I suppose I should’ve known it when I realised that NZ school children are on holiday this week and next. Its rained everyday since and this morning was no different. As beautiful as Coromandel is in the rain, it stopped me doing things, and seeing it properly with hood up and head down, and so I drove through Clevedon (because it had said it was backing England) in the hope of getting out and looking round, but the rain kept me going.
What do you do with weather like this? I can’t stay in the van all day, so I headed back to Auckland, as at least there are indoor activities as well as outdoor ones.
I booked seats for ‘Anything Goes’ – a West End show now in Auckland, racing in the Americas Cup yacht, and a cinema ticket for ‘Friends with Benefits’ – (a chick flick for the girls only).
I also went back to Queen’s Wharf to the Fan Zone, as there was live music on at lunchtime. I bought £10 worth of ‘Taste’ tickets for the showcase food show, but to be perfectly honest, as with the British version, a taste is all you get, and I ended up buying Sushi to ‘fill up’. The live music was the New Zealand Army band. Now these and the NZ RAF and Navy bands have performed before games. Not your usual ‘run of the mill’ Military band (certainly couldn’t see them at the Cenotaph). The first time I saw them, it really came as a shock. Imagine the Communards, Right said Fred, and Frankie goes to Hollywood join up, and that’s how camp these bands are, performing pop songs (including the title, with little dance routines, including YMCA. Give me Nimrod and Elgar and testosterone anytime.
Dan Carter’s groin, and Tindall’s stag do (as England’s showing in the RWC is called in the NZ press is no longer the national obsession, it’s Ritchie McCaw’s metatarsal. The obsession, diagrams, medical opinion, rivals the English press’ obsession with Goldenballs Beckham’s Foot at the 2002/6? World Cup. With Carter out, and Pocock deadly at the breakdown (i.e. he’s not being spotted) then if McCaw goes, so could New Zealand’s challenge. They struggled against Argentina to unlock the defence for much of the game.
I don’t know what to do in terms of supporting teams in the next two matches. Firstly the Garlic Munchers v Sheep sh---ers. I just couldn’t support France and whilst supporting the British team would be the obvious option, Australian shirt sales went up before 2003 in Cardiff. Many of mates are Welsh and 3 years at University there (Aber) would give some sense of fondness, but I am reminded so often of the 2005 Grand Slam (they haven’t even started about 2008 yet – they haven’t needed to, I’m not sure I could cope with hearing about them winning the damn thing for the rest of my life.
Then we have the Convicts v more sheep sh---ers. Oz are possibly the least sporting nation when it comes to the ethics of sport. In the 2003 World Cup, their press were damn right rude about England – not the style of play, but the way they looked their age etc. Sledging didn’t work there, and Ponting in the 2005 Ashes series were poor losers. Then we have the hard nosed All Blacks favourites who consider it their God given right to win this World Cup and everyone else is just here to give them someone to play against. However, this World Cup has been good, hospitality and friendliness of everyone Kiwi you speak to, is fantastic. Maybe I grit my teeth and support them.
The sun came out briefly this afternoon, whilst the NZ Army band played ‘Walking on Sunshine’ – Katrina and the Waves.