Jun 152020

The time is 1:45pm on a Friday afternoon and cars are winding their way towards Eltham Lower Park where you'll find the Diamond Valley miniature railway, dog training, cricket and lacrosse playing areas. Graeme [Russell] is the first to arrive as he has the keys to unlock our playing premises. He has to be careful to press the correct buttons or, should I say, numbers as any error would set off the burglar alarm system and who knows what would then happen.

Once inside, the lights and (depending on the time of year) the heater or cooler are operated, just like the three bears not too hot, not too cold, but just right. By this time, other eager members have arrived and get into setting up the tables and chairs with table cloths, writing or scoring pads, pencils, everything needed for the afternoon's entertainment and, of course, cards and cubes with their little reminders for those rare senior moments. The kettle is on, the chairs are filled, partners are taken and the cards are dealt.

There is silence for a moment while players study their hand, looking for that elusive joker. Sure there's one in every pack, next best are the bowers left and right, but none are in sight. Oh well, how best can I assist my partner, let's see. What(!), it's my call? Oh dear, ah, yes, no, alright, six spades. After picking up the kitty, and remarking that it would have been much better for the opposition, the hand is played with cunning and mirth. The two hours rapidly pass in this happy manner. Then tables are folded, chairs and equipment put away, the door locked and the alarm reset. We happily head home with a spring in our step. When will this happen again?