"Every time I come here I cry "- Takapuna member aged 80
My husband Miles died in 2002 . I had had to nurse him 24/7 for 9 months. During this time I lost all my friends as it was so difficult to actually have a social life. I caught the hospital bug Clostridium Deficile and I nearly joined Miles but I didn't. The bug left me with a badly impaired nervous system and I was warned never to go inside where I might catch something. I was lonely and in desperation I turned to croquet which I had loved as a child.
Association Croquet and Takapuna Croquet Club was the unhappiest social experience of my life. Everything I had read about croquet being a horrible game was true. Rhythmic gymnastics has nothing on croquet. The little old ladies and men become demons on a court. They changed personalities and become selfish and just plain horrible.
I had a balance problem and one needs perfect balance to make the perfect shot as mistakes are seized on with no holds barred. So good as I was I could never get into a game. I needed a few extra shots. These were never never given so I learned to sit and watched for 3 hours or play alone and became very good at it. With just 7 extra shots and time I could triple peal but I was never allowed to do so because it held up their game. I needed those shots or time. I was allowed neither. The rules said I could have the time but the remarks and grunts from the sidelines was off putting.
And I tried. I even made the club a web site. They just hated me. Eventually I got the message and left but as a parting shot I wrote this short story as a final gift. I have never regretted giving up croquet.