It is with a certain level of trepidation that the request to “bring your swimming costume” is received. The image of the school rugby baths, the city communal baths, the Scandinavian saunas where heavily perspiring chaps congregate, in greater or lesser extent of exposure, rears its sweating head to meet my mind’s gaze. Not a welcome image I must say.
So with the treat of having to remove one’s apparel looming large on the horizon, M and I set off to a friend’s home for an afternoon of Smite and the ubiquitous Hot Tub Extravaganza……
Collecting two friends en route, we arrive, Funeral Director style, at exactly the pre-stated time of 14:30 hours and crack open the falling down water. Knowing that we are in for the long haul, tonic is added to all my drinks in an attempt to off stay the inevitable occurring when too many alcoholic beverages are consumed.
Smite is a wonderful game of skill and dexterity, to give even the most unskilled person a degree of chance as launching a weighty wooden cylindrical baton, standing no more than 4 paces away, at ten numbered skittles or pins. This is hardly the most strenuous of tasks – unless you have already consumed not wisely, but too well! I’ve found that quite often, a glass or two of vino collapso gets my eye in and I play a lot better. As the day in question was a Gin & Tonic day, I was as useless as a chocolate teapot on a sultry summer Saturday afternoon!
Having totally missed the pins three times in a row, I was forced by the rules of the game to retire from the fray to watch the remaining players from a safe distance. The Ultimate Smite Garden Game claims ‘Smite is the tactical and addictive garden game from Cornwall. Combining the dexterity of boules with the cunning of croquet, Smite can be played by all ages and all abilities. The solid wood throwing stick is used to topple the wooden pins, but as the game progresses, the skill level increases. Smite has been featured on The Chris Evans BBC Radio 2 show, and has starred on Trans World Sports on Sky Sports!’Although the game ‘Mölkky’ is reputed to be the Scandinavian game from where Smite originated, with its larger pins, Smite has an advantage of stability on a less than perfect playing surface, like the lawn Chez Moi. The game has been taken on many of our travels to foreign climes too, resulting in evenings of pitch darkness in remote parts of France where we hold aloft our iPhone torches to enable playing, well into the night.So with my early exit from the afternoon’s game, I resumed consumption of the favourite tipple and, as twilight crept inexorably onwards, the topic of the Hot Tub came to the fore. A new hot tub had recently arrived and been installed in the corner of the garden under a Silver Birch tree, whose branches spread over the four quarters of the habitable surface of the decking on which the new tub now resided. To keep falling leaves from depositing themselves inappropriately, a cantilevered parasol was deployed to shelter the tub below.
As encouragement to join the chaps, who had now donned swimming shorts and thrown themselves with gay abandon into the pulsating froth, became more and more vocal, I acquiesced to their demands, removing all but that which would cover the bare necessities and eased myself into the boiling cauldron of spume and steam. Forty degrees the tub had been set at! Hotter than a hot thing gets, the girls were wise in sitting this one out as it was impossible not to inadvertently brush against those who were already in the tub. As we tried to sit in a comfortable position, the intimacy of this experience would have benefited from just M and I being there alone instead of three grown chaps of mature age scrabbling for purchase amongst the mood-lit bubbles. Fortunately, the strict morals, to which we all adhere, prevented any improper improprieties from occurring and so, as the evening progressed towards the wee small hours, I removed myself from the delights of the tub and went in search of a towel. Having covered my modesty by wearing my undershanks, I was now in a slight dilemma as to what to now put on, but with nothing else for it, going commando was my only way forward.
Off with the wet shorts where I stood then. At that moment, realising that everyone who was behind me was making noises of a slightly shocked nature, as they had been given a view of my nakedity, I comforted myself with the thought that they’d probably seen it all before anyway, nothing to write home about and I’d better bend over, collect my trousers and put them on. To be fair, as I’d had a few G&T’s by now, they might have had a front view as well, I can’t remember, which is probably the same for all those gathered there that night too, apart from M who was stone cold sober and the Nominated Driver due to whisk me home. M had definitely seen it all before!
So Smite and Hot Tubs do go together quite well and I will be planning for the possibility of one of these tubs gracing my own garden in the future. I urge you all to at least acquire Smite (do let me know your adventures with the game) and get to grips with bashing a chunk of wood around your garden, which is probably a more constructive pastime than showing your ‘wood’ to all your friends…!
Carry on regardless!