i’m on my way back home to Belgium, currently sitting in the business lounge in Auckland.
It has been a productive week for me work wise, but blog-worthy is the palable excitement in New Zealand around the Rugby World Cup.
It for me is the only time other than when we first won the Amercias cup ( sailing) that I have seen such national pride and camaraderie. It’s wonderful.
my Anglo Saxon roots keep me on the conservative side of jumping up and down and flying the flag, though there is a famous photo about of me with a full face moko which I wore to a NZ vs England game back in 2003.
However up in Tauranga where I have been this week one car in five is flying a flag for the all blacks an d a similar number of houses flying larger versions , with half of them also flying those of all the other nations participating. It is quite amazing to see, with the theme repeated in the windows of shops, banks, accountants doctors dentists, really Kiwi’s have almost let loose.
I am heading back with my own souvenir , a black shirt emblazoned with a stylized kiwi – from a surf shop of course, and destined to be my ‘banner’ shirt for the NY city marathon in 5 weeks and one sleep away.
I haven’t seen much of the rugby, th e Scots are playing the Roast Beef as I write this, and Tonga has just beaten France in a boil over. Of course I’m backing the Scots though they are the underdogs and at half time they are clinging to a 6 point lead. I know my father and law will be glued to it, I’ll be boarding before the result is known!
Anyway, two things. It’s great to see the country united and letting lose on a bit of patriotic fervour. Second it’s great to see countries ‘at war’ with no more than a tray full of eggs, no greater casualties than a pulled hamstring, and plenty of fans from opposing sides celebrating together afterwards regardless of the outcome, it’s the sort of war I can handle.
So I’m leaving NZ happy, and a happy NZ, let’s hope the All Blacks deliver as they deserve to and my countryfolk get great reward for giving their all and loving the ride.
Last not least, all the best to the Warriors who play the NRL grand final tomorrow , I think they are completely up against it, but I also know they won’t lose for lack of trying, so who knows.
go you little beauties, go.
I’ll always be loyal.