Saturday, June 25, 2005

Back to the 1950s.

Well, it's after midnight, and I am huddled (if one can huddle by one's self) around the high-tech box that brings voices from afar into my living room so I can listen to the All Blacks play against the evil British Lions.

If a 1950s kid in New Zealand had a blog, he might well write something like that. But let's not get into time travel. It's 2005, the high tech box is a laptop, the voices from afar is the Newstalk ZB webcast, and I'm in Canada.

My mother isn't around to tell me to go to bed so I'm going to be naughty. Besides, I don't have to be awake until 1pm tomorrow, and really want to listen to the match. When the Lions came to New Zealand, I was a 12, nearly 13, year old English immigrant who wasn't assimilating anywhere near as quickly as his siblings. Now I'm a 24, nearly 25 (gulp), year old who is pretty sure he's a proper New Zealander now.

There's a neat symmetry to all of this.

Last time, we'd been in New Zealand just over six months. This time I've been out of New Zealand a bit over six months.

Last time I'd spent 12.5 years of my life being English (albeit mostly overseas). This time I've spent 12.5 years of my life being a New Zealander (well, technically I became a Kiwi in 1996, but shush, I'm allowed to stretch things however I want).

So yeah, I could try and make this some sort of defining moment in my life, but really, I'm just a guy, on the other side of the world who misses quality rugby (the club games I've seen here are barely high-school first XV - which is better than NZ hockey stacks up by Canadian standards).

Kick Off is in just a few minutes - the teams are running out onto the field now.

They're singing some horrible song called the "Power of Four", it's worse than any of the individual anthems.

Now they're singing some horrible song called "God Defend New Zealand".

Seriously, after being in Canada, and watching US sport on TV, I've realised 1) We just don't perform our national anthem anywhere near as much as they do and 2) There's two good reasons for that - the song sucks and many of the performers chosen for sporting events are worse.

Now the haka, that's a great way of starting a sporting event (or indeed any event). We should get rid of the funeral dirge and just replace it with a haka. So whenever NZ wins one of its rare Olympic medals, instead of a funeral march, we should hear a bunch of guys yelling.

The All Blacks are playing from left to right on the radio coverage. Anyone else see the irony?

I'm not going to do a play by play, because that's kinda lame. This is great though - I'm going to have to eat some vegemite on toast too, just to complete the NZ nostalgia feeling of tonight. That and I am hungry.

You still haven't answered anonymous's and my question of who or what is Tim(my) Horton, I'm sure you haven't mentioned this before. i hope the game was to your liking. I saw a few minutes during the half-time of singing in a Last Night of the Proms show on the North Shore and having to wear a union jack plastic bowler hat and wave a flag! So that was certainly ironic, but all we saw was an irish Lion on a stretcher and then a very wet pitch and Dan carter kicking the ball! But we did hear the final score at the same time. Hope the job-hunting goes well. Like the comments about half you life! Soon to be in your second quarter century that is old!
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