opposite way to how they suggested! 😉

I really appreciate playing in the beautiful English Gardens near the Yarralumla Nursery. It’s all great fun.

I think the best feature of petanque is that it suits all sorts, including people like me who are decidedly lacking in athleticism or in confidence about playing sports. (All I had played before boules was netball, softball and tunnel ball, the outdoor sports that girls were allowed – and required – to play, twenty-seven years ago when I was at North Queensland state primary schools.)

Sagana 🙂

Furry Jesus 1:04 pm 15 Oct 10

you’d be surpised how often we hear about people playing all over town, but when we go looking, they’re either not there or they’re playing bocce.

Fiona 10:32 pm 14 Oct 10

Some people play down in Waramanga… perhaps join forces? Or get some rivalry?

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