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?
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.