Friday, 17 April 2009

Down on the farm

Another ambition for the NZ leg of the trip achieved - I've played representative rugby!

...OK, I played alongside representative rugby players.

...OK, 1 player. Who is 13 and has played for the Southland Under 48KGs team.

...OK, it was 3 a side in Soren's garden and I was rounded by an elusive 7 year old. Who then beat me at Monopoly as well.

Actually I blame Sheena for all this; after 3 helpings of fish pie, plus all the pancakes, carrot cake et al it was a miracle I could move at all. Credit also to one of their cows for some fantastic steaks, albeit I think her contribution was involuntary. I was beginning to think I was being fattened up to take the cow's place, so have made a break for it. Latest rickety Nissan Sunny hire car got me to Dunedin today, via the scenic bits of the Catlins (saw lots of seals/sealions (pictured) - will have to memorise the difference sometime), and have just spent several hours watching the Highlanders' (local rugby team) latest miserable capitulation while being harangued by the locals on the inadequecy of all things northern hemisphere, which as they kept buying me pints I was quite happy to listen to.

At least I beat Soren at golf on the world's most southerly 18 hole links course. Anyone who thinks this sounds just like my life at home, only without work, is of course alarmingly near the truth, so will try and push the envelope in time for the next blog. Not too easy down at the foot of NZ, everything is just so Scottish that it's hard not to slip into a comfortable routine.

Many thanks to Soren, Sheena and all their family for their hospitality, incidentally; it went so far beyond the call of duty as to be out of the park - I hope I get the chance to repay the favour, perhaps for their boys when they're ready to travel in a few years. I've made clear to all of them that notwithstanding NZ residency, they're Scots and if they're ever good enough to play international rugby it had better be Scotland they play it for - or this invite will be withdrawn!

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