I’m in a state of trepidation. Berthold (Bertie), our new German neighbour, is a keen player of Pétanque, the French version of Bowls, and is dragging me into town tomorrow to be instructed in the rudiments of the game. He will pick me up at two o’clock and whisk me to the local boulodrome, where I will evidently serve my apprenticeship under his expert guidance.