11 Aug The Cup Runneth Over, and Away …
My ‘partner-in-crime’ is a Kiwi. Not one of those cute birds that is the symbol of New Zealand, but a person born in that country. And from the ‘mainland’, as he emphatically states, the north island. However, those of the south island call their island the mainland too. Very confusing! Unlike Australia, where we know Tasmania is the ‘other island’, and the rest of the states and territories are the mainland. And most Australians, to be perfectly honest, would like Tassie to continue to be what it originally was, a floating prison, and just float away to join Antarctica. However, I digress …
It was my lovely man’s birthday yesterday, and it just so happened that the Bledisloe Cup, the Rugby Union trophy played for between the New Zealand All Blacks and the Australian Wallabies, was being held, for the first time, in Perth. When tickets went on sale in October last year, I sat, at 7am Perth time, at my computer, and with my mobile in hand, ready to buy us tickets, whichever way I could get them. What a birthday present! We had great seats in the lower level, behind the goals (one end obviously). He was rapped, and I crowned myself ‘Wifey of the Year’!
My man is now a legal Australian citizen, and has the certificate to prove it. For some reason, and beyond the belief of many, he has been allowed to stay and reside in this wonderful country of ours. I think it may have been at the same time they let in the ‘10 pound Poms’ and wanted to increase the population quickly, so allowed most people to settle here. Fortunately, I had an Australian mother, and we paid our full passage when we returned to live in Australia, so consider myself a “proper Aussie”, though was mightily miffed when I actually had to get my Australian Citizenship to obtain an Aussie passport. Once again, I digress ….
My man often states he had a lobotomy when he became an Australian. I’m still in two minds wondering if that’s a ‘put-down’, in that he had to lower his IQ to actually become one of us, or if he actually thinks he was required to do that in order to be accepted. Either way, he believes in anything Australian, EXCEPT when it comes to Rugby Union. He is, and will always be, an All Black supporter to his last breath. So, it was with great pride, and wrapped up in his newly purchased merchandise, that we made out way to Optus Stadium yesterday. And, although I am Aussie through and through, as an extra birthday gift I dressed myself in black and stood shoulder to shoulder with him in the stands. I cheered on the players from those two little islands way off the east coast of our land, those people who try to speak English, but make a dog’s breakfast of it by swapping the vowels around, as in ‘fush end chups’, and where everyone is a ‘bro’.
So we were there, at Optus Stadium, when they opened the gates at 2.30pm, even though the match didn’t start until 5.45pm. I mean, what else would one want to do for three hours but sit on an uncomfortable fold down seat, in the shady part of the stand when the temperature hovered at a mild 17’c with the wind chill factor at about 14’c? I can’t think of any other place I’d rather be with a sore, hoarse voice, a hacking cough and a band of 100 drummers playing loudly in my head! It was fortunate the security only took a passing look in my bag and didn’t see the chemist shop I had hidden in there: cold and flu tablets, paracetamol, throat lozenges, nasal sprays, asthma puffers … to mention but a few. Maybe they thought a woman of my age wouldn’t be doing a drug run at this venue! Again, I digress … must be the befuddled flu brain!
Being so early, but at least fortified with a hot coffee, we were able to watch the women’s teams play, the Silver Ferns and the Wallaroos. It was a really, really good game, with the Kiwis being the victors, 47-10. Actually, they wiped the Aussie women’s noses all over the turf from the moment the last moving sounds of the Haka wafted away in the afternoon breeze to the dying seconds of the 80-minute game. My man was excited as he thought this was a precursor of things to come in the main game.
Oh, how wrong he was! Unfortunately for those patriotic, delusional Kiwis, those early scores were also the swan song of their team and they were resoundingly thrashed. It seemed all the energy went into the Haka, which was hauntingly magic, and little was left for the play. That’s all I’m allowed to say about the game.
It’s really sad to see a grown man cry, especially on his birthday. I confessed, after the game, the pattern is that the team I support generally tends to lose. He has now asked me to NEVER support the All Blacks again!
I wonder what I should buy him for Christmas?