He was as fit as a fiddle.

IMG_0659flowering garden

Just glorious.

‘As fit as a fiddle’ is often said by those who are missing the passing of a good friend. With the joining of indoor bowling, it seems likely that the dropping off by friends will not be all that rare. Of course, with just having played twice, this claim of ‘friends’ is still a bit premature. Still, in between, and even during bowling, I struck up conversations. The game started at 10 am at the Moss-Vale Returned Soldiers League and as I had to join the club first, I arrived at 9.45.

The club was still closed. There are still strict rules to opening clubs. I think it might be that alcohol can’t be sold before 10 am. Cafés can open up and so can supermarkets or petrol stations but not clubs. So, I stayed in my car listening to the radio till exactly 10am after which I was allowed in.

The joining of clubs now involves getting a plastic card with your face photographed and printed on this card. This is the id used each time you enter the club. Non-members can still enter clubs as well, provided they show an id with some corroborating evidence such as a driver’s license or passport, health card or pensioner card. This procedure is rigidly adhered to which I never quite understood. It is on that same rather quaint level at Aldi, selling alcoholic drinks at an approved designated cash register but not at a similar looking register in the next isle, apparently not approved. At least with buying a bottle of wine at Aldi’s you don’t need to show an id.

The age of those that engage in indoor bowling in my group is roughly between sixty and perhaps the nineties.  This is in reference to my opening line of; he/she ‘was as fit as a fiddle.’. This could well be said at times, as the file of relatives and grieving friends passes the black hearse at the United Anglican Church here in Bowral.  We could be saying goodbye to Bert or Muriel who died unexpectedly at 86 years of age. A  life-long member of the Indoor Bowling Club.

“He was one of the best, and bowled like a champion.”  “He even anticipated the slight canter of the floor when bowling”. “It will be the last we shall see of his kind ever again bowling at the Bowling floor at Mittagong RSL.”  And with that, a few tears would be hastened on its way.

The Indoor Bowling is my sort of sport. Both sexes are playing together and even though the winning teams are displayed on a board, not many seem to look at that. It is somewhat of an afterthought. When people feel isolated,  sociologists reckon that loneliness is the worst amongst the elderly. The Indoor Bowling sport seems to tick most requirements to solve this aching isolation. Some of the people I played with might well have lost partners. It is inescapable that that will happens. Good luck to those that go at the same time, but it is unlikely.

The Indoor Bowling sport gives excellent opportunity to find friendship, engage in physical activity with social intercourse perhaps the glue that binds people together with being the most important part. I can recommend anyone to join indoor bowling. Of course, eventually someone too in the future, might well say those very same words about any of us; “he was as fit as a fiddle, a bloody good sport.”

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16 Responses to “He was as fit as a fiddle.”

  1. jennypellett Says:

    I rather feel that you will get good mileage from your new hobby, Gerard. Lucky us!

    Liked by 1 person

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      I just looked up where this saying comes from and here it is from Wiki.
      “vedele, Ger. Fiedel; all probably from M.L. vitula “stringed instrument,” perhaps related to L. vitularia “celebrate joyfully,” from Vitula, Roman goddess of joy and victory, who probably, like her name, originated among the Sabines. The verb is from late 14c.; the figurative sense of “to act idly” is from 1520s.”

      It might well lead into all sorts of new adventures, Jenny. Being in the company of the Sabines can’t be all that bad.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Curt Mekemson Says:

    All of which brings me to wonder how fit a fiddle is, Gerard. Does a fit fiddler fiddle fast? Or is a fast fiddler having a fit? You see, it’s complicated. And what about a guy fiddling around with his fiddle? So many questions… 🙂 –Curt

    Liked by 4 people

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      I suppose fiddlers have to be pretty fit, Curt.. Paganini was the fittest of them all. In fact his playing bordered on the manic. Some claim he could be heard playing after his burial.
      He wrote some magic music as well. He was rake thin as a result of his playing the violin.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. kaytisweetlandrasmussen83 Says:

    I rather think your new comrades have found a new “fiddler”. Stay fit Gerard.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Patti Fogarty Says:

    You are going to get more than a few stories out of this adventure I can tell!

    Liked by 1 person

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      I hope so, Patti. I was informed by a nice lady, and in a calm and quiet sort of way, that with indoor bowling ‘one is never too far away from toilets.’ I thought that rather useful and considerate to be informed about that.

      Liked by 2 people

  5. auntyuta Says:

    This spot in your backyard: yes, just glorious!

    Liked by 1 person

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Yes,Uta. And all credit to Helvi for creating this piece of paradise. Wherever we lived she always made the gardens better. On the farm we planted hundreds of trees and you should see it now.
      Each year we spread manure and lime and each year the garden gets better. One reason we don’t really want to move, despite the lying cyclamen thieving neighbours.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Charlotte Hoather Says:

    My Auntie Marjorie and Uncle Jim took this sport up when they retired to Lytham St Anne’s, no-one knew Aunty Marjorie was so competitive, getting her own balls with her initials on them, she got rather good and Uncle Jim’s years in Administration came to good use on the committee, we went to watch them a couple of times and they taught me how to do it.

    Hope you have a fab time.

    Liked by 1 person

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Yes, Charlotte. Indoor bowling is an eye opener. Our club seems rather casual and I think the women are running it. They are perhaps sharper in organising the different teams than men, some who seem to verge on dithering. ( including me)

      I can well believe your Aunty Marjorie getting her own name inscribed on her own bowling balls.
      There is more to indoor bowling than meets the eye.

      I would think that a nice operatic aria might go down well while playing this sport. Music often is the foundation of all that is joyful.

      Like

  7. shoreacres Says:

    It always happens. You don’t know a lick about something, you learn about it, and suddenly it’s everywhere. I was on my way to the grocery store this weekend, listening to some fellows on the radio talk about a gathering at a local sports bar. They made clear that there not only would be beer and barbeque, there would be bocche ball! From the conversation, it seemed clear that the sport is more of a “thing” here than I’ve realized, until you brought it to my attention.

    From all you’ve said here, it seems like an appealing way to pass some time. I’m looking forward to future bulletins.

    Like

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Yes, Linda. I was officially welcomed into this casual bowling club last Sunday evening. I was teamed with ‘Mary’ who I learned later on, was the female champion bowler of the state of New South Wales for many years.

      She is now in her mid nineties, a bundle of laughter, a slim and small figure but a great bowler still.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. doesitevenmatter3 Says:

    What a beautiful setting in that photo, Gerard! I feel peaceful just looking at it! I imagine sitting there is VERY peaceful! 🙂

    Bowling is a sport that is right down your alley! And I think bowling will help to keep you fit as a fiddle…body, mind, and soul! Keep on rolling and knocking down the pins! And enjoying the company and laughter of your fellow-bowlers! 🙂

    I love fiddle music! I’m sure it would be music to bowl by! 🙂

    HUGS,
    Carolyn 🙂

    Like

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