1. I also loved seeing the games of petanque AND drinking the pastis! Also, thanks for the info re the French language courses.

  2. In the Maltese Islands a similar game is played on a long, earthen court…with similar players of the Mediterranean persuasion. Here it is called BOCCI. I was intrigued to notice the difference between the thrown object! In Malta the men throw a round heavy ball, but in Gozo, our charming neighboring farming island to the north of Malta, they throw a cylindrical 'ball'. It was explained to me that this game originated here from Sicily, where it is played with the cylindrical 'ball'…and indeed, Gozo is north of Malta, and therefore just a bit closer to Sicily than Malta, approximately a mere 60 miles away! I, too, love watching a game of Bocci, and have my favorite bar+restaurant in one of the Gozo villages, where there is a covered/roofed bocci court incorporated into the structure of the restaurant, so the old-timers can play in comfort all year 'round. : )

  3. We, also, have spent many pleasant hours in Provence watching this game. Never quite understood what was going on, but now (I think) we do!

  4. My Italian uncles always played bocci and, when we say the men playing pétanque in Saignon, it took me back. So sorry your lawn isn't up to the pétanque standards… but we are always happy to help with the pastis

  5. Hello !

    Oh que ça fait du bieng de revoir cet extrait d'anthologie, de Pagnol! Personne n'a jamais fait mieux : toute la mauvaise foi marseillaise est dans ces répliques-là…

    Avoir les boules, c'est aussi une expression qui peut vouloir dire avoir peur, ou alors être tracassé, avoir du ressentiment

    J'espère qu'on jouera ensemble, à Lourmarin : je n'ai plus eu de boules en main depuis une dizaine d'année, je crois !!!

    Tendresses vers vous,
    Mumu & Pierrot

  6. The Petague games remind me of the Bocci Ball games that were played in San Francisco's North Beach District. This was when North Beach was known for it's Beatniks.
    The Beatnik era, circa 1948,preceded the Haight-Ashbury Hippies. This was an era of discontent. poets ran rampant. The evening hours brought them all out,some reading poetry and others hawking political views.
    The only lasting pastime was the Bocci Ball. After reading your interesting account of the Petague games, I can see that it was played for many years before Bocci Ball. I have an idea that it was the Patis that kept them going !!!

  7. loved this one especially since i have many photos of the men playing in paris and have to say their facial expressions were wonderfully charming — and one night on ile de la cite a group of young people playing at 10 pm whilst we were having dinner in one of the places there. as always, lovely writing.

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