The long white cloud

Tuesday, June 06, 2006


Another trip up to the Hunuas regional park and another brush with the pig-hunters (you may recall that we met some hunters the last time we were there). This time the hunters had caught a pig. I asked to see it (when in Rome ?) and one of the hunters gleefully obliged, except it wasn't the whole pig just it's severed head. I had assumed that these guys caught the pigs as a source of food, and for me at least, it gave the barbarity a figleaf of acceptability. But no, the guy explained that they couldn't eat the meat due to it being tainted by DOC rodent poison (truly the unspeakable in pursuit of the inedible).

You may recall the allblacks handbag story from last week or as I like to call it the "Umaga handbagga clubber clobber shocker". Well, in true wharholesque fashion, the handbag got it's 10 minutes of fame (considerably longer actually) and was purchased on trademe (think NZ Ebay), for over 20,000 dollars ( incidentally the bidding had got up to over 100 million dollars through some mischievous bidding )

Now about this big football competition that is starting in the next few days. It is most odd viewing the build-up from another country. To be sure they are very keen on football over here, and the TV coverage is superb (every single game is being shown live and each game is being replayed). But there is no world cup hysteria of the sort witnessed in Blighty. England is still the team of choice for most Kiwis and certainly the bulk of the build-up coverage probably mentions them more than any other team. However, there is no sense of hysteria, so much so that for the first time in probably 20 years I can watch a world cup with relative objectivity about England's chances. And from where I am sitting the emperor has got no clothes on and his arse is pretty much blowing in the breeze ( my prediction - out in the quarters to Holland/Portugal/Argentina , with Beckham given a red card *).

And while on the subject of footy, have started playing for a new team. There is only half a season left and so I decided to play for an over 35's team thinking that I could ease myself back into the fray by playing with a bunch of fogies. What a mistake ! These guys are division one and really good. The first game I played they were 5-0 up at half time, and were probably good enough to beat Scotland (no major boast I realize).

* I reserve the right to rejoin the frenzied mob without prior notice, should England indeed proceed beyond the quarters