It was a strange moment walking inside a bowling alley for the first time in six months.
And like returning to the five-a-side football pitch or playing tennis at the local courts, after so long away, it takes a while to adjust to being somewhere which has laid dormant for 17 weeks.
What we found was a well-drilled and prepared venue with plenty of staff on hand…. just maybe not many customers yet.
On entering, a member of staff directed us to a table where there was a bottle of hand sanitiser and asked us to keep on our face masks on, except for when we were eating or drinking.
We’d already booked a game for two so walked straight up to the empty front counter where another worker confirmed our names and contact details for potential tracing.
The first thing we noticed was that the long line of 26 lanes had been reduced by half with booked groups no longer sharing the sofa areas with others.
Just the eight balls were provided per lane and we weren’t allowed to take balls from other areas – but if we wanted more we could ask a member of staff.
As for getting a couple of cups of coffee, we used a QR code for our phone to get table service.
Meanwhile, on the speakers, between the usual pop music, reminders were voiced for people to social distance and stick to the measures put down.
Although very quiet – there were just two other groups when we were there – it was great to be back doing another social activity away from home, despite us both being very rusty when it came to knocking the pins down.
I also enjoyed not being rugby tackled by screaming kids charging around the place while at a 12th birthday party.
Bowling alleys, like casinos and theatres were given the green light to open yesterday following months of closure due to the coronavirus pandemic.
They had been due to open on August 1, but a spike in cases postponed that.
Now, despite fears of a second wave, the Government is eager to get the economy back on track after months of lockdown stagnation.
If all bowling alleys are taking careful, safe measures like that seen at Tenpin, I, for one, have confidence customers will be kept safe from infection as much as possible.
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It is in pubs I have been to where I think the situation is more dangerous.
As for the bowling, I look forward to a return in a few weeks time….. when we’ll also see a better performance from us both too!