Olive Us: Pétanque

October 17, 2013

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Big news! Happy news! The Olive Us episodes we made with ulive are now available to view internationally. Hooray! Thank you so much for your patience as we sorted this out. We are jumping for joy that the episodes are now accessible everywhere.

And we’re delighted to share another new episode today! It’s called Pétanque (pronounced pay-tonk), and it shows the popular French game of the same name. Have you heard of Italian Bocce? It’s similar, but the balls are smaller and made of metal. The materials make for a really handsome game.

French game of pétanque.

In France, every little country village has a pétanque field where the older men gather for a game at the end of the day — and you can find pétanque fields in the parks of Paris as well. This episode was filmed in the teeny, tiny village of Fleuré, very near La Cressonnière. We would pass this field several times every day. In fact, this video has me feeling nostalgic!

French game of pétanque. French game of pétanque.

Have you ever played? And if you live outside the U.S., is there a sport or game that’s particular to your country? I’d love to hear.

P.S. — Want to have a little Olive Us catch up party? I’ve re-posted all the 3 of the newest episodes I’ve shared when you click through. Also, before we partnered with ulive, we made 24 earlier episodes. You can find them all on the Olive Us website, or see my write-ups on each episode here.

Meet Olive Us

Meet Olive Us, originally shared on September 6th.

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Let’s Visit Holland, originally shared September 13th — with lots more photos of the our visit to the flower fields.

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Fruit & Veggie Kabobs, originally shared September 20th.

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{ 15 comments… read them below or add one }

1 mart October 17, 2013 at 2:31 pm

YES YES YES!! thank you Gabrielle! finally we can see the video from outside the US :) :)


2 Helen October 17, 2013 at 2:41 pm

I’m from England where cricket is very popular. In ’85 we visited the U.S. and played cricket on the beach with a plastic set of wickets and bat. All the Americans were watching and pointing – it just made my uncles enjoy it even more!


3 Lee October 17, 2013 at 2:55 pm

I am so glad that you guys decided to do a video on this. I am a Canadian living in France and see people playing this game everywhere. When the “courts” are full they play in the gravel parking lot just beside it. I love seeing the social aspect of the game and my 3 year old daughter loves to watch. Of course I am also grateful that I can now see the OliveUs videos here in France. Thank you for making that happen!

PS Gabby – most of my Christmas gifts that I am bringing home to Canada are based on your recommendations! Thanks for all of your posts…..especially about Nuxe oil. I love that stuff!


4 Ivonne October 17, 2013 at 3:04 pm



5 Allison October 17, 2013 at 3:08 pm

I live in Detroit, MI and right outside of my apartment building there is a little gravel petanque court and people play every day (except in the winter) at lunch time.


6 dunski October 17, 2013 at 3:37 pm

Dankä! Merci! Tak! Thank you! Now my favorite episode is “meet Olive us!” I love it.


7 Jen October 17, 2013 at 5:28 pm

Oh, this brings back such great memories of the time my husband and I have spent in Paris! It’s such fun–starting a game in any park pretty much guarantees that you’ll meet some new people who wander over to join in. We just bought a home and are already plotting to put a court in the backyard. Superb!


8 sarah October 17, 2013 at 5:50 pm

On Bastille Day, my neighborhood in Brooklyn closes off the main street, fills it with sand, and holds a petanque tournament. So much fun!


9 Marille October 17, 2013 at 6:03 pm

This was really delightful! I especially loved the dapper, experienced precision with which that man carved out the standing space with his heel; it spoke to years of experience playing a game he loves. Also, where did you get that pullover Ralph was wearing? I want one for myself!


10 Sarah October 18, 2013 at 12:48 am

Thank you so much for reposting the episodes! Living in France, I couldn’t wait to see them!!!
They are all lovely as usual!!!


11 Robin October 18, 2013 at 3:17 am

Thanks for being so concerned about us overseas viewers!


12 Barchbo October 18, 2013 at 9:16 am

So fun! I love the clothes!

I think petanque is so much fun! I am trying in vain to persuade my husband to put a petanque area in our backyard.


13 Jordan October 18, 2013 at 4:10 pm

I love this one. Charming.


14 Mandy October 19, 2013 at 4:42 am

Yes! As an American who loves pétanque, I enjoy seeing others Americans learning to play and spreading the word about how fun it is. I served part of my LDS mission on the French island of La Réunion and have such great memories of p-days spend learning to play pétanque. After I came home, I talked about it so much that my boyfriend (now husband) secretly looked the game up online and ordered an authentic French pétanque set to surprise me with on Valentine’s day! That set has been well-used and is a family favorite–I don’t think my kids even realize that not all American families keep a pétanque set in the trunk of their car so they can play it whenever the opportunity presents itself!


15 Christy October 20, 2013 at 9:56 pm

The recent influx of families from the French-speaking African country of Togo brought this game to our small Midwest town. It is one of their favorites and there are several very beautiful sets of pétanque balls that I’ve seen in use. One of our friends has promised to teach us how to play soon!


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