Monday, 22 September 2008

The Test

It's becoming quite forensic this search for the tennis club. I'd like to think this thoroughness is a result of the PD James novel that I've just finished reading. It was called The Murder Room. It seems an appropriate title for a crime writer.

I started reading it on the way back from Beijing. It took my mind off being 400,000 feet up in the air and also kept me from playing with my reclining seat in Business Class.

After all I didn't want to look like a six-year-old.

And I've been very mature about this quest for the tennis club. After going for a test the other night and being told I could join a group to buff up my skills, I went to one of the sites where the members can play. It's up at Porte des Lilas in the north-east of the city. Not too far on the metro from where we live.

I've never been to Porte des Lilas and there's a huge project to green up the massive roundabout there which is criss-crossed by roads leading to the péripherique.

The state of the outdoor courts are appalling. The indoor courts seem fine and I got chatting to the site manager who told me that the site was going to be demolished and relocated to spanking new courts just where the cranes were. This was not far away at all.

He obviously told one of the club members that I'd been sniffing around.

Because Alain asked if I'd been up to the covered courts this afternoon. I said that before dishing out the cash I thought it wise to see what the facilities were like.

He couldn't fault my logic because it was flawless. The upshot is that Alain now wants to test my lack of skills so he can allot me to an appropriate group of similarly benighted wannabes.

The only snag about the test on Tuesday night is that while I was arranging that the missus was organising a night out with one of her mates who's visiting from England.

It's good to come home and share the day's developments.

Knowing how important my tennis is to me, she offered to rearrange it. Knowing how insignificant it is in comparison to her chance to go out with her mates, I said I'd try and get a baby sitter.

But then as I ate supper and my blood sugar levels were being bolstered, I was hit by a second swing of logic. Just take the children with me.

It's not going to require more than a dozen sweeps of the racquet to assess how I fit into the lesson scheme of things. The girls can surely entertain the boy for the three minutes or so of my assessment.

And if they can't, then maybe I should be concentrating on my parenting skills rather than my dodgy backhand.