How not to make a petanque field

<New petanque playing field in St Jean de Sixt, France>
The sleepy village of Saint Jean de Sixt has the chance of becoming a sporting mecca, for France’s favourite sport can now flourish here with the introduction of two new petanque playing fields. Or can it?

Dog toilet in France

A dog toilet in France - similar to a petanque pit?

The two new pits appeared where the local mannequins used be displayed (before the man responsible died) — an area that was already flat. So it’s amazing that the new pits are so badly done. Okay, it’s not the builder’s fault that there are already seven separate piles of dog poo between the two pits, considering the similarity between the two types of pits. But the game, which is a bit like lawn bowls minus the grass, is best played on unlumpy ground. The pits are filled with more than just the grainy sand that makes the perfect flat surface: lumps of tar and stones stick out like mini volcanoes, ready to alter the course of even the heaviest petanque ball. Also, the pits seem a bit short even though there’s plenty of room in front. And just to top off the typically bizarre local French logic when it comes to construction, the wooden barrier on the left (which I couldn’t quite squeeze into this photo) carries on for about a metre. Why didn’t they just cut it off? Or better still, extend the pits to a playable size?

My local French friends are rejoicing that the pits have appeared, and they’re currently looking for a shovel to flick away the poo and flatten the volcanoes. I reckon they’d better get in there quick before the sign changes from Petanque to Toilette pour chiens.

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About

I'm a technical author, journalist and writer from Australia who has been living in Europe since 2000 and exploring the world from there. My passions are writing, snow sports and travel.

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9 comments on “How not to make a petanque field
  1. Ron Rundle says:

    But the poo pit and petanque pit look nothing alike.
    But then, dogs can’t differentiate. But their owners can! Yeah, right, like (some) french dog owners care that much. Somewhat similar to (some) Australian dog owners really.

  2. Wendy says:

    You’re right, Ron – the poo pit is much flatter! They both share the same sandy surface which makes me wonder if people would actually be better off playing petanque in dog toilets.

  3. Emm says:

    Hmmm, perhaps if they didn’t have dog poo pits it would help? Whatever happened to pooper scoopers? Very funny…

  4. Wendy says:

    Some local councils provide poo bags for dogs, but in general, France and dog poo collection have never seen eye to eye. I know a puppy who eats poo: maybe I should station him by the petanque pits!

  5. Emm says:

    Eww. My dogs often eat our cat’s poo. They say it is when they are lacking in nutrients. I say it is when they are actively wanting a hiding (not that I smack my poor puppies. I just fantasize about it while giving them the beady eye).

  6. Ha – yes, it looks frighteningly similar to the espace chiens! Good luck – what is a summer without petanque?

  7. Wendy says:

    Hmm, I can think of better ways to get nutrients, but I guess dogs can’t! Summer without petanque is not French at all. It’s like summer without surfing in Aus, or without hanging around Wimbledon in London.

  8. Bex says:

    Hee Hee! We have a couple of lovely poo-free petanque pits in our newest public square in town. Love to go past at lunchtime in the summer and see the office workers out having a game. Only in Jersey! (Or France, obviously)

    🙂

  9. Wendy says:

    Have a game for me, Bex!

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