First steps in two-tone shoes: ten pin bowling for beginners

Allison Tait blog
Posted on September 25, 2011

The boys and I went bowling today. In honour of Mr7’s soccer presentation, they donned two-toned shoes and slipped and slid their way across the over-polished floors to, well, dump their bowling balls down the lane.

Mr4, who’d never bowled in his life, managed a spare with his first two dribbling offerings. And then could never quite match his own success.

Once he realised that every bowl would not be greeted with shouts and cheers from the crowd, he lost interest. He did quite enjoy the enormous thump that ensued when he threw his ball, with two hands, from a great height.

In his defense, they were big balls.

Mr7 employed a cunning mix of unorthodox techniques during his games. From an attempt at an overarm throw (not repeated) to a shimmy-shake arrangement that resulted in the ball ricocheting wildly from one bumper to another to a rather spectacular effort where he appeared to forget to let go of the ball and followed it halfway down the lane on his side, his efforts were entertaining, to say the least.

I do have memories of my own first-ever attempt at bowling. We were visiting my grandparents in Far North Queensland during one of our Christmas odysseys. I’m not sure how old I was, but I had received, along with sisters B and C, a rather fetching jumpsuit arrangement for Christmas and we all insisted on wearing them bowling.

That’s it. I don’t remember how the bowling went, but I do recall being dressed in a harem-pant jumpsuit with a little tie around the neck. Which did not match the two-tone shoes.

The boys will probably not remember what they were wearing today. But Mr7 will remember the two trophies that he received for his first (and probably last) soccer season.

And Mr4 will remember that he did not receive two trophies.

In fact, any trophies at all. I know this because he repeated this fact over and over all the way home.

Are you a ten-pin bowler? What do you remember of visits to the lanes when you were young?


  1. Maxabella

    Two trophies sounds promising…x

  2. Bridget

    Oh I remember the humble bowling alley well. Many a birthday party thrown at the local. Hot dogs were a staple and those annoying toy machines with the grabber thing that cost 10c a pop. Those were the days!! I haven’t been in years but in London they’ve opened a few places with adjacent bars and groovy diners and made it a ‘cool’ thing to do again!

  3. River

    Loved reading about your boys’ first bowling night!
    I’ve never bowled although I did got to a bowling alley once, to keep an eye on the handbags while daughter and a friend bowled.

  4. MultipleMum

    I gotta get me some iPhone apps! Did you dress the boys in a uniform? I remember that bowling day in FNQ. I remember that I rocked (a bit like your boys will 🙂 You know we love ourselves some bowling at Casa Four. Might have an outing for the school hols… x

  5. Mrs Catch

    Thanks for the idea (it’s holidays here..agghh). Looks like a great day was had by all

    I hate those big thumps bowling balls make. Always makes me wonder if anyone HAS ever broken the floor.

  6. Lindy in Brisbane

    My memories of bowling are vague. No doubt due to my lack of ability. However, my memories of a harem-panted jump-suit are very clear. It was paleish green cheese cloth, with embroidery on the top and a halter neck and two hip pockets. God I thought I was hot in that thing!

  7. therhythmmethod

    I think I know where we’ll be taking our boys these school holidays, provided they get over the initial shock of having their shoes taken off them. Sounds like you had a ball … (sorry). 😉

  8. joeh

    I bowl once a week in a league. I started bowling at 8. My dad took me every week after church. These memories are among my fondest. In those days there were no bumpers and yet it did not ruin my self esteem. We learned a bad shot was a bad shot, and you had to go down the middle of the alley. Needless to say my early scores were in the teens. I understand the fun of bumpers for little ones, but I fear they are symptomatic of our times, when do children learn that life does not always come with bumpers?
    Guess that makes me the
    Cranky Old Man.

  9. Sarah

    Not a bowler. Have often wondered why as I feel I should be a keen bowler. We might go once a year, but I think I feel a bit like your Master 4 on this one.

  10. Victoria

    I still enjoy the occasional bowling evening with friends. And I’ve always liked the two tone shoes (they reminded me of the British 80s mod band), but the last time I went bowling the style had changed and they were so great. Its always a fun evening, strikes or no-strikes! Its good to get a bit of practice in on Wii bowling at home first!!

  11. Mum on the Run

    I love bowling – about twice a year.
    Gotta keep it a novelty.
    We’ve only taken Magoo once, but it was highly enterataining – as long as you’re not the competitive type.
    I confess to considering the two tone shoes when dressing for bowling.
    I love poor Mr. 4’s dejection at his lack of trophies.

  12. Diminishing Lucy

    Oh Al. Instagrams is suiting you!

    My Dad used to take us bowling, in Worthing By Sea. I adored it. All seven of us, each with different coloured balls!

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