The story of a man who gives up the rock ‘n’ roll dream… to play bowls.Alex Marsh wanted to be a rock star - but it didn’t work out. Instead he toiled away in the big city - only to give up his career, move to rural Norfolk, and become a househusband. Only he isn’t a very good one. Whilst his pride won't let him admit it, he struggles with the cooking, the cleaning and the isolation. He hires a cleaner without telling his wife, his repertoire of baked potatoes exhausts quickly. He becomes hooked on daytime television and computer solitaire. He is in danger of becoming weird.So he takes up bowls. In Sex & Bowls & Rock and Roll we follow a season in the life of the village bowls team, a group of amateur sportsmen and mild eccentrics. In doing so we see this unfashionable pastime in a whole new light, and very funny it is too. But Alex hasn’t quite given up on his dreams of rock stardom. Discovering that some of his mates down the pub are a bit handy with bass and drums he makes one final stab at being in a band, with an eagerly awaited local gig. It is a complete disaster.Join Alex has he comes to terms with life as a domestic disappointment, attempts to learn the fine art of bowls and finally realises that supporting the Sultans Of Ping at the Pink Toothbrush in Rayleigh really was the highpoint of his musical career. Sex & Bowls & Rock and Roll is a hilarious account of the life of a genuinely modern man. Everyone will recognise themselves (or their husbands) and you will be hard pressed not to laugh out loud.
Sex & Bowls & Rock and Roll
How I swapped my rock dreams for village greens
For R, with thanks for putting up with me.
Table of Contents
Cover Page (#u98a9e8cd-1d9c-5583-ab01-2ef4fd59558e)
Title Page (#u91e354a0-8409-5383-a335-5e4eeb0926aa)
Notes and acknowledgements (#litres_trial_promo)
About the Author (#litres_trial_promo)
About the Publisher (#litres_trial_promo)
It was a new day yesterday, but it’s an old one now
‘Are you sure that we’re meant to be here?’ I scuffed my feet over the shingle, not willing to let this go. ‘It doesn’t matter that we’re not members?’
‘I’m a member,’ reassured Big Andy, pulling his bag out of the boot. I was already intimidated by its professionally battered look, as if it had been passed down through generations of top-level bowls players. Big Andy had always struck me as somebody who would be good at any sport – he is just one of those people. Personally, I have always suspected people who are good at sport – I certainly never thought that I’d end up being friends with one. Perhaps his likeability was just a ruse, in order to lull me into a false sense of security before he chucked me in the showers and stole my dinner money.
‘Yes, but we’re not,’ I insisted, jerking my head towards Short Tony who had jumped down from the back seat. At least he would be as culpable as me. Big Andy didn’t answer this, clearly not appreciating my genuine concerns.
I did not even have the right shoes.
The green itself was sheltered behind a low wooden fence that shielded from public view a raised concrete path and two weatherbeaten benches. Big Andy placed his gear on one of these; Short Tony followed suit with me lagging behind, surveying the scene with narrow, wary eyes, Clint Eastwood in A Fistful of Bowls.
‘What if a man comes and shouts at us?’ I wondered aloud.
I have never been a particularly confident type – at least, not without a guitar in my hand. All the key memories from my early life are scary, nerve-inducing ones: accidentally wandering into a fierce lady’s garden in order to pick acorns from her oak tree. Discovering that the hand that I’d reached up to grip tightly for reassurance wasn’t actually my grandmother’s, but belonged to a random stranger who happened to be getting off the same bus. Getting the phone number wrong on a big press advert for the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and thus ensuring that a Barnet pensioner was telephoned at ten-minute intervals by people seeking tickets for a grand Tchaikovsky gala at the Royal Albert Hall.