13/05/2011

Boules in Pointe St Charles

We were sitting on my brother's front deck, having a glass of wine when the cars started arriving. First one then a few more, then they filled up most of the available parking spots on the usually quiet street. In no time there were 50 or so men and women, most in their 60's filling the area around the boule courts in the park across the street.

Sandy said this was the second time this week that had happened. They milled around for 15 or 20 minutes, seeking out friends, shaking hands, renewing aquaintences and then someone with a clipboard kind of took charge and before you know it they had teamed up and six games were underway.  An urban boules league. Who knew?

Boules is one of those games played with steel balls. Kind of like lawn bowling but, played on a dirt court and without the dorky clothes and the Pimms. You can almost guarantee that on any given evening in the south of France, a group of, mostly older men, will be playing boule. Its like Bocce or P├ętanque but I don't remember it being popular in Quebec.

It was chilly but we sat out, watched for quite a while and marveled at the sense of community that obviously exists. Not quite all what we expected in Pointe St Charles.

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