Bowling with (Ma)Donna
Our friend Donna, whom the boys mistook for Madonna a few weeks ago, became our first house guest in Lowestoft. Visiting from her temporary home in Leigh-on-Sea, Essex, she brought along her teenage daughter, and a whopper of rainstorm.
We didn’t let the weather deter us from showing our guests the town, though. We learned long ago that 1) the rain never starts quite when you think it will in England, and 2) who cares if it does start? That’s what raincoats and Wellies are for. So we took Donna and daughter to Lowestoft’s Town Center and then to the nearby beach, which had CRASHING waves and winds that blew our hoods off our heads without mercy. Seeking refuge, we found ourselves in the mini bowling lanes of the boardwalk amusement center. Newsflash: mini-bowling with three-year-olds is a blast! The balls are the perfect size for their hands, and the lanes are just short enough for their tosses (yes, tosses) to reach the pins. It was one of the best afternoons ever, rain or no rain.
But even more fun than our day at the amusement center was our next day at Oulton Broad. Our dear swans were there, but luckily the rain wasn’t. The wind, however, had kicked up to a level I’d never thought possible. And on the water’s edge, it was icy. We endured it all, however, because the entertainment on the water was too good to leave: sail boats were whizzing by at speeds that would put a car to shame, and when they turned at the buoy in front of us, many of them flipped over. No joke. Boat after boat flipped trying to make that tight turn in that wild wind. There was a rescue boat, but the sailors wouldn’t have it. To a man (and woman), each wet sailor climbed onto his boat’s keel and rocked that boat until it flipped back upright, then went on his merry way, aiming at the next buoy.
I’m sorry, but I must say here and now that even though I’ve been in a sailboat race myself and thoroughly enjoyed it, I would never ever have gotten back into one of those boats in Oulton Broad last Sunday, every wet inch of me being pummeled by icy winds, and aimed for the next buoy. Those people were either very dedicated sailors, or they were crazy. You can guess which description I’d pick.
But their dedication made for a wonderful afternoon for the Halversons and our first house guests. So, from the bottoms of our (warm & DRY) hearts, we thank you, crazy sailors, for the show.